the poultry project

Applications for the competition are closed – 10/10/2010.

“It is just as desirable to build a chicken house as it is to build a cathedral.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

Eat local.  Farm your backyard.  Raise your own chickens.

Chickens will compost, fertilize, control pests, and lay eggs.

Return the favor, build them a nice coop!

Winning Designs

University of Karachi Group B - Jury Prize Winner (download pdf of design here)

Emily Axtman - Runner-up (download pdf of design here)

Cart Coop by Carey Clouse + Zach Lamb - People’s Choice (download pdf of design here)

The judging of the Chicken Coop Design Competition had three phases – I. top 10 II. top 3 (#1 pick plus two honorable mentions) III. selecting winner from finalists (the #1 picks).  As promised, here are the top 10s, finalists and honorable mentions:

Top 10 Lists:


  1. Pivot
  2. Poulle Belle
  3. GOA
  5. Steven Zambrano
  6. Hugh Macguire
  7. Emily Axteman
  8. Karachi B
  9. Henry Foch
  10. Cart Coop


  1. Karachi B
  2. Poulle-Belle
  3. Hugh Macguire
  4. George Acock
  5. Henry Foch
  7. Steven Zambrano
  8. Philip Proefoeck
  9. Anna Scheffer…
  10. Emily Axteman


  1. Tri Dang
  2. John Ha
  3. Cindie McDonald
  4. Steven Zambrano
  5. Anna Scheffer..
  6. Eric Rochon
  7. Phillip Proefoeck
  8. Henri Foch
  9. Nguyen Ngoc
  10. Karachi B


  1. George Acock
  3. Cart Coop
  4. Tri Dang
  5. Emily Axteman
  6. GOA
  7. Jennifer Hiser
  8. Hugh Macguire
  9. PIVOT
  10. Poulle-Belle


  1. Emily Axteman
  2. Sustainable TO
  3. Lawrence Duck
  4. Hali Knight
  5. A. Kennedy
  6. Ben Grist
  8. Ella Stelter
  9. Karachi B
  10. John Ha

Finalists and Honorable Mentions:

The next round, judges were to narrow down to top pick plus 2 honorable mentions:

Gauri – top pick – torn between Emily Axtman and University of Karachi B. honorable mentions: Hugh MacGuire, Henri Foch
Lynn – top pick – University of Karachi B. honorable mentions: Tri Dang, John Ha
Joe – top pick – University of Karachi B. honorable mentions: Hugh MacGuire, Henri Foch
Tim – top pick – Lawrence Duck. honorable mentions: Ben Grist, ARCHRIOT  (other selections: Emily Axtman, Hali Knight, Ella Stelter, University of Karachi B, Ashley Kennedy)
Matt – top pick – Emily Axtman. honorable mentions: Hugh MacGuire, GOA Eclectic Coop


Lynn Rodemann is an urban farmer and educator in Northeast Ohio.  She runs two large community gardens -one in Detroit-Shoreway and another in Jefferson Park called Devil’s Backbone Market and Educational Herb Farm – and keeps over 30 chickens.  A founding member of  LEAF (Lakewood Earth and Food community), Reimagining Cleveland grant recipient, herb vendor to area restaurants and food trucks and a slow food activist and doer, Lynn works hard to bring good, locally produced food to her community.  Lynn resides in Lakewood, Ohio with her husband and two sons (the chickens live in Cleveland).

Joe McGuier is a young architect living in Brooklyn, NY. Joe’s professional focus is on reintroducing thoughtful, reasonable and contextual design as a profit-inducing component of small-scale urban residential developments. Through this, Joe hopes to affect positive change on the urban fabric of his beloved New York and reposition the architect as a central player in urban multi-family developments.  Joe was born and raised in Ohio and attended the University of Cincinnati for his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Architecture. As a child, Joe ate so much chicken his mother thought he might wake up with feathers one day, so this design competition is near and dear to his heart.

West Virginia born and bred, Matthew Miller is Project H’s “MacGyver-in-residence” and Studio H co-founder and instructor.  An accomplished fabricator and metalworker, he has worked for several emerging practices including Architecture for Humanity and HousingOperative.  Matthew studied at the Bauhaus, holds an undergraduate degree in architecture from the University of Tennessee and a post-professional Masters in Architecture from Cranbrook Academy of Art. He has taught at the Rhode Island School of Design, the College of Creative Studies and UC Berkeley, among others. He is the ultimate designer/builder, with a range of projects extending from the ghettos of Detroit to the agrarian slopes of southwestern Uganda.

Gauri Torgalkar is a native of India who received her her M.Arch. degree from Kent State University in 2003, and after almost a decade in this city, considers herself a Clevelander. Her thesis research focused on environments of healing, and her project for permanent, supportive housing for the homeless was developed in conjunction with a network of Cleveland community activists. Gauri first started working at the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC) as a student intern before becoming a full time employee. She has worked on numerous projects, including the STEPS bike & pedestrian maps, CSU Masterplan, Re-imagining a more sustainable Cleveland and Pop Up City’s events. Gauri is also actively involved in social, environmental and civic organizations including the Cleveland Coalition, Bioneers Cleveland, Architecture for Humanity, and Sadguru Shri Aniruddha Upasana Trust. Gauri also participates in the CUDC curriculum, teaching a course in graphic techniques for urban design and serves as a capstone adviser for M.UD students.

Tim Malinich is a horticulturist, chicken farmer and the Horticulture Extension Educator for the Ohio State University Lorain Extension.   Horticulture is defined as the science and art of growing fruit, flowers, ornamental plants and vegetables.   Throughout Northeast Ohio, Tim teaches people how to grow their own food, raise egg-laying chickens, compost, fertilize and control pests.   Tim resides in Lorain, Ohio with his family and his chickens (he built his coop from scratch).


The Poultry Project 2010 Chicken Coop Design Competition is calling farmers, designers, thinkers, architects, artists, and locavores to design a chicken coop for use in urban or suburban backyards.  The ideal coop will integrate aesthetics with utility and make creative use of local materials.  Two cash prizes — a juried prize & people’s prize. The competition is open to ALL.  For more details, see below and visit our website: Download Entry Form

Design Considerations

Location — urban/suburban backyard

Sizes — 6 birds or less; allow 4 sq. ft. per bird (Cleveland and many other U.S. cities permitting urban chicken keeping restrict the number of birds to a flock of 6 or less)

Protection — protect the birds from the elements, predators, theft, and injury

Feed & Water — allow space for easy access to feed & water supplies

Ventilation — keep the coop dry and draft-free with windows, door(s) & roof; controlling humidity is essential — especially during cool months

Nests — one nest for every 4 hens

Perch — provide 6-10 in. of perch space per bird

Light — a source of light is vital for layers; an electric light may be needed during winter or in cool climates


Reuse. Repurpose. Be creative.


Competition launch: July 21, 2010

Registration and submission deadline: October 10, 2010

Announcement of winners will be made at Chicken Coop Design Competition Event in November 2010 (date/location TBA)


Complete the application form on back. Submit application form, $10 application fee, a brief description of your design, and images of your design by 10.10.10 via email or mail to The Poultry Project.  The images of your design can include illustrations, photographs of small scale or full size models, video, etc.  Building the coop design is optional, but encouraged.


Cash prize of $500 for juried prize; the panel is made up of prominent local farmers, designers and change-makers

Cash prize of $250 for people’s prize; vote made by event attendees

Winners to be featured in a variety of media

Winning designs to be fabricated as built prototypes and considered for commercial manufacture

Winning designs to be modified for use by The Poultry Project participants in Uganda


Resources — links to online resources for chicken keeping, coop building; great book recommendations


act now