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, 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:

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 in Housing Design call for applications is currently closed. Please check back in Spring 2023 for updated instructions.

For reference, the last cycle’s instructions were as follows:


Applications must include the following three components in one PDF document with the filename “FirstName_LastName_CliffordWongPrize2022”:

  1. Coversheet listing the following information:
    • 2022 Clifford Wong Prize in Housing Design Application
    • Applicant Name
    • Degree Program
    • Graduation Date
    • GSD Email Address and Permanent Email Address
    • Course number and title in which the work was submitted
  2. Written Statement that includes a description of the project, and which addresses 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. Projects performed as independent studies outside the GSD or as part of a professional commission will not be eligible.
  3. Portfolio of up to 30 pages total to supplement the written description (8.5×11 inch format).

Note: Hardcopy, CDs, slides, loose materials, or physical models will not be accepted; everything submitted must be in digital format on Dropbox. The submissions may include all or part of the material submitted to satisfy the course, plus supplemental materials. Given the award schedule at the end of the semester, students are encouraged to provide materials as submitted for coursework. Evaluation will focus on the clarity and content of the proposals and not the presentation. Work produced outside of the current academic year is ineligible.

Questions may be submitted to Suneeta Gill in Academic Affairs.