The life of the professional architect can be a trying one, from deadlines to difficult clients and construction complications. Still, your work need not go unrewarded.
Every year many architects compete for well-known architecture awards; it goes without saying that the competition is fierce.
But there are numerous potential awards you may be overlooking that could bring even more attention and recognition to your work. Online and print publications, as well as vendor associations, regularly feature annual award programs.
Check out these 16 architecture awards that could help you get noticed—from specific-material industry awards to publications, there is a wide range to choose from. Do your designs heavily incorporate bricks? Are you working with steel in an innovative way that you think deserves some attention? There are award competitions available just waiting to be found.
Remember, even if the deadlines have passed, most award programs traditionally launch at the same time every year. So mark your calendar and be certain to circle back in the future and submit your design.
Material-Specific Industry Awards
1. Wood Design Award. Is wood a major component of your work? Check out the Wood Product Council’s annual award that celebrates excellence in wood design across a variety of categories.
2. Brick in Architecture Award. Are your architectural designs rich in brick integration? If so, submit your design and bring home this Brick Industry Association award.
3. IDEAS2 Awards. The American Institute of Steel Construction brings together architecture and structural engineering into one award. Submit your IDEAS (aka, Innovative Design in Engineering and Architecture with Structural Steel).
4. North American Copper in Architecture Award. Does copper play a key role in your design? The Copper Development Association wants to see your very best designs and share them with the entire industry.
5. American Precast Association Award for Excellence. Precast concrete has become a major part of the modern world. If it is an important part of your design, then the APA Award of Excellence is for you.
6. Tucker Design Awards. Focused on natural stone for a project? The Building Stone Institute presents the biennial Tucker Awards, honoring excellence in the use of natural stone for buildings or landscapes.
Magazines and Online Publication Awards
7. Building of the Year Awards. No juries here! ArchDaily’s annual awards turns all the power over to readers to “select the buildings that—due to their beauty, intelligence, creativity, or service to the community—represent the best architecture of the year.”
8. The A+ Awards. Presented by Architizer, an online platform for sharing architectural designs, the A+ Awards feature 90 categories for you to choose from.
9. Architectural Review Emerging Architect Awards. The AR Emerging Architect Award honors some of the world’s most promising designers in architecture. Submit in a variety of categories, from buildings to temporary installations, urban projects, and more.
10. Innovation by Design. Does your work combine the best of design and business? Then check out Fast Company’s Innovation by Design award, and you could appear in the pages of the magazine.
11. The Social Good Award. Has your firm completed a project that will have a “positive impact on the collective realm”? If so, then you may qualify for AZURE magazine’s Social Good Award.
12. Wallpaper* Design Award. Award winners are chosen by the team at Wallpaper*, but they don’t accept submissions. That said, here’s a lesson to pitch your work: Send an email to magazines to let them know about your project. Who knows? It may spark interest in an article, if not an award.
13. MA Design Award. Presented by Metal Architecture magazine, this award lands one of the winners on the cover of the magazine. Get ready to submit for categories that include metal roofing, wall panels, buildings, renovations, and more.
14. Palladio Award. Produced by Traditional Building and Period Homes magazines, this award is open to both individuals and design groups. If your design work represents an outstanding achievement in traditional design, be sure to submit for this award.
15. AJ Women in Architecture Award. Offered by Architects’ Journal, this award searches out the very best in architectural design and thought leadership by both established and up-and-coming women in the architectural field.
16. Architect Magazine Awards. And, last but definitely not least, there are the incredible array of award opportunities from Architect magazine and AIA awards. Keep this URL on your go-to list.
As you can see, there is an award for pretty much whatever you can imagine. Competitions, like those listed above, are great opportunities to elevate your career.
However, great rewards require great work that goes beyond the design. While taking the first step to compete is important, preparing your submission is just as important. Take some great advice from Paul Finch, editorial director at Architects’ Journal, on how best to prepare your submission. Remember, your fantastic design deserves a fantastic submission. Good luck!