arts and design

Three designs to improve remote working named as Davidson Prize finalists


Office pods that could replace parked cars and a conceptual technology that brings nature into the home are among the three finalists of the inaugural Davidson Prize.


Launched in 2020 by the Alan Davidson Foundation, the Davidson Prize is an annual awards programme that celebrates “transformative architecture of the home”.

This year’s finalists are Com-View-Nism by New Normal, The Antipody by Origin 3 Studio and HomeForest by HomeForest, chosen from an 18-strong shortlist.

Each project envisages how people could live and work following the coronavirus pandemic, in response to a brief called Home/Work – A New Future.

A comic strip illustrating Com-View-Nism
Above: Com-View-Nism is one of three finalists of the Davidson Prize. Top image: HomeForest is also in the running

Com-View-Nism by New Normal is a concept for a pop-out window pod that doubles as a workspace, built from sustainable and widely available materials.

It was developed to address the solitude associated with working from home by helping to visually connect neighbours and encouraging community interaction.

A section of a window pod for working
Com-View-Nism is a concept for a flat-pack window pod

The HomeForest proposal explores the benefits of bringing artificial nature into indoor environments using everyday technology.

It imagines a system that senses the presence of an occupant in a space and then transforms their surroundings with sound, smell, light and projections. The idea draws on nature’s restorative benefits and is intended to “trigger the body’s healing mechanisms”.

The third finalist, Antipody, proposes replacing parked cars on streets with office pods in various forms, tailored to suit different professions.

It was developed by Origin 3 Studio as a way to combat isolation and loneliness, while also providing complete separation between work and home, without the need to travel.

An illustration of the HomeForest concept
HomeForest uses technology to bring nature into the home

This year’s jury included architects Alison Brooks and Thomas Heatherwick alongside interior designer Michelle Ogundehin, designer Narinder Sagoo and Museum of the Home director Sonia Solicari.

According to the jury, the three finalists offered “the most thought-provoking solutions that, while all very different in their approach, were compelling in their communication and would resonate with both the creative community and the general public”.

“The submissions from dynamic cross-disciplinary teams are wide-ranging and inspiring, often with a hint of humour in the face of adversity,” added Solicari.

“What is striking however is that many of the emerging themes are not new problems, but those that we have been grappling with for centuries: social networks and connectivity; modular, agile and flexible solutions to multi-use spaces; biophilia and reconnecting with the outside world; making the most of underused space in our cities.”

An illustration of street pods for working
Antipody proposes replacing parked cars with pods

The finalists will now be given £5,000 to develop their proposals and create a visual media presentation, before a winner of the £10,000 prize is named in June 2021 as part of the London Festival of Architecture.

In April 2020, architects and designers including Carlo Ratti Associati, BIG, Snøhetta and Pearson Lloyd told Dezeen that coronavirus lockdowns will have a profound impact on how creative businesses work in future, with many citing working from home as “the new normal”.

With a growing number of people being required to work remotely from their homes, we rounded up eight inspiring home offices, including one that’s hidden inside an artichoke-shaped room.



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