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About the Submission Process
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We encourage individuals and firms to submit to our annual awards program. Awardees are regularly shared with local, national, and international media outlets and kept on file at AIASF for a minimum of one year. In the past, writers and editors from Architectural Record, Dwell, Sunset, San Francisco, San Francisco Chronicle, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and the Design Within Reach catalog, among others, have used our submissions when seeking talent and stories on Bay Area design. In addition, all San Francisco-based residential projects are considered for inclusion in the annual San Francisco Living: Home Tours weekend in September.


The 2020 Design Awards Jury will be held in San Francisco, California.

Allison Arieff

Allison Arieff is Editorial Director of the Bay Area-based urban planning and policy think tank, SPUR. In 2018, she was the recipient of the AIGA Steven Heller Award for Cultural Commentary. She has been a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times since 2006, and writes about architecture and design for numerous other publications including Metropolis, Wired, City Lab, and the MIT Technology Review. Prior to SPUR, she was Senior Content Lead at IDEO. From 2002-2006, she was Editor in Chief (and was the magazine's founding Senior Editor) of Dwell. The magazine won the National Award for General Excellence under her tenure. She is former Editor-at-Large at Sunset and author of the book, Prefab (2002).

Tim Culvahouse

Tim Culvahouse, FAIA, helps fellow architects enrich their practices by sharing what they know. He is a contributing author, with Ellen Lou, to John Lund Kriken’s Building Saigon South: Sustainable Lessons for a Livable Future (2017), editor of The Tennessee Valley Authority: Design & Persuasion (2007), and editor of arcCA DIGEST, the journal of AIA California. His writing, with emphases on architectural materiality and the built form of New Orleans, has been widely published. He has taught at Rhode Island School of Design, where he served as head of the Department of Architecture, and at California College of the Arts, where he was associate dean for the Schools of Design and Architectural Studies. He has also held visiting professorships at UC Berkeley, Tulane University, and Carleton University (Ottawa).

Sheila Kennedy, FAIA
Kennedy & Violich Architecture Ltd.

Sheila Kennedy is an American architect, innovator and educator. She is a Professor of Architecture at MIT and a founding Principal of KVA Matx, an interdisciplinary practice that is widely recognized for material research and innovation in architecture and the design of new infrastructure for emerging public needs. Designated as one of Fast Company’s emerging Masters of Design, Kennedy is described as an “insightful and original thinker who is designing new ways of working, learning, leading and innovating”. Kennedy received the 2014 Innovator Award from Architectural Record, the 2015 Rupp Prize for Distinguished Practitioners of Architecture and the 2016 Innovation Green Grant from the Lemulson Foundation. Inn 2018 Kennedy received a two-year MIT Bose Fellowship, with MIT chemist Michael Strano, to support the development of plant-based infrastructure.

Lawrence Scarpa, FAIA

Lawrence Scarpa has garnered international acclaim for the creative use of conventional materials in unique and unexpected ways. He is also considered a pioneer and leader in the field of sustainable design. He is the recipient of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum Award in Architecture and was also awarded the State of California and National American Institute of Architects Architecture Firm Award. Over the last ten years, Mr. Scarpa’s firm has received more than 50 major design awards, including twenty-one National AIA Awards, Record Houses, Record Interiors, the Rudy Bruner Prize, five AIA Committee on the Environment “Top Ten Green Building” Awards and the World Habitat Award, one of ten firms selected worldwide. He has also received the Gold Metal from the AIA Los Angeles, the Lifetime achievement awards from Interior Design Magazine and the AIA California Council and the National AIA Collaborative Achievement Award.

2020 Award Briefs


The Design Awards submission is structured into main categories and optional concentrations. In addition to the design awards given in each main category – ArchitectureInterior Architecture, and Unbuilt Design – the jury may also choose to recognize projects that exhibit special achievements in three concentrations, giving special acknowledgement to projects that further encompass the values of good design within the context of historic preservationurban design, and social responsibility.

With this format we hope to demonstrate that all of these disciplines explored collectively, rather than independently, strengthen the overall power and scope of architecture to help shape the built environment and enrich the human spirit.

In recognition of the importance of sustainable design, AIASF instituted a separate award category for energy and sustainability in 2003. In the last 15 years, the profession as a whole has transformed the way it designs, builds, and maintains buildings. The Design Awards program now incorporates the fulfillment of sustainable design principles into all categories.

Entry Fees

Entry fees are non-refundable. Submissions must be fully completed and entered on or before the Early Submission Deadline in order to qualify for the discounted submission fees rates.

Early Deadline: February 5, 2020 at 1:00 pm (PST)
$225 AIASF Member Submission | $415 General Submission | $5 for Full-Time Architectural and Design Students (with ID)

Final Deadline: February 26, 2020 at 1:00 pm (PST)
$275 AIASF Member Submission | $465 General Submission | $40 for Full-Time Architectural and Design Students (with ID)

Financial hardship fee waiver available in the Unbuilt category. Fee Waiver Request Form.


How to Submit

Please submit your project directly through the AIASF awards portal on Submittable; you will need to sign in with a Submittable account to access the portal. If you do not already have a Submittable login, you can create one at the portal.



Redeem AXP Credit Hours

AXP candidates can receive up credit hours for design competition entries. Candidates should fill out the Design Awards Verification form. This form is to certify that the AIASF Design Awards program meets the requirements of completing a design competition for AXP credit as defined in the AXP Guidelines.

For information on AXP Experience reporting, visit NCARB's AXP Guidelines.


Have a question about your eligibility or the submission process? View our most frequently asked questions or email Karsen Maruca, Program Manager.









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For questions or more information email Kendra Adams, Sponsorship + Partnership Manager.
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