Student Design Awards

Architects for Health Student Design Awards 2018

The AfH Student Design Awards challenge students of architecture and design to explore innovative and compassionate design for health and social care settings.


The AfH Student Design Award is an annual design competition for students and 2018 marks our 11th year. As well as promoting good design, AfH is also committed to encouraging the next generation to remain passionate about the quality of design for health and social care settings.

Our goal is to celebrate the opportunities in health and social care for innovation and experimentation and to bring together students from different disciplines to share fresh thinking. We are especially keen to encourage students in UK and international architecture and design schools to engage including courses in public art, landscape design, interior design and architecture.

Participating organisations

We collaborate with schools of architecture and design through both an NHS Trust Award – where we work closely with Hospital Trusts (e.g. GSTT and GOSH) who will act as proxy clients – and an Open Award – where we encourage and support colleges and universities to embed the health programme into their curricula and give exposure to those already engaging in healthcare projects. We support participants through reviews and seminars.

The Brief for the 2018 Awards

We would like to set this year’s theme around the topic of Wellbeing.
The provision for healthcare is changing; for both those who provide care and treatment and those who receive the ministrations of others. We no longer go to hospital for a prolonged stay unless we are seriously ill or injured. More emphasis than ever before is placed on preventing illness. Where and how is treatment for illness provided? We have heard of the ‘place in the middle’.

This model is about placing social care, hospice and hospital at home, pharmacy and medicine, GP and community nursing and therapy on the high street, or the centre of the community. Hyper centres (should we ban the word hospital?) then become about trauma, cancer, cardiac and stroke care, urgent care, maternity and new-born care and, so important, mental health. This is what constitutes “the hospital”

What do these two forms of care look like?
Does either need great architecture, beautiful and inspiring surrounding, spaces that provide light and warmth, scenic views outside, wonderful art and design inside?
Should we provide for body and soul when we deliver healthcare?

We need to give support both in medical treatment, at whatever level, and social and psychological care. Care for the whole person. Does this give wellbeing for all? Happiness, companionship, wealth, employment, a house to live in; all contribute to good health. Where do we find it?


Entries are judged by a panel of leading practitioners and clinicians. Winners are rewarded with cash prizes, a chance to exhibit project work at national conferences, complementary AfH membership for 2018 and an opportunity to discuss their work with others including architectural and design leaders in healthcare. A selection of student entries is captured in a specially designed booklet celebrating the students work.

Programme 2018

Tutors register into the programme
Jan- May
Design development by students and tutors within schools – AfH can offer support as occasional external tutors by invitation.
Tutors nominate 3 projects/students from their courses to be considered for the awards. Final decision made with AfH. Judging takes place.
Student Seminar and Award Ceremony – Special event with student exhibition and seminar to share ideas and projects and announce winners. AfH prepare presentation material. Date to be confirmed (2pm-8pm) – Venue Burroughs Room at Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Rd, Bloomsbury, London NW1 2BE


AfH is currently seeking sponsorship for the awards.


For further details of the programme and to register please select Student Awards on our Contact page and send a message.