One Prize


ONE Prize is a platform on which creative pioneers can combine social infrastructure and design-based methods to save cities before an extreme climate shift.  We promote all the winning projects and explore the possibilities of implementation in New York City and in areas like it around the world.

In 2014, ONE Prize proposed to design a collaborative teaching facility and public outreach center for socio-ecological design within the Brooklyn Navy Yard, for ONE Lab, a new school for design and science. The “Smart Dock” would include spaces for lectures, events, and design studios for approximately thirty graduate level students. It would function both as a visual reference and spatial matrix for ONE Lab, and as a unique interdisciplinary research laboratory for industrial design, synthetic biology, landscape ecology, art, architecture, and master planning.

The 2013 competition was a call for action to stormproof cities, ecosystems and social structures; to combine engineering and quality-of-life design to sustain the existence of future generations. Low-income housing communities in cities around the word are frequently in areas prone to natural disaster. As the effects of climate shift worsen these areas need to be storm-proofed by establishing a link between existing social structure and innovative design. ONE Prize 2013 was a call to deploy sophisticated design to alleviate storm impact through various urban interventions such as protective green spaces, barrier shorelines, alternative housing, waterproofing technology, and public space solutions.

The ONE Prize 2012 competition was powered by the idea that social, ecological, and economic struggles can simultaneously be addressed through collaborative action and innovative design. Situated in the context of a struggling U.S. economy and the tension of stagnant unemployment, ONE Prize 2012 was a call to put design in the service of the community, to reinvigorate deindustrialized and depressed urban areas, and to repurpose spaces for economic growth and job creation. It aimed to explore the socially, economically, and ecologically regenerative possibilities of urban transformation and design.

2011, Water as the 6thBorough, competition turned its focus to New York and its waterways, concentrating on recreational space, public transportation, local industry, and the native environment in the city. Contestants responded to the design brief with a great diversity of strategies, with waterfront farmers markets, parkways, playgrounds, and expo sites, five-borough local and express ferry loops, floating marine habitats, on-river shops, parks, wind farms, and even an airport, floating exhibition halls, recreational and commuter barges, oyster, fish, and shrimp farms, and interlinked bike share, car share, and ferry transit hubs.

The inaugural competition in 2010, From Mowing to Growing: Reinventing the American Lawn, was launched the context of larger issues concerning the environment, global food production and the imperative to generate a sense of community in our urban and suburban neighborhoods. From Mowing to Growing was not meant to transform each lawn into a garden, but to open us up to the possibilities of self-sustenance, organic growth, and perpetual change. In particular, we sought specific technical, urbanistic, and architectural strategies not simply for the food production required to feed the cities and suburbs, but the possibilities of diet, agriculture, and retrofitted facilities that could achieve that level within the constraints of the local climate.

In the five years of running, the ONE Prize Competition was an overwhelming success. The competition announcements were published in 2,406 magazines, websites and blogs and it was translated into 18 different languages. The One Prize Jury contained the Speaker of the City Council, two NYC commissioners, NYSERDA director, the presidents of nonprofit & environmental organizations, leading designers, and academics. 586 teams and 4,256 team members, representing 22 different countries submitted their work. The ONE Prize Competition captured the imagination of the design community from around the world. The ability to provide cash awards to the winners played an important part in achieving the desired impact. Over the five years, Terreform ONE raised and distributed $65,000 of prize money. Congratulations to all of the ONE Prize winners!