New London Architecture

Don't Move, Improve! 2021

Don't Move, Improve! encourages great design in everyday life, celebrating the newest and most innovative home improvement projects from across London. The annual competition – now celebrating its 11th year – showcases the diversity and character of homes being re-designed in London. 
Reimaging awkward layouts to create vibrant new living spaces, as well as beautiful detailing and craftsmanship; the projects featured in Don’t Move, Improve! demonstrate exceptional innovation, cost-effectiveness and creativity that greatly adds to the neighborhoods of London and to the quality of life of the residents. 
With an annual exhibition, magazine and regular advice sessions with architects, engineers and designers the programme aims to celebrate London’s best domestic-scale designs and encourage homeowners to embark on their own home improvement project.

Entries for the 2021 competition and programme are now closed. Sign up to newsletters about Don't Move, Improve! to take part next year

2021 Key Dates

23 October 2020
Call for Entries opens

8 December 2020
Submissions Deadline

24 March 2021
Shortlist announced

April, July, September
Design surgeries

May 2021
Winners announcement

May 2021 – onwards

Annual Content

The annual competition is unique in the industry as it celebrates small scale home improvement projects within London. Now an esteemed award for architectural practices, the competition receives over 200 project submissions each year.

Exhibition and Publication
Our annual exhibition and publication showcases all the winning and shortlisted projects featured in Don’t Move, Improve!. Open for 3 months at NLA’s central London gallery at The Building Centre, the exhibition attracts approximately 2,500 visitors weekly. The Don’t Move, Improve! magazine, which also features editorial from industry professionals and tips for taking on a home improvement project, has a 4,000+ print circulation and is distributed with NLQ magazine, as well as being available to purchase at NLA and the RIBA bookshop, and for free download via the NLA website.

Design Surgeries
The Don’t Move, Improve! Design Surgeries gives members of the public the opportunity to get advice and inspiration on home extensions, with expert talks on best design and practical advice, one-to-one consultations with expert practitioners, alongside family walking tours and workshops, and much more! All consultations are free, but we collect donations to our charity partner Article 25.
400+ Homeowners registered for talks and tours
300+ Free sessions available overall throughout the year (across three Design Surgery events)

In 2020 we produced videos of the winning projects, with interviews from the architects and homeowners, giving our audience an exclusive insight into the projects. See the videos here

You can find projects as promoted by Don’t Move, Improve! all year round. In 2019 content was featured in print and online of various media outlets including The Times, ES Homes&Property, Wallpaper*, Architects Journal, Dezeen, Ideal Home, and more.

Special Prizes

In addition to the Overall Winner, the following special prizes will be awarded:

Unique Character Prize
Awarded to the design that shows true originality and creates its own individual personality or style

Urban Oasis of the Year
Recognising innovative urban gardens, this prize celebrates the best outside oasis whether that be a courtyard, a rooftop, or a beautiful balcony space.

Compact Design of the Year
Awarded to the project that demonstrates ingenuity and creativity in a design with tight space constraints

Best Project under £100K
Recognising great value, this prize is given to the best transformation under £100,000

Environmental Leadership Prize Sponsored by Airflow
Awarded to the project that exhibits thought leadership for environmental considerations such as long-life design, sustainable materials and energy efficiency.

WFH Design of the Year Sponsored by Day True
Celebrating spaces that can adapt and cater for changing functions and unique needs of the user, particularly home working, hobby and maker-spaces.

Materiality & Craftsmanship Prize Sponsored by VitrA
Recognising designs that takes particular attention to detail and care when considering materials and finishes. This prize is awarded to a projects that demonstrates innovative material choices and construction techniques.  

Sponsorship Opportunities

By supporting Don’t Move, Improve! 2020 you will be aligning your organisation with London's best home extension projects. For more information on available packages please contact Hannah Nottridge call 0207 636 4044




Media Partners

Grand Designs Magazine

Sponsorship Opportunities

By supporting Don’t Move, Improve! 2021 you will be aligning your organisation with London's best home extension projects. For more information on available packages please contact Hannah Nottridge call 0207 636 4044
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