Design Awards



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.


  1. Begin the registration process
    • Click on the Register link which will take you to the 2020 Design Awards Submission Payment Event Overview page in Fonteva.
  2. Select the project categories for your 2020 Design Award submissions
    • You may select as many project submission categories as you like. For example: two Built Submissions ($195x2), one Unbuilt Submission ($195) and one Divine Detail Submission ($50). All the selections will be added to your shopping cart. There is a separate entry form attached to each submission category. You will check out and pay only once.
    • Click Register Now to begin creating your user account.
  3. Create your Fonteva user account
    • Because we are using a new system, everyone will need to Register as Guest.
    • Provide your first and last name and email address.
    • This account will be used for future events.
    • Be sure to select the box "Create a user account"
    • You'll then be prompted to enter a password (your username will auto-populate with the email you provided)
    • Click Register and you will be logged into Fonteva.
  4. Add your project submission categories to your cart
    • ​Select all the project categories you plan to submit for the 2020 Design Award Competition so that they are added to your cart and click Continue.
  5. Add each of your projects.​
    • ​Complete the simple registration information form, including your name, company name, and project title. You will be prompted to complete this form for each of the submissions you choose. Click Continue when you are ready to proceed.
  6. Check out and pay​
    • Enter your billing information and click Process Payment.
    • Once your payment is processed an email wiil be sent to you with a link to the project submission pages. 
  7. Upload your project submission​
    • One PDF document per project (no larger than 10 MB)
    • Document title - Project & Category (built/unbuilt/divine detail)
    • Maximum 12 pages and competition project information page. Divine Detail submissions limited to 2 pages and the Divine Detail project information form.
    • Project description
    • Project images - provide a URL link to up to 10 hi-res photos per project.
    • BE SURE TO SUBMIT ALL OF THE ABOVE ANONYMOUSLY. No firm names or logos should appear on the documents submitted to the jury.
  8. Upload your completed forms and your Design Awards presentation slide
    • Sustainability Recognition Form (for built and unbuilt projects only)
    • Project team information page
    • Design Awards presentation slide


Competition Project Information Page
Project Team Info Page
Sustainability Recognition Form
Design Awards Presentation Slide Template 


Last year, 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, Sustainability, and Planning.

To have your project considered for one or more of these categories, you must submit separately (except for the Sustainability Award), please see the SUBMIT buttons below.

For the Sustainability Award, all projects submitted under the built categories will be required to submit the Sustainability Information Form and will automatically be considered for an award in this category. The built categories include (1) General Built; (2) Interior Architecture; (3) Small Projects; and (4) Historic Preservation/Adaptive Reuse.




Projects submitted in this category must be $500,000 or less.


Projects submitted in this category must be focused on interior design.


Projects submitted in this category must be focused on preservation or adaptive reuse of a historic building.


Projects submitted in this category can be any built project completed since January 1, 2014.


Projects submitted in this category must be focused on an exceptional built detail. Detail may be submitted without the full project.



Projects submitted in this category must be focused on planning.


Projects submitted in this category must be commissioned by a client with the intent to be occupied. 


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 $195 to submit.
  • Submit your project again under the Interior Architecture Category and pay $195 to submit. 

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

  • Submit your project under the General Built Category and pay $195 to submit.
  • Submit your project again under the Interior Architecture Category and pay $195 to submit.
  • Submit your project again under the Small Projects Category and pay $195 to submit.  

Only Built projects have the opportunity to be considered for the Sustainability Award.  There is no additional fee for the Sustainability Award and it will be selected by a separate jury with expertise in sustainability metrics.

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.

If you have any questions about the categories and/or the process for submitting this year, please click here to view past winning submissions and a copy of the recorded webinar from June 17, 2020.

Design Awards 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 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 after you have submitted your payment. You will pay only once during the registration process though, so make sure to include all of your categories in your shopping cart. The submission form link will be emailed to you after you process your payment.
  • 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. You will pay in the first step. 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.

2020 Design Awards Jury
Boston, MA

  • Andrea Leers, FAIA
  • Eric Howeler, AIA
  • Elizabeth Whitaker, AIA and
  • Andrea Love, AIA 



Sponsorships are now available for the 2020 Design Awards Celebration! If you have any questions, please contact Jermaine Jenkins at [email protected] or call 215-569-3186, ext. 106


Please email Julianne Foley at [email protected]