Register: NOV/28/2019, Submit: DEC/08/2019, Eligibility: Students, professionals, institutions; all design disciplines; individually, teams with unlimited number of members, Fee: Students and professionals 20 USD, institutions (minimum 20 students) – per student 4 USD; (more details on the competition website), Awards: Winner: 5,000 USD; 6 Runner-up (3 students and 3 professional): 1,100 USD each; 4 People’s Choice (2 students and 2 professionals): 600 USD each; 12 Honorable Mentions (6 students and 6 professionals): 500 USD each; (more details on the competition website)

The Arctic Bridge is currently used as only seasonal sea route, which if developed could serve as a major trade route between Canada and Russia. Due to global warming, the rapidly melting glaciers are giving way to new shorter routes across the Arctic. Climate changes at such scale can herald a new era of cargo shipping around the top of the world. An inevitable future of the planet is paving way for an economically potential idea. The Second Edition of Extreme Habitat Challenge competition chooses two major cities (Vancouver, Canada x Moscow, Russia), connected via the fastest mode of land bound transit of the future – Hyperloop that embodies the arctic bridge route to open avenues for trade across the arctic ocean. Vision: Extreme Habitat Challenge pushes to explore habitat concepts that are responsible, yet brave to grow human civilization in synchronous with nature + technology + planet.


The route with a distance of over 8200 km, is claimed by Virgin Hyperloop One to be covered in less than 10 hours, with minimal emissions and time savings. We choose this route as a test case for Extreme Habitat Challenge 2020, which passes through Ellesmere Island as the selected extreme environment.


Design a concept habitat of 1,000 people within area of 800 m x 800 m, which is able to develop itself to accommodate a population of in future 1,000,000 as desired by the population moving in to the place. The challenge invites ideas that push the boundaries of design using innovative habitat working models, materials, technology, close to zero land costs, a nomadic yet rooted lifestyle. When humans enter extreme habitat they not only respect nature or the forces of nature but they enter with responsibility.

This design exercise can be considered similar to colonizing a new earth with technology of today taking into account the atrocities of extreme cold habitat and conditions required for a feasible living. The first 1,000 people prototype habitat will house all the three elements of human life in it – Live, Work and Play.

This site peculiarly with a very less human population density is the test bench for designing a new habitat will inspire how life should be in similar environments while balancing itself harmoniously between forces of nature.


The Hyperloop Station for this route is expected to be built in Ellesmere Island located at approximate center between the two cities, which is speculated to house a very sparse population in the future. The region in red depicts a potential habitat zone for this challenge, where this prototype micro-ecosystem can find its place. Participants have to place the site boundary inside the red circle region on a preferred location not exceeding more than 800 m X 800 m. The programme can be schematically derived from functions like housing, workplaces, or commercial districts, public and private areas, community farms etc. based on the objectives.


This is an illustrative image of the site boundaries and its placement with respect to the Hyperloop station. The prototype habitat site of 800 m X 800 m, will hold the primary population of 1000 people after which the development is intended to happen incrementally. The expansion plan vision is limited to a population of about 1,000,000 (figure for quantitative assumptions), to ensure habitat does not grow beyond safe limits and impact the ecosystem unknowingly. This expansion plan can be illustratively explained conceptually in future planning of the habitat.