Program Represents Opportunity to “Reimagine Affordable Housing…Through a Creative Lens”

The LA County Arts Commission and the Homeless Initiative Second Dwelling Units Pilot Program recently announced the winners of the Yes to ADU Design Competition which invited artists, architects and engineers to submit concept designs for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)—also known as “granny flats”—as possible solutions to LA County’s homelessness crisis. The first place team—Anonymous Architects—each received $6,000 for ideas that included a “Barcode House” of interchangeable parts that can combined into a nearly infinite set of configurations to create customizable ADU structures (Ho) and a similarly customizable system utilizing building materials created from 100% recycled plastic packaging (Storey).

The competition also featured two Honorable Mentions—Joanna Grant and Jimenez Lai of Bureau Spectacular and Wes Jones. The Grant and Lai submission imagined ADU functionality reaching beyond the narrow needs of housing to include commercial and community uses such as a laundromat or community playground. Jones, on the other hand, built his ADU concept from shipping containers that could easily be adapted to any space or neighborhood with the aim of alleviating “Not in my Back Yard” concerns.

Following the awards ceremony, the Arts Commission is hosting a series of community events and exhibitions in partnership with local organizations on the topic of ADUs. These public events are part of the ongoing efforts of the Arts Commission to collaborate with the Homeless Initiative’s Second Dwelling Units Pilot Program to not only generate possible solutions, but to bring those solutions to LA County residents. The next event, a Panel Discussion & Exhibition will be facilitated by the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles on May 24, 2018. The event will feature a panel discussion on the possibilities and challenges of ADUs as well as providing another opportunity to explore the Yes to ADU Design Competition entries. Interested community members can sign up for the event at

“The Yes to ADU Design competition has been a meaningful collaboration with the Homeless Initiative,” said LA County Arts Commission Executive Director Kristin Sakoda. “It is exciting to see fresh ideas like the ones these designers and artists put forth, as we all work together as a county to tackle these difficult issues. It’s an opportunity to reimagine affordable housing, neighborhoods and communities in our region—through a creative lens.”

To learn more about the Yes to ADU Design Competition, visit

The Los Angeles County Arts Commission fosters excellence, diversity, vitality, understanding and accessibility of the arts in Los Angeles County. The Commission provides leadership in cultural services for the County, encompassing 88 municipalities, including funding and job opportunities, professional development and general resources. For more information, visit


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View photos from the Awards Ceremony, which took place on April 27, 2018 at East Los Angeles College.