NeOasis Challenge

Registration date:


Submission date:




Desert hills with text overlay that reads Ne(o)asis

This international Design Challenge invites students and young practitioners to work in women inclusive and interdisciplinary design teams to contribute ingenious and creative design ideas to a new interpretation of traditional oasis systems set in locations across Australia, the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa. 

NE[O]ASIS is an urban/architecture/landscape Design Idea Challenge for future desert oases to combat desertification through sustainable urban and architectural development. The aim is to contribute to urban and architectural solutions for self-resilience of climatically challenged regions in deserts and drylands. Each team can select one of the given locations, in Australia, the Arabian Peninsula and Africa, and develop the ‘NeOasis’ at the neighbourhood scale.

Clear architectural, urban and landscape design concepts will address bio-climatic and socio-cultural aspects of the selected site, with an extension of approximately 10 ha. The creative design propositions must include integration, rehabilitation and/or regeneration (when applicable) of existing buildings, parks, and infrastructure into a self-sufficient neighbourhood. Considerations of urban metabolism as drivers of the shape, form and process of the new oasis settlement could address self-sufficiency through the integration of: 

  • Neo-Renewable Energy (how could the neOasis be powered?) 
  • Neo-Networks (smart, digital, circular, yet humane city) 
  • Neo-Palm Grove (the date palm grove as agricultural system of the future) 
  • Neo-Food (what food feed the population of the neighbourhood so that min. 50 % can be ‘home-grown’?) 
  • Neo-Water (circular water management)  
  • Neo-Building Materials (local resources) 
  • Neo-Circularity (design off waste and resource circularity) 
  • Neo-Productivity (employment opportunities and urban functions)  
  • Neo-Inclusion (demographic diversity, equity, safety and the inclusion) 
  • Neo-Socio-Cultural regenerations (tradition, community coherence, sense of belonging) 
  • Neo-Affordability 

Submission Requirements

  • 1 Video (max 3 min), including team presentation, team philosophy, vision, context, design concept, and design proposition.
  • 3 × A2 Posters (landscape, PDF 300 dpi compression) containing:
    • Design (conceptual diagrams, plans, axonometric/perspective views, sections)
    • Metabolism (diagrams, infographics, urban circularity of resources, flows)
    • Community profile (creative portrait of the inhabitants and their interactions within the design propositions productivity, economy, affordability).


  • There is no restriction concerning design disciplines but at least one team member should be from architecture. A diversity of disciplines is recommended. 
  • Both individual and team participation is allowed, with a minimum of 50 % female members.  
  • Maximum five participants per team, composed of students or young practitioners (18–33 years). 
  • The Challenge is open for entries worldwide. 


  • 1st Prize: 3,000 AU
  • 2nd Prize: 2,000 AU
  • 3rd Prize: 1,000 AU
  • Top 10 Finalists: Exhibition at the Australia Pavilion of the Dubai Expo 2020 and mentoring sessions during Sustainable Urban Development Week. 
  • All awarded proposals will be published through international platforms, including architectural magazines and websites, and exhibited at the international Dubai Expo 2020.