Affordable Housing “Design Star”

Area High School Students Challenged to Design Affordable Home

Affordable Housing “Design Star”

Over 60 area high school students are participating in a competition to design an affordable home for a fictional Des Moines family.  The competition is part of Affordable Housing Week being sponsored by the Polk County Housing Trust Fund. 

Participating as individuals or teams the students have been given the biography of a working family of six in need of affordable housing.  Interests and needs of various family members are outlined as well as limitations on costs.  A vacant in-fill lot in Des Moines has been chosen as the site.  The family’s story can be found by clicking on the link below.

Within these limitations the students are being asked to design the most appropriate affordable home for the family.  They are being assisted by local architects who have volunteered their time.  Justine Bangert of ASK Studio, one of the contest's creators said, “The definition of affordable housing often has a social stigma attached to it. As architects, we strive to challenge design issues such as this every day.  This event will be a great way to educate the community on what ‘affordable’ actually means and how it doesn’t have to look any different than the house next door. We look forward to seeing student solutions and how they will interpret ‘“affordable housing’”.

Beginning at 9:00 AM on Saturday morning April 20th the student’s work will be on public display at the Pappajohn Center in the Western Gateway.  At 10:00 AM five students will be asked to present and defend their work to a panel of judges.  Winners will receive scholarship awards from the Greater Des Moines Homebuilders’ Association to further their design and drafting education.  All participants will receive a certificate of recognition for their efforts.

The public is invited to view all the submissions and attend the live judging.  Student’s work will be on display at various locations around the metro during the spring.  Affordable Housing Week activities are designed to raise community awareness of the benefits that safe, stable and affordable housing brings to our community. 

The Family's story