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A community event where designers create and discuss solutions for problems/issues within the community. This is an opportunity for designers to become aware and use their skills to think and reimagine solutions to social issues within the community.

It's going to be a three part event filled with conversation, designs solutions and giving back to the community!







Layers of Design is launching a brand new and exciting competition that will look into developing temporary design solutions for people experiencing homelessness, an issue that is present all around us. There are so many reasons people become homeless. Many homeless people find it difficult to fit into society and feel unwelcomed. Public spaces should be a safe and fair space where all the members of a community can coexist together. This competition aims to bring positive strategies and scenarios that could aid people get back on their feet while transforming public spaces into becoming more energetic, engaging, and welcoming to all.


Interested participants will be challenged with creating simple, yet innovative solutions that are able to improve the current condition(s) of people experiencing homelessness in public spaces. These solutions can be anything from design installations, furniture pieces, artwork, small devices, etc. Keeping in mind that the issue of homelessness is a universal issue, participants should consider how their proposed ideas could be adapted in different parts of the world. If the question is how to do it, flexibility and malleability of use might be tactical features that can help competitors come up with concepts! The idea is to experiment with different notions through the application and implementation of versatile designs. Taking the current pandemic into consideration, the proposed solutions should explore how we can design public elements that can be utilized by all members of the community. Participants should be imaginative and propose design concepts that not only aid people experiencing homelessness, but also take public spaces to another level.



Must keep temporary structures in mind

Must keep the homeless population in mind

Must be interactive

Must activate public space

Must keep pandemic restrictions/guidelines in mind


The competition is open to students, architects, designers, urbanists, engineers, artists, makers, activists and anyone interested in showcasing their solution to the issue at hand. Participants can join the competition either individually or with a team.


1st Prize:


Website Publication, Certificate of Achievement

Exhibition at Miami Center for Architecture and Design

2nd Prize:


Website Publication, Certificate of Achievement

Exhibition at Miami Center for Architecture and Design

3rd Prize:

Sketchbook or mug of your choice from LoD Podcast Shop

Website Publication, Certificate of Achievement

Exhibition at Miami Center for Architecture and Design 


Early Registration 

Late Registration 

Registration Closes 

Design Submittal 

Winners Announced 

January 22 - March 7th

March 7 - April 9

April 9

April 9

April 17

After registration and payment are complete, we will send you a confirmation email with your registration number. This is the number that will be used to identify your entry.



Early Registration: $20

Late Registration: $25


Early Registration: $15

Late Registration: $20


Participants must submit a 1 min 30 sec (max) video showcasing your design solution. The intent behind this deliverable is to provide everybody a fair opportunity to tell us about your proposed solution’s best features in a creative, concise, and fun way. The video should cover any information the participants believe explain their project from concept to implementation. It should not include any faces as to keep the judging process fair, but rather any supporting documentation needed to create a strong argument for the proposed design.


The file name of the video must be your registration number. Your submittal email must include your registration number.

All videos must be submitted to:

layersofdesign.co@gmail.com with the subject:

"DXC### - Rethinking Public Spaces" by April 9, Midnight- (UTC-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada). 


The five shortlisted finalists will be announced on April 15, 2021. Competition winners will be announced on April 17 during the virtual design seminar. All submissions will be available on this website.


All the questions related to the competition can be mailed to us at: layersofdesign.co@gmail.com with the subject: “FAQ – Rethinking Public Spaces”.

Answers to all questions will be published in this section. 



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Craig Aquart,


Managing Principal of MC Harry Associates


Helena L. Jubany,


Principal at NAC

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Marcial Jesus

100architects Founder, CEO

Thank you to all competition participants for your hard work and thank you to our competition jurors!



Part 2 will focus on recognizing the designers, architects, activists, professionals, and creatives that play a part in improving homeless communities locally and globally. Layers of Design will be hosting a virtual design seminar in which the top five shortlisted finalists will get a chance to present their design solutions to the jurors and receive live feedback on how their proposed concept can play an important part in aiding people experiencing homelessness. The virtual event will also feature a guest speaker, conversation with America’s Hidden Gem, and a panel discussion with Layers of Design Podcast.

Stay tuned for the upcoming seminar schedule, list of speakers, and competition jurors.


Layers of Design Panel Discussion



Helena L. Jubany,


Principal at NAC


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Kyrah Williams,

Founder, America's Hidden Gem 


Melissa Daniel,

Host, Architecture is Political Podcast


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Cara Chellew,

(MES) Founder of DefensiveTO

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Gisla Augustin,

Founder/CEO of

Gigi the Planner

Layers of Design Panel Discussion

Thank you to all our speakers and panelists for enlightening conversations!



Part 3 will be dedicated to putting our words into action and helping the homeless community in Miami, as it is our home City! On April 18, 2021, Layers of Design and America's Hidden Gem will be going into the community to provide “thoughtful kits” filled with essential items for people in need. If you are interested in volunteering for this portion of the event, please feel free to click below and fill out our form.


If you are unable to volunteer, but still would like to join us in this cause, you can make a monetary donation or fill out the form and select the items you'd want to donate.  Your support and participation are very much appreciated. Please stay tuned as we update the website with pictures and videos of how this last portion of the event went.

With your generous donations, we were able to distribute 60+ thoughtful kits to people experiencing homelessness in Downtown Miami and Overtown. Here are a few clips of us putting our words into action!

Kits containing water, face masks, hand wipes, socks, granola bars, toothbrushes, toothpaste
Kits containing water, face masks, hand wipes, socks, granola bars, toothbrushes, toothpaste

press to zoom

press to zoom
Layers of Design and America's Hidden Gem
Layers of Design and America's Hidden Gem

press to zoom
Kits containing water, face masks, hand wipes, socks, granola bars, toothbrushes, toothpaste
Kits containing water, face masks, hand wipes, socks, granola bars, toothbrushes, toothpaste

press to zoom

Thank you for your donations and to all our volunteers who came out to assist in packaging and distributing the kits! A special shout out to MCAD, UMAIAS, UMNOMAS, America's Hidden Gem and The Neighborhood Architects!

The concept of America’s Hidden Gem(TM) originated in 2016 for a self-titled graduate study paper. Initially, it was meant to be written on Julian Abele, but his work was not accessible, and only a brief part of his story was known. After a conversation with the professor, the paper was changed to feature Mr. Joseph Middlebrooks, RA, known to be the first registered African-American architect in the state of Florida. America’s Hidden Gem’s(TM) platform went on to be created October 2018 and has been celebrating and amplifying the voices of Black architects, designers, students, and ally professionals in the ACE (Architecture, Construction, and Engineering) industries.


In addition to interviews, AHG(TM) hosts annual professional development summits encouraging and inspiring students and emerging professionals, has a podcast, as well as having launched MirrorMe(TM), a mentoring program.



Website: www.americashiddengem.org

Social: @americashiddengem



Table and Chair is a multidisciplinary design studio founded in 2019, that provides creative and consultation services to developing and existing brands to solve client challenges and bring their ideas to life in exciting and innovative ways.


Table and Chair provides marketing and promotional services to brands and organizations by telling their stories and using creative and innovative techniques to reach their target audience and transform their visions into reality. We exist to aid organizations with visualizing their ideas and bringing them to life.


Our clients include a range of industries, from food and beverage to technology and entertainment. We are based in New Jersey, USA and Lagos, Nigeria

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Thank you to all our partners who made this event so successful!

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50% of all proceeds will go to charities that support the homeless community. 25% to A'naiys Charities and 25% to Lotus House Women's Shelter. So far, we've been able to raise the amount seen in the bubble below! Our goal is to get a total of $2,000 and you can help us get there by participating in Part 1: Design Competition and/or Part 2: Virtual Design Seminar or by becoming an event sponsor today!

We appreciate all your support!




Thank you to everyone who donated! We were able to support A'nayis Charities and Lotus Women's Shelter with their mission to create more thoughtful communities!


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Thank you to our event sponsor!