Competition Overview

2020 Theme: Pause

In the cacophony of contemporary culture, it can be hard to take a moment to contemplate, ponder, ruminate, or simply pause and reflect. At a time when the fast, the brief, and the shallow seem to come first, we could all benefit from some time to stop and think. For the last seven editions of the New Practices New York competition, entrants have been asked to respond to a given prompt that frames their work within an overarching theme. For this edition, we would like to turn the tables and ask firms to tell us what the measure of their work should be—what does it stand for?

We are looking for new, innovative architecture practices who offer a point a view and are unafraid to carve their own creative voice. Among these, we seek a diverse array of answers to the question of how emerging architecture practices define themselves and what they aspire to contribute. We are calling for portfolios that contain design ideas, implemented or not, that offer new modes of thinking, create opportunities for thoughtful architecture, and demonstrate agency for designers in NYC.  

As we begin a new decade, how do you choose to shape your practice, define your role and contextualize your work? Take a step back, pause, think. What is your position?

Eligibility Requirements

  • New practices are defined as architecture and design firms founded after January 1, 2010
  • The competition is open to all architects and designers, registered and non-registered
  • The aim of the competition is to highlight design firms practicing in New York City, therefore the applicants must be located within the five boroughs of NYC. If practicing internationally, the main office of the firm should be located within the 5 boroughs of NYC.
  • All work for built projects must credit the architect of record for the project on the individual portfolio page
  • Theoretical and unbuilt work is welcome and encouraged


December 20, 2019 – Awards Submissions Open
January 31, 2020, 5 pm –  Submission Deadline
February 14, 2020 – Jury Day + Winners Announced
Spring/Summer, 2020 – Exhibition Opening

Submission Process

This competition brief asks firms to submit one (1) landscape-oriented, 11”x17”, 10-page PDF portfolio (6MB maximum). PDFs that do not conform to this format will be disqualified. All entries will be reviewed by a jury via digital projection. The PDF should also include a practice narrative (500 words maximum) that should be directed towards answering the following questions:

Critical Practice
How does your practice engage critically in the environmental, social, and technological conditions of our contemporary culture? How is your practice informed by the local and global context?

Methods of Practice
How do you design and work in new, different, and/or more Innovative ways than traditional practices?

Engagement of Practice
What are the key issues that you address and advocate for as a practice? How do you choose to communicate and engage the agenda of your practice to a broader audience and public?


Start your online submission using the “Begin Your Entry” button on this page. When you have started your submission, you will receive a submission ID number; this number should be included on the top right-hand corner of each page of your PDF portfolio and in the file name. The submission deadline is January 31, 2020 at 5:00 PM EST.

Entry fee: $150 is payable once all required submission items are uploaded or filled in. Entry is not considered complete until payment is made.

Required uploads

Entrants must also upload one (1) high-res, press-ready image; a signed image release form; and a copy of the firm’s “Certificate of Firm Incorporation” or a signed certification that the practice was founded after January 1, 2010.


When applicable to projects included in the submission, the architect or firm of record, associate architects, project team, consultants, client, and general contractor must be credited. Failure to do so may lead to disqualification.

Winners Receive

  • Participation in an exhibition at the Center for Architecture to open July 2020
  • A stipend towards the exhibition installation
  • A free one-year membership to AIA New York
  • Participation in a symposium to discuss their practice at the Center for Architecture
  • An individual lecture at a local showroom (location to be announced)
  • Media exposure through AIANY


Our website has detected that you are using a browser that will prevent you from accessing certain features. An upgrade is recommended to experience. Use the links below to upgrade your exisiting browser.