Established in 1990 by a generous gift from Nelson K. Chen (AB ’75, MArch ’78), the Clifford Wong Prize in Housing Design is an annual prize created in memory of Hong Kong architect and developer, Clifford C. F. Wong. The prize aims to help re-establish the essential role of architects in society to provide not only the fundamental needs of human shelter but to meet the challenge of designing creative solutions for improving living environments.

The Clifford Wong Prize in Housing Design recognizes a multi-family housing design that incorporates the most interesting ideas and/or innovations that may lead to socially oriented, improved living environments. Students in all GSD programs are invited to submit a project that considers today’s challenges posed in housing design. The prize may be awarded for a design executed by a single student or by several students working in collaboration in a regular GSD core or option studio, thesis, open projects or independent study course completed during the current academic year. Projects performed as independent studies outside the GSD or as part of a professional commission will not be eligible.

The winning prize entry is chosen by a faculty committee selected each year by the dean. The quality of the overall design effort will be taken into account, but the prize will not necessarily be awarded for the most mature and complete design effort; therefore, students in core and options studios that focus on multiple housing are invited to submit entries regardless of their levels of advancement. The housing design may be complete with respect to site planning, unit and landscape design, means of construction, and overall visual expression, or the design may focus on one or more aspects of the design. Entries should illustrate how the housing design relates to its urban, suburban, or rural settings. However, large-scale, urban design projects where housing is merely a minor element will not be eligible.

Recent recipients include:

2023: “Sidewalk Stuff: Adaptive Reuse Cohousing” by Randy Crandon (MArch I ’25) and Maddie Farrer (MArch I ’25)

2022:People’s Park Complex: Repairing the Modern City” by Brian Lee (MArch ’22)

2021: “Up from the Past: Housing as Reparations on Chicago’s South Side” by Isabel Strauss (MArch I ’21) and “Cripping Architecture” by Shaina Yang (MArch I ’21)

2020: “A House is Not a Home” by Qin Ye Chen (MArch I ’22) and Yiwen Wang (MArch I AP ’22)

2019: “A Giant Among Us” by Son Vu (MArch I ’21) and Alex Yueyan Li (MArch I AP ’21)

2018:  “Dwelling + Ground: Terraformed Housing for Port-Au-Prince” by Belle Verwaay (MArch ’18)

View a list of past winners.

In the event that there is no student work judged to be sufficiently exemplary to be premiated, no award will be given. The jury for the selection of the award will be approved by the Dean of the Faculty of Design and, when feasible, shall include members of the faculty and at least one practitioner whose current housing design exemplifies the aims of the prize.


The Clifford Wong Prize call for applications is currently closed. Please check back in Spring 2024 for updated application instructions. 


For reference, the last cycles instructions were as follows: 

To streamline both the submission and review processes, the multi-housing design will be submitted in electronic format, not larger than 1 GB. 

Start the process sufficiently prior to noon in order to ensure your project has time to upload fully before the deadline. 

Applications must submit one PDF file or one InDesign linked file with the filename “2023CliffordWongPrize”. Your name will automatically be added when you submit via OneDrive, so no need to add it to the file name. The file must include the following: 

  1. Coversheet
  • The prize you are applying for (i.e. 2023 Clifford Wong Prize in Housing Design) 
  • Applicant Name(s)  
  • Degree Program(s) 
  • Graduation Date(s) 
  • GSD Email Address(s) and Permanent Email Address(s) 
  • Course number and title in which the work was submitted 
  1. Written Statement:

Including a description of the project, which addresses the fundamental needs of human shelter and features creative solutions for improving living environments (1 page, approximately 300 words). If any aspect of collaborative work is submitted by an individual, the authorship of such work should be clearly identified and distinguished from that of the applicant, unless all collaborators are making a joint submission. Projects performed as independent studies outside the GSD or as part of a professional commission will not be eligible. 

  1. Portfolio:

Up to 30 pages total to supplement the written description (8.5×11 inch format).  

Note: All elements of your application must be submitted must be in digital format. Given the award schedule at the end of the semester, students are encouraged to provide materials as submitted for coursework. The submission may include all or part of the material submitted to satisfy the course, plus supplemental materials. Evaluation will focus on the clarity and content of the proposals, and not the presentation. 



Questions may be submitted to Donna Lewis in Academic Affairs.