AFSF Design Ideas Collective

AFSF Design Ideas Collective

Congratulations to ALL participants in the Architectural Foundation of San Francisco's 2021 AFSF DESIGN IDEAS COLLECTIVE.

53 participants from 8 schools submitted 29 designs.  Here are the top 7 award winners:

Best of Class – First Place:

Lucas Kim (La Cañada H.S.)

Evergreen City


Best of Class – Second Place:

Charles Sheldon, Griffin Rick, Josh Hansen (Laguna Blanca School)

Sustainable, Eco-friendly City Block Design


Best of Class – Third Place:

Clarissa Jocelyn (Ruth Asawa School of the Arts)

Dragonfly Housing


Honorable Mentions:

  • Nolan Page & Skylar Robinson (Benecia H.S.)

Crafting a Californian Community Sustainable Living: A solution to the California Housing Crisis


  • Styles Jones (Stephens County H.S.)



  • Isaac Nystrom Rice (Ruth Asawa School of the Arts)



  • Ian Chu (Mills H.S.)

To the Future




Spurred by future-altering events we collectively experienced, in 2020 AFSF launched its first-ever Design Ideas Collective challenging students to address current issues using design thinking to create a path toward a better future.  


2nd annual competition

Fri. Nov. 19, 2021     –    Submission entries due
Sun. Nov. 21, 2021   –    Virtual Awards Ceremony (participants will receive ceremony details)

At the intersection of California’s housing crisis and climate change, we also anticipate the growth needs of increasingly dense cities. How can we better envision our urban communities for a sustainable future? In this year’s Design Ideas Collective, the challenge is to design a housing community that meets our future needs while also creating an inviting and vibrant public realm. A thought exercise presented at various scales, participants are asked to think critically about how a community is connected and what factors contribute to a livable environment.

Given four cities blocks consisting of typical parcels create a community proposal that . . .

  • considers housing density
  • identifies how homes are laid out and arranged
  • integrates areas for transportation, energy-generation, green space and street safety strategies.
  • tells a story and narrates your vision – your design should have a big idea as the basis for your concept. 

There are no limits to your creativity!

Differing from AFSF’s annual High School Design Competition (offered in the Winter-Spring), the Ideas Collective is less architecture problem solving and more ideas-based thought exploration.

  • Think critically about circumstances our community faces
  • Propose creative solutions for a better future
  • Submissions reviewed by a select jury
  • Awards for each category entered

We’re excited to see what ideas YOU generate!

For further information, please see the 2021 Design Ideas Collective design brief.

 Questions?  Contact Ryan Lee,, Design Ideas Collective Chair & Author.


Thank you in advance for your continued interest and support of this program.

Innovative designs from AFSF's first Design Ideas Collective (2020):

Thank you to everyone who made the 2020 inaugural AFSF Design Ideas Collective a resounding success!! Find more details in the 2020 design brief.

Special recognition to the following students for their award-winning contributions:

best of class

Clarissa Jocelyn
#3 Wave-stallation
Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, 11th Grade

Exceptional submissions

Isaac Nystrom Rice
#6 Hexapod Quartet
Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, 10th Grade

Kiara Taylor
#7 Puzzle Pod
Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, 9th Grade

Eva Nusbaum-Faust
#9 Lily Pads
Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, 10th Grade

Distinction for Comprehensive Presentation

Travis Gee
#1 The Distanced Way
Lowell High School, 11th Grade

Distinction for Research & Space Planning

Krystal Li & Austin Wong
#2 Streets – Dining & Socializing
Lowell High School, 11th Grade

Distinction for ACTIVISM

Dylan Daryanani
#4 Activism
Lowell High School, 11th Grade 

Distinction for Environmental Context

Emilia Burkhart
#8 Waterscape Platforms
Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, 9th Grade 

Distinction for Adaptability

Sophie Tan
#10 Diamond
Lowell High School, 12th Grade 

Distinction for PROGRAMMING

Caroline Chen
#11 Inception
Henry M. Gunn High School, 11th Grade

Stay tuned for details on the 2022 Design Ideas Collective next fall, to be announced by this Summer.

Student Work Examples