Design Awards

AIA Philadelphia Member Firms are invited to participate in the annual Design Awards celebration. The Design Awards recognize the best in architectural design and includes a design competition, divine detail award, exhibition, and awards gala. Members can participate in the competition and exhibit, the competition only or the exhibit only. Competition winners are announced each year at the Awards gala in mid-October.

Click here to view the 2016 event photo gallery

View the 2016 Philadelphia Business Journal Supplement

2017 Design Awards Events

Submissions Due: Friday, September 1, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. Click here to submit for the 2017 Design Awards Competition and/or Exhibit!

AIA Philadelphia Architecture Exhibit: Project boards will be displayed at the Center for Architecture and Design (1218 Arch Street) during this year's DesignPhiladelphia Festival. Boards are due by Friday, Sepetmber 15, at 5 p.m. Click here for information about board specifications. 

Design Awards Celebration: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Celebrate architecture, architects, leaders, rising stars and advocates at our Design Awards celebration and cocktail style dinner & dessert reception. Tickets will go on sale in late July/early August.

Sponsorships are now available! Contact Julianne Foley, Member Services and Events Manager, at [email protected] or call 215-569-3186, ext. 101 for more information. 

2017 Forms


  • Submitters must:
  • Projects must:
    • Consist of space intended to be occupied
    • Be completed after January 1, 2012 (substantial completion for built projects; design for un-built)
    • Be commissioned by a client (either with intention to build or as a stand-alone planning study/design standard)
    • Be substantially designed in Philadelphia office (in cases of multi-office firms)


  • Entries from prior years may be re-submitted if:
    • They meet current completion date criteria
    • They did not already receive an award in same category (i.e. built project award-winner may not be re-submitted but an award-winning un-built project may be re-submitted as built or an element of an award-winning project may be re-submitted for Divine Detail)

Design Award Submission FAQs

►  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 competition?  Yes, you need to be a current Member Firm in order to submit for the Design Awards Competition and Divine Detail Competition. For more information on how to join, please contact Julianne Foley, Member Services & Events Manager at [email protected].

►  I will be submitting three projects. Should I complete three registration forms?  Yes, you will need to complete three separate entry applications.

►  Can I include the project name in the project PDF?  Yes, you can—just make sure you don’t identify the submitting firm or designer.  Submissions are to remain anonymous.

►  What happens if I exceed the 10MB file limit?  You will be asked once to reduce the size of the file and resubmit your project.

►  How will I know my submission has been received?  Upon submitting your entry, you will receive a confirmation e-mail message containing your submission details.

►  What should I do if I did not receive a confirmation e-mail containing my submission details?  First, check your junk mail folder - the most likely problem is that your spam filter sent the e-mail there.  If you don't find it in your junk mail folder, please email Julianne Foley, Member Services & Events Manager, at [email protected]

►  Do I have to start and finish my submission in one session?  Yes. You must complete your entire submission(s) by the deadline date at 11:59pm EST.

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

►  How will our PDF be viewed?  Jurors will view projects on a large screen. As long as your images are web-ready (300 dpi), there will be no loss of fidelity.

 2017 Design Awards Jury

Location: Chicago, IL

Jury Members:

  • Jeanne Gang, FAIA
  • Jon Heinert, AIA
  • Brian Lee, FAIA
  • John Ronan, FAIA
  • Carol Ross Barney, FAIA
  • Joe Buehler, AIA

Special Recognition Awards

Each year AIA Philadelphia presents four special awards