WAF 2023 Reintroduces Global Student Design Charette

Architecture students from around the world are invited by the WAF to send in proposals that correspond to the festival theme, 'Catalyst'

Words and Images World Architecture Festival (WAF)

Editor’s note: What follows is an edited release from the World Architecture Festival with additions from the Kanto team

Attention, architecture students from all corners of the globe! The World Architecture Festival (WAF) is reintroducing the global student design charrette as part of its 2023 program after a pandemic-induced hiatus. Student teams are invited to send in proposals related to this year’s festival theme ‘Catalyst’ by August 11, 2023.

The Philippines previously won the global student charette program in 2013, when the team from Cebu’s University of San Carlos (Keshia Stephanie Lim, Miguel Jorge Rocha, Jon Medalla, and Kathleen Canlas, mentored by architects Buck Sia and Alex Medalla) brought home the grand prize for “Village in a Box.” Their triumph preceded the shortlisting of architect Emmanuel Miñana’s Villa Marina at the World Architecture Festival, the first Pinoy to make the shortlist, and Leandro V. Locsin Partners’ Small Project of the Year winner, Streetlight Tagpuro.

The team from Cebu’s University of San Carlos (Keshia Stephanie Lim, Miguel Jorge Rocha, Jon Medalla, and Kathleen Canlas) emerged victorious for Village in a Box in the 2013 Global Student Design Charette at the WAF.

What is the Global Student Design Charette?

Student teams (up to eight people plus one or two tutors) are invited to submit proposals related to the theme ‘Catalyst’ by 11 August 2023.

Six to eight teams will be invited to take part in the charrette, which is supported by Broadway Malyan, the international architects headquartered in London with offices across the world, including Singapore.

The theme is intended to stimulate thinking about ways in which design can accelerate beneficial change in respect of challenges facing society generally, or individual fulfillment.

The Village in a Box

What themes should our entry address?

Teams are invited to address one of the following contexts:

  • The enabling of potential (schools)
  • The encouragement of community (libraries, local centers)
  • The promotion of health (sports centers)
  • The delivery of healthcare (hospitals, medical centers)
  • The provision of comfort (hospices, refuges)
  • The provision of support (housing with care)
  • The inclusion of nature (biophilic/bioclimatic design)
  • The nourishing of civic life (streets, squares, parks, public spaces)
  • The benefits of connection (stations, bridges, airports)
  • The inspiration of culture (galleries, concert halls, museums)
  • The provision of sustainability (long life, loose fit, low energy)
The Village in a Box perspectives

What are the entry requirements?

  • Teams can pick their own building type/site/area as the subject for their entry
  • Please supply a written document describing the brief, the location and the potential client (350 words maximum)
  • Provide visual material indicating the key challenges of the project and the approach the team would take to meeting them
  • This should be submitted electronically to waf.studentcharrette@emap.com
  • The deadline for submissions is 11 August 2023

What happens next?

Before WAF

  • Successful teams will be informed by the 8 September
  • The team will need to make their own arrangements to attend the Festival at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore from 28 November – 1 December 2023
  • All teams and their tutors (one or two) will be provided with complimentary three-day delegate passes
  • A final briefing will be provided at 5 PM on Tuesday 28 November in Singapore, venue to be advised
  • This briefing will provide an additional element that teams will need to incorporate into their final proposals

At the Festival in Singapore

  • Working areas for all teams will be provided in the Festival hall 
  • Basic design materials (paper, marker pens, etc) will be made available
  • Teams will have two days to finalize their proposals
  • On the morning of Friday 1 December teams will present their ideas to an international jury
  • Presentations should be 10 minutes maximum, followed by 10 minutes of question and answers
  • The panel will select a winning team, which will be invited to the Gala Awards Dinner on Friday night

Other matters

  • All teams will receive a certificate of attendance as finalists in the charrette
  • Selected work will appear in the post-Festival online Winners Supplement
  • Any queries should be emailed to Paul Finch, Programme Director, World Architecture Festival (paul.finch@emap.com)


Kanto is once again proud to take part in this celebration by becoming an official WAF media partner for a third time and you can be sure we will cover the charettes when Pinoy representation is guaranteed!

The 2023 World Architecture Festival will take place from 29 November to 1 December at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, Singapore. 

Download a copy of our e-program for Kanto’s hybrid seminar with the United Architects of the Philippines,
“Becoming Globally-Competitive Filipino Architects” below:

Kanto.com.ph thanks GROHE (under LIXIL Philippines) for making this trip and interview possible.

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