CERF 2021 Design Competition:


The CERF 2021 Design Competition is a forward-facing initiative to inspire students and faculty across disciplines to work together in proposing design solutions and innovative strategies to make our coastal environments more resilient in the face of coastal impacts of climate change. The Design Competition is also intended as a complementary way in which CERF can collaborate with local communities to problem-solve together around pressing challenges. The Design Competition will focus on a specific site in Coastal Virginia on which all design proposals must focus.




The 2021 Coastal Design Competition focuses on critical issues of coastal settlement, ecosystem restoration, flood protection and economic development highlighting the capacity of faculty-led, transdisciplinary teams to solve coastal problems and respond to climate change in the coastal Virginia region.

  • Stage 1 winners will receive up to $5,000 per team to cover conference participation.
  • In Stage 2, FIRST PRIZE is $2,000 ($1,000 for faculty mentor/s) and SECOND PRIZE is $1,000.
  • Winning entries will also be considered as part of coastal resilience and adaptation planning in the area.


Promote ...

… coastal resilience and adaptation by designing systems and solutions that reduce vulnerability of coastal communities.

Utilize ...

… that research to meet or respond to public interests or needs showing design solutions that increase the research “impact” or relevance, and how actions affect research by showing design solutions using interdisciplinary techniques.

Engage ...

… in problem-solving that elevates the voices and needs of community members in a collaborative, co-production model.

The request for submissions emphasized data-driven design and actionable plans that work with and for community priorities. The Design Competition organizers are working directly with local contacts to provide information for site assessment and extensive resources for the teams to maximize input of local community priorities from the start of the design process. Faculty-student teams may partner with A&E firms, but research and design must be faculty-led. Submissions are welcome from teams across the United States. Connections with underrepresented groups are encouraged along with diverse teams and thoughtful inclusion of regional Minority Serving Institutions.


Teams selected for Stage Two of the competition will have access to informational webinars, site documentation, and up to $5000 per team for conference participation (if in-person). Projects will be displayed at the conference and publicized by the sponsors. A first prize of $2000 and a second prize of $1000 will be awarded.

About the Site

Hampton, Virginia

The site encompasses six neighborhoods in Hampton—Phoebus, Fort Monroe, Buckroe Beach, Salt Ponds, Fox Hill, and Grandview—which are linked geographically but have different levels of socioeconomic status, different built environments, and different priorities and vulnerabilities.

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