Architecture alumna Maria Vergopoulou’s design was among the 15 shortlisted projects for the Dezeen X MINI Living Future Urban Home competition which called on Dezeen readers to design a home for 100 year in the future.

Maria Vergopoulou’s design ‘Cocoon BioFloss’
Maria Vergopoulou’s design ‘Cocoon BioFloss’

The contest asked readers to consider the challenges that cities will face over the next century and to propose innovative solutions for urban homes to overcome these challenges. The competition also asked participants to submit designs responding to the MINI Living maxim ‘big life, small footprint’ by making the most of available space in cities.

Architect Maria Vergopoulou’s design was selected among 400 entries from all over the world. Her project, entitled ‘Cocoon BioFloss’, was a micro home made from extremely fine bioplastic fibres, reminiscent of candy floss.

Through her design, she imagined a future where modern building materials would become incredibly scarce. She suggested that this could lead to a new DIY movement, where people would grow vegetables to produce bioplastic, which they would use to build their own cocoon-like homes.

This design was part of her studio project in collaboration with University of Westminster Lecturers Arthur Mamou-Mani and Toby Burgess teaching in Design Studio 10 on the Master of Architecture (MArch) (RIBA Pt II) programme.

Talking about her shortlisted project, Maria said: “This design was the outcome of rigorous physical and computational experimentation, focused in the combination of bioplastic with various weaving patterns. The ambition was to create a resistant and environmental friendly building method, available for everyone to reproduce. The project was focused in the process of making, creating a manual for the construction of a prototype house in a future community of scarcity.”

The top three designs will be announced on Thursday 17 January and will be selected by a panel of renowned judges in the Design industry including Dezeen editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs and editorial director Amy Frearson, alongside MINI Living creative lead Oke Hauser and designer Corinna Natter.

The Dezeen X MINI Living Future Urban Home competition is part of Dezeen X MINI Living initiative, an ongoing collaboration between Dezeen and MINI Living exploring solutions for a brighter urban future.

Find out more about the Master of Architecture (MArch) (RIBA Pt II) course offered at the University of Westminster.

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