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Design Awards Project Submissions


Important Dates

June 14, 2022 at 12:00 PM EST - How to Submit an Award-Winning Design Awards Submission (Webinar)

Date TBA - COTE Presents: Framework for Design Excellence (Webinar)

Dates TBA - Virtual Open Office Hours | COTE Sustainability Awards Assessment (Registration coming soon)

Friday, August 19, 2022, at 11:59 PM EST - Submissions due for Design Awards/Board Submissions

Monday, September 12, 2022 - Design Awards Jury (virtual)

Wednesday, October 12 - Sunday, October 23, 2022 - Exhibition at Cherry Street Pier during the DesignPhiladelphia Festival 

Thursday, December 8, 2022 - Design Awards Celebration (location TBA)

Eligibility Requirements

Your firm is eligible to participate in AIA Philadelphia's Design Awards if your firm and your project submission can meet the following criteria.

1. Your firm is a Philadelphia Chapter Firm Member in good standing.

2. The project being submitted was designed by staff in the Philadelphia Member Firm office.

3. The submission has been authorized by a principal or partner of the firm.

4. Your firm has substantial design authorship of the project submitted.

5. Have held the primary design responsibility, functioning as lead designer in cases of joint-venture teams.

6. Built projects must have been completed within the last five years, or after January 1, 2017. Unbuilt projects must have been commissioned to be built within the last five years, or after January 1, 2017.

Submission Process

Step 1: Create Profile

Create a new username and password. If you are submitting more than one entry, you will be prompted for a payment at the end of each submission. Your contact information will pre-populate in each new entry you begin. Click Save Address and Continue to begin your first entry.

Step 2: Submit Your Entry

Check the boxes indicating you agree to and meet the eligibility requirements.

Describe your firm's role in the project.

Enter the names of your collaborating firms and their roles, if applicable.

Enter your Firm Name, Contact Name, Job Title, Email Address, and Phone Number.

Select your project subcategory.

Check the box indicating that your project has been completed after January 1, 2017.

Enter your Project Title.

Enter your Project Description. If selected for an award, this description will be read aloud at the Design Awards Celebration.

Select YES or NO from the dropdown menu indicating whether you would like your project to be included in the exhibition. Please note: This year we are continuing to use the 40x40 board template. Firms are responsible for logistics, printing, and shipping of boards. 

Step 3: Uploads

Project Submission - PDF File Only (File Size Limit 10MB). This is the file that will be reviewed by the jury. Please submit one PDF File Only. The submission file is limited to 16 pages total. Your project submission should be: 1 cover page + 12-page project submission + 3 page sustainability form, for a total of 16 pages in ONE PDF. All project categories will be automatically considered for the Sustainability Recognition Award.

Project Team Information Page - PDF Files Only

Design Awards Presentation Slide - JPG Files Only. The Design Awards presentation slide will be used during the awards ceremony, the night of Thursday, December 8, 2022. We are collecting slides from everyone, regardless of whether your project is selected for an award. Please save the PPT file as a JPG.

Photo upload - JPG Files Only. Please upload 10 hi-res images of your project.

Name of Photographer

Step 4: Design Awards Entry Authorization

By entering your name, you agree to comply with the Design Awards submission criteria.

Required Templates

Award Categories

In 2019, the Board of Directors of AIA Philadelphia, in conjunction with the Design Committee, expanded the main categories for the Design Awards Competition offering firms more opportunities to be recognized for their work. The expanded categories are as follows: Small Projects, Interior Architecture, Historic Preservation/Adaptive Reuse, and Planning.

Please note that ALL project categories will be required to submit the Sustainability Information Form and will automatically be considered for an award in this category.

Built Categories

Small - Projects submitted must be $500,000 or less.

Interior Architecture - Projects submitted must be focused on interior design.

Historic Preservation/Adaptive Reuse - Projects submitted must be focused on preservation or adaptive reuse of a historic building.

General Built - Projects submitted can be any built project completed since January 1, 2017

Divine Detail - Projects submitted must be focused on an exceptional built detail. Detail may be submitted without the full project.


Unbuilt Categories

Planning - Projects submitted must be focused on planning.

General Unbuilt - Projects submitted must be commissioned by a client with the intent to be occupied. 


*All project categories can be considered for the Sustainability Award. 

*It is within the jury's decision to pull a project from ANY of the categories for the Gold Medal, so you do not have to select General Built in order to be considered for the Gold Medal

Example Submissions

You will need to select a category you wish the project to be considered in and submit to each category separately (except for Sustainability, see below for some examples). 


EXAMPLE 1. You have a project that you would like to be considered for General Built and Interior Architecture.

Submit your project under the General Built Category and pay $225 to submit.

Submit your project again under the Interior Architecture Category and pay $225 to submit. 


EXAMPLE 2. You have a project that you would like to be considered for General Built, Small Projects, and Interior Architecture.

Submit your project under the General Built Category and pay $225 to submit.

Submit your project again under the Small Projects Category and pay $225 to submit. 

Submit your project again under the Interior Architecture Category and pay $225 to submit.

FAQ's

I am not currently a Member Firm with the AIA Philadelphia Chapter. Do I need to be a Member Firm in order to enter the Design Awards competition? 
Yes, you need to be a current Member Firm in order to submit for the Design Awards Competition, and your firm must have a Philadelphia office. For more information on how to join, please contact Julianne Foley, Member Services & Events Manager at
[email protected].

I will be submitting three projects for the Design Awards. Should I complete three submission forms? Yes, you will need to complete three separate entry applications.
You will be prompted for payment at the end of each submission. 

Do I have to start and finish my submission in one session? 
Yes. You must complete your entire PDF submission(s) by the deadline date at 11:59 pm EST. There is no option to stop and save your submission once you begin.

Can I submit a few days late? 
No. In the interest of fairness to all participants, no late entries will be accepted.

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