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rise in the city 2018 Update: Student Designs for Affordable Housing in Lesotho Shine. A Few Prized Blocks Needing Sponsors Remain

Student designs for affordable housing in Maseru, Lesotho, Southern Africa, are in and - hot-off-the-press - winning designs will be prototyped!

January 22, 2019

EDITOR’S NOTE: As in 2017, is delighted to serve as media partner for rise in the city 2018.


A sneak peek at the competition entries – and exciting news!


An Incredible range of 56 beautiful design entries from 30 countries in the international student architecture competition rise in the city 2018, organized by rise international (Relationships Inspiring Social Enterprise), BOND Events’ social responsibility program, are now online – click on “City Blocks,” then click on any of the students’ names that are highlighted in orange.


News! In collaboration with the Lesotho Housing & Land Development Corporation, the winning designs will be built as prototypes to inspire residents of Lesotho to build houses that are equally as sustainable and made from locally sourced, affordable materials. The shortlisted designs will also be available to the public for use at no charge through Maseru City Council. 

A selection of shortlisted entries will be on view at the Alliance Française in Maseru, Lesotho, February 8 – March 8, and the winner announced on March 8. The winning designs will also be exhibited at the internationally renowned Design Indaba Conference 2019, February 27 – March 1, in Cape Town, South Africa.


Deadline looms for Sponsorship opportunities


January 31 is the deadline to sponsor one of the remaining City Blocks led by design teams, including BGO Architects, Francis Cauffman, GF55 Partners, Page/, Perkins+Will, among others. A sampling of entries needing Sponsors is at right (click to enlarge).


Benefits of Sponsorship: rise is a registered 501(c)(3), so 100% of the $1,200 sponsorship fee is tax-deductible, and will go towards rise’s design-build training program for unemployed youths in Lesotho. Click “Sponsor” button here, then “Sponsors Needed” for full list of available blocks.


Sponsorship includes:

· Build a one-on-one relationship with the architecture firm(s) involved with your sponsored block(s).

· Your logo and a link to your website published on

· Lots of exposure through social media and the trade press (read Martin Fulcher’s Q&A with Daniela Gusman, rise co-founder and executive director, in Architectural Review).

· If your product is viable for a developing country like Lesotho, it may be used in the prototypes.


Here's what Sponsors are saying: 


Johns Manville is sponsoring a city block occupied by SOM and Iranian-born student competitor Hossein Goudarzi, a graduate student at the University of New Mexico, USA. “The team at SOM has been very receptive and engaging!” says Jeffrey Job, Sr. Specifier Services Representative at Johns Manville. “They were kind enough to host us at their office in New York City, and provided a tour of their North Tower project at Hudson Yards. It was a fun experience that was a far cry from the typical architect encounter.” 


MAPEI is sponsoring several City Blocks of student/architect teams. Mike Granatowski, Director of Architectural & Commercial Projects, says: “As a sponsor, we have a unique and valuable opportunity to meet with the architectural firms that we sponsor in an informal setting. This allows us to introduce ourselves and our products and services. In turn, we learn about the firms’ needs and the services that they supply. This year, we’ve gotten so much out of our two rise in the city sponsorships that we’re sponsoring a third team.” MAPEI's teams include: John Lyon, AIA, Spiezle Architectural Group/Student Competitor: Thandi Joyce Mokoma, Lesotho; Danielle Martin, AIA, Woods Bagot/Student Competitor: Tammy Phan, Netherlands; David Dennis, Grimshaw/Student Competitor: Yaser Rahmaniani, Iran.



A stellar international jury is on board, including: Mariam Kamara, atelier masōmī and united4design, Niger, and associate professor at Brown University; Mphethi Morojele, MMA Design Studio, Johannesburg; Sam Óghale Oboh, FAIA, FRAIC, AECOM Canada Architects, Edmonton; Peter Rich , FAIA, IntFRIBA, PRich Style & Design, Johannesburg; and Nadia Tromp, Ntsika Architects, Johannesburg.


“I am delighted be on the rise panel to help shine the light on how the program is addressing local needs and contributing towards genuine economic development in Africa,” says juror Sam Oboh.


Juror Mariam Kamara says, “This competition is a wonderful opportunity for young designers to be part of a process that involves all the stakeholders from the beginning, and to propose something real that has the potential of engaging with a compelling narrative. I very much look forward to seeing what they do.”



Daniela Gusman teamed up with Oliver Needs, president of BOND Events, to found rise in 2016. BOND’s Corporate Social Responsibility Program underwrites rise’s operational costs so that rise can be a self-funding organization. rise is a not-for-profit working towards a world where sustainable social enterprises created by local entrepreneurs from low-income countries are the norm.


Join the conversation on social media...





For further information, contact:

Daniela Gusman

rise Founder and Executive Director

+1 954 296 9889 /


(click on pictures to enlarge)

rise International

Block 028
Architect: Hermann Kamte, HKA | Hermann Kamte & Associates
Student: Simone Op den Kamp, Netherlands

rise International

Block 077
Architect: Samuel Herpin, RHH / Remson|Haley|Herpin Architects
Student: Tanmoy Dey, Bangladesh

rise International

Block 089
Architect: Kenneth Lowery, BRPH
Student: Olivia Johnson, United Kingdom

rise International

Block 013
Architect: Antonio Di Oronzo, Bluarch Architecture
Student: Hailemikael Negussie, Ethiopia

rise International

Block 015
Architect: Alberto Martinez-Garcia, ALMA design lab
Student: Malesela Kenneth Molekoa, United States

rise International

Block 099
Architect: Anne Ball, KOO Architecture
Student: Jorge Mancilla, Mexico

rise International

Block 005
Architect: Brett Swiatocha, Perkins Eastman DC
Student: Samuel Alayande, Nigeria
Sponsor: Ghirardi Marmi

rise International

Block 003
Architect: John Lyon, Spiezle Architectural Group
Student: Thandi Joyce Mokoma, Lesotho
Sponsor: MAPEI