Reader Competition from SPIEGEL ONLINE and SPIEGEL WISSEN How Would You Like to Live?

New forms of living, new ideas for cohabitation, new architecture: For the Social Design Award, we are looking for the best projects and ideas for neighborhood-oriented living models. The winner will receive 2,500 euros.

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Long rows of monotonous buildings stretch across the landscape, a dreary sight with no focal point. The Spinelli Barracks in Mannheim, a former military base, is a rather bleak place. In fall 2015, when all of Germany was scoured for living space, refugees found shelter here.

But architecture students at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern thought it important to provide the newcomers at the site with a social gathering point. So together with the refugees, they designed and built a community center and completed it within one year. The project won a number of prizes and is documented in the recently published book "Home Not Shelter!" (JOVIS).

But how community-oriented are the many apartment blocks that have been built during the ongoing construction boom in Germany? Are there any new living models out there to promote a feeling of community among residents? What do they look like? The Social Design Award presented by SPIEGEL ONLINE and SPIEGEL WISSEN in cooperation with the DIY retail chain Bauhaus is looking for the best projects and ideas that take a new look at living, construction and quality of life. Proposals must be submitted by Aug. 31, 2019.

A jury of experts will examine the submissions and draw up a shortlist with the jury, and SPIEGEL ONLINE readers each choosing a winning project, which will be announced in November 2019. Both the Jury Prize and the Audience Prize come with a 2,500-euro reward.

This year marks the sixth presentation of the Social Design Award. Last year, we focused on "ideas for creating a vibrant neighborhood." The expert jury singled out the Hamburg project Mikropol. After the community center in the disadvantaged neighborhood of Rothenburgtsort was demolished, a group of students began looking for a new meeting point. They found an out-of-use public restroom on a traffic island and are currently renovating it.

The audience chose its favorite from the shortlist of 10 projects, ultimately deciding on the Children's Hotel in Heidelberg, operated by habito. Children with and without disabilities from disadvantaged families can spend the night here on the weekend, grilling stick bread over a campfire and sleeping in a Mongolian-style yurt -- and their mothers, many of them single, get the night off.

Anyone with a good idea can participate in the Social Design Award. You can find more information along with the entry form here.

The competition rules have been compiled in the following PDF:

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