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Winners Announced for 2022 HOK Futures Design Challenge

Annual competition challenges Philadelphia architecture and interior design students to propose forward-thinking design concepts that enhance the city.

HOK’s Philadelphia studio recently held the sixth edition of its HOK Futures Design Challenge. More than 40 teams entered this year’s competition, representing students from University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, Jefferson University, Temple University, Penn State, Harcum College and Moore College of Art & Design.

This year’s competition asked students to create design concepts for a proposed winery and incubator space on Venice Island, a former manufacturing and industrial hub located along the Schuylkill River in the Manayunk neighborhood of Philadelphia. Students were challenged to design a concept that celebrates the history of Venice Island and its rebirth as a recreational and residential hub. Designs also needed to account for the occasional flooding of Venice Island during storm events.

“The submissions we received were incredible,” said Caitlin Youngster, an architect in HOK’s Philadelphia studio and one of the competition’s organizers. “In just two weeks, students developed thoughtful and in-depth responses that impressed both our jurors and the entire HOK Philadelphia staff.”

Finalists and winners for the architecture competition were:

  • First place: David Perrine and Kyle Troyer of University of Pennsylvania
  • Second place: Rachel Seto and Sharlene Yulita of University of Pennsylvania
  • Third place: Chen Su and Yuhang Tao of University of Pennsylvania

“I am always in awe of the fantastic work completed by each finalist group in the HOK Futures Design Challenge,” said jurist Alex Smith, senior urban designer, City of Philadelphia. “This year’s winning architecture project stood out with its balanced approach, flawlessly merging the delicate site conditions with a bold program and design.”

Finalists and winners for the interior design competition were:

  • First place: Pooja Kalavagunta of Drexel University
  • Second place: Ang Nekoranik and Liz Kane of Jefferson University
  • Third place: Alaa Alharbi and Abrar Alahmadi of Drexel University

Jurist Marilyn Simeone, interiors program manager for the Princeton University Office of Capital Projects, said the jury found Kalavagunta’s concept to be “very engaging.” “As soon as you walked into the space, it pulled you through,” said Simeone. “The association with the town and the history of the area and the warmth of the palette was a wonderful solution that was equally designed throughout.”

Scroll through the following Instagram post to see this year’s winning entries.

Third place teams received a check for $1,250. Second place teams earned $2,500, and first place teams took home $3,500, plus the opportunity for a paid internship at HOK’s Philadelphia studio. This year’s monetary awards were greater than advertised due to the generous support of the competition’s sponsors: McGrory Glass (event partner), Shaw Contract, Mohawk Group, Nolan Brands, McKeon Door, Bentley Mills, CH Briggs, Daltile, DesignTex, Duet Partnership, Harmon, Haworth, Knoll, Madison Art Consulting, Mannington, Steelcase, Swenson Stone and Tarkett.

Special thanks to every student team that participated in this year’s HOK Design Futures Challenge and to the juries charged with the difficult job of selecting winners.

Architecture Jury:

George Bazios, principal, George Batzios Architects
Keiko Tsuruta Cramer, principal, Wallace, Roberts & Todd
John MacCallum, principal, HOK
Alex Smith, senior urban designer, City of Philadelphia

Interiors Jury:

Kelly Beamon, senior editor, Metropolis Magazine
Richard Mark, design principal, Richard Mark Design
Marilyn Simeone, interiors program manager, Princeton University Office of Capital Projects

For more information about HOK Futures, email

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