14+ Foundation | Design Commission 2016



Chipakata Children's Academy



Winner and Finalists to be Announced October 6th









The 14+ Foundation seeks international designers and architects to submit proposals for furniture designs to be used at its Chipakata Children’s Academy in Lusaka, Zambia. An esteemed jury will select one design to be fabricated and installed at the school.


In January 2015, 14+ opened the Chipakata Children’s Academy in Lusaka, Zambia, in an award-winning academic building designed by Susan Rodriguez, Frank Lupo, Randy Antonia Lott and Nat Oppenheimer. The school provides comprehensive primary education (grades 1-7) for the children of the Chipakata Village community who formerly walked more than 7 km (4.3 miles) each way to the nearest school. 


































Chipakata Commission Brief




Quality design is a fundamental part of the 14+ mission, and an inspiring number of architects, educators, designers and artists are contributing to its projects – designing buildings, uniforms, murals and curricula. This enthusiastic response from the design community has led 14+ to launch its first open call for proposals to design an essential element of the Chipakata Children’s Academy campus.


The school is currently in need of a flexible design solution to support a variety of functions on campus including seating for impromptu gatherings; seating and tables for dining, meetings and events in and around the community pavilion; building blocks for the playground; and rest areas in the farm. This design has the potential to become a recognizable icon for the school, serving functional and imaginative purposes and inviting the students and the community to customize the design of the Academy, improvising structure wherever it is needed.


This commission asks a designer to conceive of a design that responds to the needs of Chipakata’s community, cultural practices, climate and landscape. The design approach can take any shape, for example: a modular unit with unlimited assembly capabilities; Autoprogettazione-styled plans that utilize local resources for construction; custom machines which recycle waste materials into furniture.

The Jury 

The jury will select the winning design based on its unique consideration of the site and context of the Chipakata community, its buildability, creativity and formal or technical innovation. Finalist designs will be announced and exhibited to the press and public.

Alexandra Cunningham Cameron, Design Consultant and Curatorial Advisor, Design Miami/

Mateo Kries, Director, Vitra Design Museum

Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, Co-Founders of Opening Ceremony

Sarah Medford, Contributing Editor, WSJ. Magazine and Strategic Advisor, Collective Design

Eddie Opara, Partner, Pentagram

Karen Stein, Writer & Architectural Advisor and Executive Director of the George Nelson Foundation

Submission Guidelines


Design Considerations


  • Form, at a minimum, seating and tables

  • Be lightweight and moveable

  • Be weather resistant

  • Compliment the Chipakata architecture and landscape

  • Consider the context of the school and community it will be serving

  • Consider material and fabrication resources available in Sub-Saharan Africa or suggest a reasonable alternative



Production Budget



Please estimate reasonable costs or potential fabrication sponsors with design proposal





Submission Process



Entries must be submitted through the form below by August 15, 2016 before Midnight. Entries submitted after August 15 will not be considered. The portal will be accessible through a link on the 14+ homepage (www.14plusfoundation.org).


Compile all necessary materials before beginning your submission. You cannot go back and edit your entry once submitted. The jury will select a winner by blind review. Therefore, all entries must be submitted without identifying marks (including logos, text or images that could be used to identify the submission’s origin). Inquiries about the commission and submission process should be emailed to commission@14plusfoundation.org.





Proposal Format



Concept Proposals must be submitted in PDF format with a maximum of 5 pages and include:

  • 200-500 word concept statement

  • All proposals must be anonymous - do not put your firm name or individual names on the PDF submission

  • Concept diagrams and site renderings

  • Images or drawings addressing materiality and constructability

  • Budget estimate

  • Maximum file size 10mb









Who can submit?

Submission is open to all individuals with design and fabrication experience, including architects, artists, engineers, teams and students.

Is there a design fee for the winner?

There is no fee. As a volunteer organization, design services for both Chipakata Children’s Foundation and Mwabwindo School have been provided pro-bono.  14+ is asking the winning designer to donate the design concept and development time to the school as well.  However, as with its other projects, 14+ will promote the winning designer as prominently as possible.

What is the designer’s involvement in fabrication and logistics?

14+ can support fabrication and logistics for designers who cannot commit their time.

What is the project timeline?

Winners and finalists will be announced in Fall 2016 and designs will be installed at Chipakata in early 2017.

What do I do if my application won’t go through?

Contact commission@14plusfoundation.org for help. 





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