International student ideas design competition reimagines public transportation

Students compete for $7,500 in prizes in this competition held jointly by Concordia and the Université de Montréal.

The 2021 Reimagining the Experience of Public Transportation in a Post-pandemic Metropolis competition invites students to rethink the use of public transport, metro, bus, and tramway, in a sustainable city.

The competition is part of a joint research initiative. The Concordia University Chair of Integrated Design, Ecology, and Sustainability for the Built Environment and the Canada Research Chair in Architecture, Competitions, Mediations of Excellence at Université de Montréal are working together to mobilize the creativity of young designers of the built environment to “stimulate debate on the renewed experiences of public transportation for increased urban resiliency.”

This ideas competition seeks to gather narratives of renewed experience of public transportation, design idea(s) for encouraging the use of public transportation, and series of design principles for implementing a renewed experience of public transportation.

“Public transport has been impacted through the pandemic in ways that have considerably changed its experience. The notion of time, the experience of the city, the experience of the everyday, have all changed in 2020. We adhere to the principle that public transport is an essential and safe part of the ecological transition of our cities. If citizens shift from public transport back to private vehicles, we can predict a drastic degradation of environmental and traffic conditions – a situation to be averted,” says the organizers.

“Reimagining the Experience of Public Transportation” wants to expand the vocabulary of the experience of public transport, particularly in a post-pandemic metropolis. Potential design interventions are:

  • Imagine installations that help communities develop a sustained pleasure of using public transport
  • Increase the ability for current infrastructures of urban mobility to offer different experiences throughout the year, month, week, or even day
  • Rethink traditional design principles for the travel experience (critical approach)
  • Rethink urban mobility space to address inequities
  • Explore the embodied space and multi-sensory design of urban mobility
  • Conceptualize urban experiences that transform a pandemic-induced perception of “public transport as a place to avoid” to “public transport as reliable and enjoyable”
  • Design (interactive, playful, engaging, informative) solutions to improve the positive emotional experiences of mobility

The competition is aimed for students in arts, design, engineering, architecture, psychology, film-making, literature, sociology, finance, management. There will be 5 winners receiving a prize of $1500, one of which will be a public vote. All projects will be permanently displayed on the Canadian Competitions Catalogue as a collective contribution to the debate on the renewal of public transportation.

Submissions can be in English or French. However, the third panel which includes the principles, must be presented in both languages, French and English. Registration closes on March 20, 2021. For more information, visit: