The Plimpton-Poorvu Design Prize was established with a gift by long-term friends, business partners, and GSD advocates Samuel Plimpton (MBA '77, MArch '80) and William J. Poorvu (MBA '58). The first prize award of approximately $20,000 and a second prize award of $10,000 recognizes the two top teams or individuals for a viable real estate project completed as part of the GSD curricula that best demonstrates feasibility in design, construction, economics, and in fulfillment of market and user needs.

The Plimpton-Poorvu Design Prize is open to all masters-level students enrolled at the GSD regardless of their seniority or degree program and aims to encourage collaborative, cross-disciplinary work. A review committee composed of faculty members from each department selects a shortlist of candidates each spring to participate in a review and submit a revised application. The faculty review committee, Chairs, and Dean review the revised submissions and select the winner(s) in May.


2018 Prize winners at a reception in the Pit.
The 2018 Prize winners and faculty advisors with William J. Poorvu (MBA '58) (second from the left), Samuel Plimpton (MBA '77, MArch '80) (third from the right), and Dean Mostafavi (second from the right), during a reception in the Pit.

The 2018 first prize has been awarded to Georgios Avramides (MDes ’18), Duly Lee (MDes ’18), John Lee (MDes ’18), Emily Marsh (MUP ’18), and Alex Rawding (MUP ’18). Their master plan proposal, Port District Interbay: Seattle, builds on the work they began in Professor Rick Peiser’s “Field Studies in Real Estate, Planning, and Urban Design” course. The project aims to address Seattle’s social challenges through improved transportation systems and is designed to be an economic hub that links residential, office, retail, hotel, public space and trails, and connections to the surrounding community.

Second prize has been awarded to Dalia Alderzi (MDes ’19), Alaa Raafat (MDes ’18), and Carlotta Weller (MDes ’19), for their submission, Glories Olivetti | Barcelona, Spain, a redevelopment proposal that revives the legacy of Olivetti, integrates with the existing 22@ innovation district, and becomes the gateway for two communities: El Clot and 22@ innovation district in Barcelona, Spain. Their proposal was initiated in Professor Bing Wang’s class, “Global Leadership in Real Estate and Development.”

Past Recipients


First prize Patricia Alvarez (MDes ’18), Lisa Hollywood (MAUD ’17), Chris Merritt (MLA II ‘ 17), and Lindsay Woodson (MDes & MUP ’17). Their submission, NoBe Nexo, re-envisions an 18-acre site in North Beach, Miami Beach as a mixed-use development that addresses sea-level rise, storm surge, and food insecurity issues.

Second prize Maxime Faure (MAUD ’18), Van-Tuong Nguyen (MDes ’18), and Carla Wijaya (MAUD ’18). Their proposal, The W, is for a mixed-use housing development on Boston’s North End waterfront that includes housing for students, young professionals, and single householders, and provides a publicly accessible landscape connection along the waterfront.


Anna Hermann (MArch ’17) and Felipe Oropeza, Jr. (MArch ’17). Their submission, Hotel Alexandra: Conservation and Redevelopment project, completed for the class “Fieldwork in Conservation Design” demonstrated a successful integration of design, feasibility, and implementation strategy.

2019 Application Instructions

To apply, please submit a PDF document that includes the information requested below to Caroline Newton by 12:00PM EST on Friday, January 25, 2019. Work completed in classes during the spring '18 or fall '18 semesters is eligible for the 2019 review cycle. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

Applications must include the following three components in one PDF document with the filename “Applicant_Name_PlimptonPoorvuPrize2019″:

  1. Coversheet listing the following information:
    2019 Plimpton-Poorvu Design Prize 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 demonstrating the project’s feasibility in design, construction, economics, and in fulfillment of market and user needs. (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. Visual Representation of up to 15 pages to supplement the written description (8.5×11 inch format)  Note: Hardcopy, CDs, slides, loose materials, or physical models will not be accepted.

Questions may be submitted to Caroline Newton, Office of the Dean.