Sonae Arauco & CIfA Architectural Student Design Competition – 2018

Sonae Arauco (in conjunction with their brand Novolam) and the Cape Institute for Architecture (CIFA a region of SAIA) is pleased to announce an architectural student design competition for a moveable exhibition display system, which will be used by the Institute for its various outreach programmes.

The brief:

The competition is for the design of a demountable and moveable display system with the following specifications:

  • The system should be easy to assemble and disassemble.
  • It should be able to accommodate approximately twenty A2-size drawings.
  • The system should be self-supporting and reasonably stable once assembled.
  • It should be made up of renewable timber by Sonae Arauco or the Novolam Collection .
  • The individual pieces should fit onto a standard 1 tonne pick-up truck/bakkie.
  • The unit should be representative of CIFA’s core values.


It will be a two-stage competition:

  1. The first stage will be for the submission of conceptual designs of which a shortlist of ten designs will be chosen. The ten chosen projects will be exhibited in the Architect gallery at the CIFA head offices where the top 3 submissions will be announced.
  2. For the second stage, these top three entries will then have to be developed further and entrants will need to make 1:1 mock-ups out of which a first, second and third place winner will be announced.

Material for the top 3 entrants’ mock-ups will be supplied by the sponsor, Sonae Arauco.


  • All ten finalists will receive one year’s free CIfA membership.
  • Prize money will be awarded for the three winners of stage two:

First place

R12 000.00

Second place, and

R7 000.00 

Third place.

R4 000.00 

The remaining R8 500.00 the Institute would like to use for printing and the exhibition event


The competition is open to any students of Architecture or Architectural Technology who are studying in the Western Cape, South Africa. Students may be in any year of study or on their year out and they may work in groups.


  • The competition will be launched in June ’18
  • The submission date for stage one is end of 12pm 09 August ’18. All submission materials have to be submitted personally or by courier to CIfA’s offices in Hout Street, Cape Town.
  • The shortlist will be announced on 17 August ’18
  • The submission date for stage two by the shortlisted entrants will be announced at the exhibition. All submission materials have to be submitted personally or by courier at CIfA’s offices in Hout Street, Cape Town.

Submission requirements:

  • Stage one: A maximum of two A2 sheets with enough drawings to clearly illustrate the concept. These may be hand-drawn or digital and should include at least one three-dimensional representation of the overall installation and a few detail drawings indicating the basic assembly system. A small physical model that can fit in a 300x300x300mm enclosure should also be included.
  • Stage two: Detailed construction drawings and a 1:1 mock-up of part of the system.
  • All submissions for stage one should be anonymous and entrants may only use a seven-digit number of their choosing to mark their submissions.
  • The standard entrant profile sheet with each entrant’s contact details and their seven-digit number has to be submitted separately in a sealed envelope.


  • The Jury will consist of members of CIfA’s Management Committee, which includes the President of CIfA, a member of staff of UCT, a member of staff of CPUT and member of Sonae Arauco.


The competition will be a short two-stage competition based on SAIA’s standard competition rules, and it will be administrated by CIfA. CIfA may freely exhibit the competition entries and use any of the competition material in their digital or printed media (with due acknowledgement of the designers), and it is under no obligation to utilise any of the final entries.


Written queries can be addressed to André Spies @ by no later than 12pm, 29 June ’18. Responses to queries will be published on Novolam and CIFA social media platforms by 3 July ’18.

Make sure to “like” the Facebook pages:

Novolam facebook page

CIFA facebook page