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Submission Guidelines


December 13, 6:00pm
Submission Deadline

January 8, 6:00pm
Winners announced at Design Awards Jury Symposium

April 20, 11:30am
Honors and Awards Luncheon at Cipriani Wall Street

April 20, 6:00pm
Design Awards Exhibition Opening

All events take place at the Center for Architecture unless otherwise noted.

Award Categories

Awards will be granted in four categories:

Architecture – The Architecture category recognizes design excellence in completed buildings
Interiors – The Interiors category recognizes design excellence in building interiors and related architectural work, as well as new and improved approaches to building components and architectural products
Urban Design – The Urban Design category seeks the most compelling work and ideas, both built and unbuilt, that confront and resolve environmental and urban challenges at a scale larger than that of an individual building
Projects – The Projects category recognizes conceptual work, including but not limited to research, innovation, land art, pavilions, architectural objects, and installations. Work in this category does not need to be intended for construction. Projects undertaken for academic credit are not eligible. Entries to competitions will be considered.

Award levels for all categories:

• Honor Award – Represents the highest level of achievement
• Merit Award – Represents distinguished achievement
• Citation – Represents exemplary achievement
• Best in Competition – Jurors will select one entry among the Honor Award winners to receive this unique recognition

Judging Criteria

We strongly encourage submissions that reflect a broad and inclusive definition of design excellence. As submissions are subject to varying degrees of opportunity, constraint, and budget, each entry is judged for the success with which it has met its individual requirements. Submissions must exhibit design achievement that demonstrates exemplary skill and creativity in the resolution and integration of formal, functional, and technical requirements, including ecological stewardship and social responsibility. Submissions should also reflect a strong sense of place, history, or purpose as an integral part of its demonstrated design excellence.

Submissions may be exemplary in the following areas (including, but not limited to):

• Best of Typology, including outstanding achievement in building type (i.e. education, affordable housing, justice, healthcare, community facility, historic preservation, corporate interiors, high-rise, commercial retail. etc.)
• Technical Advancement, including engineering achievements (i.e. structural, mechanical, transportation, computer, etc.) as well as innovative use of materials and urban systems
• Innovation and Research, including projects investigating design advocacy, cross-disciplinary research, pilot projects, public service, and theoretical propositions
• Preservation/Restoration, including the demonstration of exemplary skill, sensitivity, and thoroughness in preservation, restoration, or adaptive reuse and/or sensitive reinforcement of successful historical development patterns
• Sustainability, including demonstrated achievements in high performance and/or energy reduction goals set forth by the AIA Sustainable Architectural Practice Position Statement and 2030 Challenge (see and; exploration of new approaches to ecological planning; collection, storage, and distribution of renewable resources and energies; and improvement to quality of life and the environment.


• AIA New York members who are registered architects are eligible regardless of project location or architect’s residence.
• Registered architects practicing in New York City are eligible regardless of the project’s location.
• Work located in New York City designed by any registered architect is eligible regardless of the architect’s residence or location of primary office. If the design architect is not registered in New York State, the New York State licensed architect of record must be credited.
• Associate and International Associate AIA New York members may submit projects in the Urban Design and Projects categories only. Associate and International Associate AIA New York members who wish to submit work in the Architecture or Interiors categories must have the work submitted by the architect of record.
• Architecture and Interiors must have been completed, and Urban Design and Projects must have been initiated after January 1, 2013. Prior winning projects in any category may not be resubmitted.

Category Eligibility:

• Architecture – Registered architects only
• Interiors – Registered architects only
• Urban Design – Registered architects, International Associates, and Assoc. AIA
• Projects – Registered architects, International Associates, and Assoc. AIA

Entry Fees

$200 AIA New York members
$500 other registered architects
$100 Associate and International Associate AIA New York members

Project Credits

The architect or firm of record, associate architects, project team, consultants, client, and general contractor must be credited. Client names will be withheld from publication upon request.

For restoration, renovation, and adaptive reuse of existing buildings, the original architect must be identified.

Submissions done as an employee or consultant must include a release from a principal of the firm acknowledging that the submitting architect had primary design responsibility and that the credits are correct.


AIA New York will publicly announce the winners of the Design Awards at the March 6th Jury Symposium. All winners will be recognized for their achievements at the Honors and Awards Luncheon on April 20th at Cipriani Wall Street. In Winning projects will be presented at a Design Awards exhibition at the Center for Architecture and will be published in a special summer awards issue of Oculus magazine.


Award recipients shall be notified regarding exhibition materials following the January 8th Jury Symposium. The 2018 Design Awards exhibition will open on April 20th and will remain on view through early summer.

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Grø Benesmo, Partner, S P A C E G R O U P
Grø Benesmo
Partner, S P A C E G R O U P

Gro Bonesmo is an architect based in Oslo. She is founder of Oslo-based architectural firm Space Group, and a professor at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. She was awarded a Masters of Advanced Architectural Design from the School of Architecture, Columbia University, and is a graduate of the Norwegian University of Technology in Trondheim. She also studied at the Sci-Arc in Lugano Switzerland and the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. She has taught at the Oslo School of Architecture since 1999, and at Columbia and Harvard Universities and the Royal Danish Academy of Copenhagen. In the period of 1990-1998 she collaborated with Rem Koolhaas and OMA where she was a Project Architect on projects such as the Dutch Embassy in Berlin, The Dutch House, Bordeaux Villa, Jussieu Library, IIT Chicago and more.

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Ila Berman, DDes MRAIC
Dean and Edward Elson Professor, UVA School of Architecture
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Aaron Forrest, AIA, NCARB
Principal, Ultramoderne

Aaron Forrest, AIA, is an architect and co-founder of Ultramoderne, an architecture and design firm located in Providence, RI. Led in partnership with Yasmin Vobis, the office is committed to creating architecture and public spaces that are at once modern, playful, and generous. The principals are driven by an experimental approach that leads to conceptually rigorous and well-executed designs. The office has experience working at a wide variety of scales, from single-family residences to urban-scale planning, and its work has been recognized internationally, including recent awards from the Chicago Architecture Biennial, the Architectural League of New York, and AIAri.

Aaron received both his Bachelor's Degree and Masters in Architecture from Princeton University, and currently serves as Assistant Professor at Rhode Island School of Design. Prior to RISD, Aaron taught studios at the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton University. He has extensive professional experience, having practiced in New York with Bernheimer Architecture and Guy Nordenson and Associates Structural Engineers, and in Madrid with Ábalos & Herreros Arquitectos. He was also a designer-in-residence at MoMA/PS1 for the Rising Currents exhibition.

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Walter Hood
Creative Director, Hood Studio

Walter Hood is the Creative Director and Founder of Hood Design Studio in Oakland, CA. He is also a professor at the University of California, Berkeley and lectures on professional and theoretical projects nationally and internationally. Hood Design Studio is tripartite practice, working across art and fabrication, design and landscape, and research and urbanism. The resulting urban spaces and their objects act as public sculpture, creating new apertures through which to see the surrounding emergent beauty, strangeness, and idiosyncrasies. The Studio’s award-winning work has been featured in publications, including Dwell, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fast Company, Architectural Digest, Places Journal, and Landscape Architecture Magazine. Walter Hood is also a recipient of the 2017 Academy of Arts and Letters Architecture Award.

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Tom Kundig, FAIA
Principal and Owner, Olson Kundig Architects

Tom Kundig is an owner and design principal at Olson Kundig. He joined the firm in 1986, and has steadily diversified his range of project typologies from residential work to museums, wineries, high-rise multi-unit structures, and hotels.

Kundig’s breakout project was Studio House, completed in 1998. It was featured in the New York Times, and that story was quickly followed by a New York Times Magazine cover feature on Chicken Point.

Both Chicken Point and the Brain won AIA National Honor Awards. Since then, Kundig’s work has been frequently featured in the New York Times, Architectural Record, Financial Times, Architectural Digest, and the Wall Street Journal. Princeton Architectural Press has published three volumes devoted to his work (the latest to be released the fall of 2015). He has received some of the world’s highest design honors, from a National Design Award from the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum to an Academy Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2014, he was included in Architectural Digest’s AD100, and in 2012, he was inducted into Interior Design magazine’s Hall of Fame. His work has received more than 50 awards from the American Institute of Architects, including 18 National Design Awards.

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Debra Lehman Smith
Partner, LSM Studio

Debra Lehman Smith is the founding partner of the Washington, DC–based studio LSM. Celebrated for visionary workplaces and public interiors, the firm is particularly sought-after by corporate and legal clients for harnessing design in the service of organizational change. LSM has earned widespread recognition for architecture and real estate strategy. Most notably, the London-based European headquarters of K&L Gates won the British Council of Offices Best of the Best award in 2012. Both it and the Washington, DC headquarters of Covington have been separately recognized by Architectural Record Magazine’s Good Design is Good Business program. Lehman Smith’s collaborative methodology has underpinned multiple creative partnerships bringing disciplines together in the promotion of design excellence.

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J. Meejin Yoon, AIA
Co-Founder, Höweler + Yoon Architecture LLP, Professor and Head of the Department of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


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