Reimagining the forgotten buildings of Xinguang village

AzuKo and Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab (SZOIL) are inviting submissions to a new design and ideas competition. We are looking for a range of innovative ideas and fresh thinking to imagine a new life for the abandoned buildings of Xinguang village, and a vision for progress in rural China. The ideas can be small-scale or large in their ambition; specific to Xinguang village or respond to similar contexts across the country.

Deadline: Thursday 23rd March 2017

(Fast-paced ideas competition)


Entrants are invited to reimagine the forgotten buildings of Xinguang village.

Xinguang is a rural village in Guangdong province, south China. As community members construct new homes and continue to modernise living, their previous homes become derelict and overgrown. This international call to designers, innovators, social scientists and students has been made to consider the future of these historic buildings. 

We ask you to consider:

  • What ways these buildings, groups of buildings or spaces can be used in the future?
  • How these new 'functions' can improve lives in Xinguang village, or similar rural contexts across China?
  • The desire of youth to move away from rural areas - what might encourage people to stay and work locally?
  • Sustainable economic growth
  • Opportunities for rural tourism
  • Assets of community value - specifically, what should be protected, repaired and / or celebrated?

Why enter...

  • Shortlisted entries will form part of a public exhibition on Sunday 26th March in Xinguang village. Community members, partners and key government officials will be attending.
  • The winner will receive a photograph of their idea hung in the exhibition, within Xinguang
  • The winning idea and shortlisted entries will be featured in a project publication as part of the Hello Shenzhen programme, supported by the British Council, SFEIC and SZOIL
  • All entrants are invited to attend the exhibition in Xinguang (please note we are unable to support travel costs)

Key dates

  • Thu, 16th March - Competition released
  • Thu, 23rd March - Deadline for submissions
  • Sun, 26th March - Exhibition of shortlisted entries in Xinguang, and winners announced

An international jury

The jury for the competition will comprise of professionals, interested parties and community members.

To be announced...



Images and photographs of Xinguang village are available. You may use these within your submission.

To download the resources, visit Dropbox >>

Submission requirements

  • 1 submitter information
  • 1 overview, summarising your idea (100 words max.)
  • 1 written proposal (500 words)
  • 1 headline image or labelled diagram

(See full competition brief for details)

How to enter

Send a full set of documents to, by 5pm (GMT) on Thursday 23rd March

  • Mark the subject line with: XINGUANG VILLAGE - 'name of idea'
  • 8MB maximum file size
  • Supporting files may be sent via file transfer, e.g. WeTransfer

The competition and subsequent exhibition is supported by: