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DIALOG Vancouver Studio Team Champions Housing Innovation at Urbanarium’s ‘Decoding Density’

May 1, 2024

Can a single idea for six-storey plus apartment forms revolutionize housing codes?

On April 16, 2024, Urbanarium – a charitable organization dedicated to engaging Metro Vancouver residents in urban planning – announced the winners of ‘Decoding Density’, Canada’s largest affordable housing ideas competition.

Now on its third installment, this year’s competition challenged participants to explore missing middle housing and reimagine new possibilities for six-storey plus apartment forms in Metro Vancouver, all aimed at tackling the critical issues of climate change and housing affordability.

Encouraging participants to challenge traditional building codes and financial models to explore more sustainable, affordable housing solutions for our communities, the competition saw more than 80 submissions from across nine countries that showcased a diverse range of ideas from students, urban planning enthusiasts, housing advocates, and architectural professionals.

Among the top entries recognized this year was a team from our DIALOG Vancouver studio, BLOC, who received a ‘Special Mention’ for their submission entitled ‘Building Livable Organic Communities’ (Read the submission HERE).

The team, consisting of DIALOG’s Paul Giles, Mojdeh Kamali, Simon Caulfield Sriklad, Kendra Scanlon, Paul van Ellenberg, Maryam Ahmadi, Matt Trepanier, Gerrit Atkinson, and Partner Brady Dunlop, proposed an innovative community-driven housing model that leverages data analytics, virtual space, and manufactured wood technology to foster vibrant, affordable urban communities.

BLOC – Building Livable Organic Communities

In the submission, the BLOC team proposed a collaborative, self-initiated, community-led solution with a housing model that is designed with flexibility and universal accessibility in mind, which allows for easy modifications to accommodate changing needs. The submission incorporates a range of innovative ideas that enhance urban living, such as organic coverage, fluid dwelling, transitional zoning, dynamic density, single stairs, and city incentives.

We’re proud to have our Vancouver studio team participate in this competition that is dedicated to shaping the future of communities.

To learn more about Urbanarium’s Decoding Density ideas competition, visit