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Why aren’t you doing a design competition again this time?

Participating in Tiny Victories provides an incredible opportunity, but also requires considerable personal commitment. By requesting qualifications rather than design proposals, we ensure that selected teams’ design efforts will go toward a real built project!

Why does Community First! Village need new home designs?

Two reasons: one, variety is the spice of Community First! Village life, and we want to ensure that architectural expression continues to flourish in Phase 2. Two, we’ve learned a lot from the post-occupancy evaluation, and new home designs provide the opportunity to apply this feedback, along with direct input from Seed Neighbors engaged in the design process.

What do you mean by “participatory design process”?

The home designs resulting from Tiny Victories impact multiple stakeholders, not just a single client. By engaging in periodic charrettes at design phase milestones, we’ll hear from all those stakeholders throughout the process. Also, Community First! Village residents (people who have experienced homelessness) are not typically represented in any design processes, ever. So this is a pretty powerful opportunity to engage them in the design of not just any building, but their own homes.

Why should I get involved?

Community First! Village is one of the most discussed neighborhoods in the nation, so it’s a great chance to join that conversation! More importantly, learning participatory design methods will influence the way you design other work, giving greater consideration to stakeholders not typically represented in the design process (but directly impacted by it!). And the best part - you’ll meet some amazing people, and use your expertise to craft a home for someone who hasn’t felt that security for many years.

What if I don’t have a partner architect/builder?

Architects: you’re still welcome to apply, but please keep in mind that preference will be given to full architect/builder teams. If you are selected without a builder identified, we’ll help you find one.

Builders: we’d love to pair you with an architect! Please contact us at to let us know if you’re interested and we’ll be in touch.

What if I don’t live in Central Texas?

Community First! Village would like to develop relationships with architects and builders who are part of our local community and invested in its long-term success. If you’re not sure if you live in Central Texas, feel free to apply anyway - but we’ll factor location into your selection.

If you don’t live in Central Texas, we won’t be able to accept your application. We encourage you instead to get involved in efforts promoting affordability and permanent supportive housing in your own community! Feel free to contact Community First! Village if you’re not sure how to get started - they offer a quarterly symposium for people like you!

Will I be required to sign a contract?

Yes. Every architect will be asked to sign an AIA Owner-Architect Agreement for Pro Bono Services (B106).

What if I’d like to apply as an individual and not a firm?

You may do so as long as a firm is willing to sponsor you by assuming liability for your work. You will need to include a letter of commitment from said firm in your application.

What if my firm won’t allow me to use their insurance?

We’re sorry, but you aren’t eligible to participate without liability insurance.

Will every team get paired up with a Seed Neighbor?

Yes! Selected teams will learn more about this at the kick-off event.

I want to see what Community First is all about before I sign up. Can I just go visit?

CFV hosts community movie nights at the amphitheater every Friday at dusk. We encourage you to come out early to explore Community First! Village before the show begins. Upcoming movies are listed here. If you aren’t available for the movie night, tours are also available on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month, and on some Saturdays. Available dates and times are listed on the Mobile Loaves and Fishes website, here.

When will I get to hear what you learned from the post-occupancy study?

You’ll get some of this information in the design brief if you’re selected. We’ll also spend some time discussing it at the kick-off event. If you’re not selected but still interested in the post-occupancy results, stay tuned! In the spring, we’re going to start working on a publication for national distribution.

I designed a house for Phase 1. Will I automatically be selected for this round? If I am selected, can I just make improvements on my existing design, or do I need to submit a whole new project?

If you’re mainly interested in improving your Phase 1 design, we’d love to hear from you - but separate from Tiny Victories 2.0. Applicants to this Call for Architects will be expected to develop wholly new designs, that incorporate both feedback from the post-occupancy study, as well as participant engagement in the Tiny Victories 2.0 process. Come with a fresh approach and an open mind!

Note that participation in Phase 1 will not influence design teams’ likelihood of selection. We will choose the teams best equipped to produce amazing new microhome designs, given all of the available feedback and opportunities for engagement with Seed Neighbors.

More questions?

Please use the form at the top of the page to contact us (look for the tiny envelope symbol), or submit a question in the comments field when you download the application form. We will continue to update this page with Frequently Asked Questions as they are received.