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For the sixth annual AZ Awards, our intrepid jury narrowed the field from over 800 submissions, received from dozens of countries, to select just 48 finalists that stood above the rest. In addition to presenting the AZ Award winners, Azure recognized these projects, products and concepts with Awards of Merit.

Students Nicolas Lee and Carly Augustine of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design painstakingly drew up this master plan for an inverted garden city, envisioning an alternative to the sprawl of China’s rapid urbanization. Through the looking glass of the Industrial Revolution, they propose a self-contained model for collective rural living, which uses the courtyard house as the predominant building block for a mixed-use development that encloses arable fields for communal agriculture. The concept aims to keep China’s rural population connected to the land and preserve their traditions while mitigating the impact on valuable farmland.

Location: Zhengzhou, China

School: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, U.S.

Team: Carly Augustine and Nicolas Lee, with faculty advisors Christopher C. M. Lee and Simon Whittle ­

Within the Frame: The Country­side as a City

Explore more Award Winners

2014
People’s ChoiceA+ Award for Student Work
Designer
Safira Lakhani, University of Waterloo, Ontario
2019
People’s ChoiceA+ Award for Student Work
School
School of Architecture, Design and Urbanism, University of the Republic (UdelaR), Uruguay
Team
Nicolás Franco Schicke with Carolina Güida Gray Moreira
2013
Award of MeritA+ Award for Student Work
Student
Julie Richoz, École Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne (ECAL), Switzerland