Young Architect Award

In the tradition of the American Institute of Architects’ College of Fellows, AIA Philadelphia’s Steering Committee of Fellows seeks to identify and recognize a young architect of exceptional achievement for past accomplishment and future promise.


Submissions Due: Friday, July 16, 2021, at 11:59 p.m.

About the Young Architect Award

The Fellows Committee of AIA Philadelphia annually recognizes a young architect who has demonstrated exceptional early achievement and future promise. The award is intended not only to honor the recipient, but to introduce the design community and the public to new voices within the profession and to encourage other young practitioners in their careers.



A successful candidate must display excellent past work, authored by the candidate, as well as promise of future merit in one, two, three, or all four of the following categories:

  • Design Excellence: Work that demonstrates aesthetic, technical, and functional excellence;
  • Practice: Demonstrated leadership, management, and/or specialized technical expertise;
  • Education: Expanding the influence of the profession through teaching, publications, and/or research;
  • Service: Exemplary service and contributions to the profession and/or society.

A candidate may choose to focus on contributions either broadly or in depth.



Candidates must be registered architect members of AIA Philadelphia between the ages of 25 and 39 as of the due date of the application.



All items listed below should be submitted as a single pdf of a maximum of twenty 8 ½” x 11” pages and no larger than 18 MB. Please title the pdf with the candidate’s name, underscore, YA (i.e., JaneSmith_YA). Each application must include:

1) A one-page summary of the basis for, and achievements that support, the nomination.

2) A brief biography of the candidate, including date of birth, that expands on the description in the one-page summary.

3) Projects: Candidates must provide examples of their work to support the basis for their application. A declaration of the candidate’s responsibility, signed by a firm principal, is required for each submitted project. The declaration should indicate:

  • that the candidate was largely responsible for the project design; or
  • that the project was under the candidate’s direction as project manager; or
  • hat the candidate was the project architect; or
  • a described level of other responsibility.

4) Three letters of recommendation. Letters should be on company letterhead and no more than one page (8 ½” x 11”) long. At least two of the letters must be from AIA members (need not be AIA Philadelphia members). Only one of the letters may be from the candidate’s current employer or co-workers. Only one letter may be from a non-AIA member. Letters of recommendation must be from those who have direct knowledge of the candidate’s work as it pertains to this application.



Application due: Wednesday, June 30, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.

Jury’s decision announced: Applicants will be confidentially notified of the jury’s decision by Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Public announcement: The Young Architect Award will be publicly announced and presented to the recipient(s) at the Chapter’s Annual Design Awards Celebration in December. Successful candidates will be asked to participate in a short video interview, prepared by the Chapter, to be screened during the Design Awards Celebration.

Exhibit and Talk: Award recipients will be invited to participate in the On the Rise Exhibit that showcases their work, with that of other award winners. This program will take place at a date to be determined. Award recipients will additionally be asked to prepare a short talk about their work in concert with the exhibit.


More Information

Potential applicants or Chapter members who would like to propose applicants can obtain more information, on a confidential basis, by contacting any current member of the Chapter’s Fellows Committee.

Recent Winners:

2020 David Quadrini, AIA
2019 Drew Lavine, AIA
2019 Fatima Olivieri, AIA
2018 Jordan M. Mrazik, AIA
2017 Adam Montalbano, AIA, NCARB
2016 Paul J. Avazier, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, NCARB
2015 Fon S. Wang, AIA, LEED AP
2014 Joshua Otto, AIA​
2013 Denise Thompson, AIA
2013 Brian Szymanik, AIA, LEED AP (BD+C)
2012 Danielle DiLeo Kim, AIA
2012 Jules Dingle, FAIA

Previous Winners:

James Oleg Kruhly
Alan Greenberger
Wesley Wei
James Wentling
Patricia Kucker
Daniela Holt Voith
Douglas Seiler
David Whatley Hinson
Harris Steinberg
Rachel Simmons Schade
Joseph Powell
Sam Olshin
Robert Shamble
Robert Hotes
Andrew Phillips
Todd Woodward
Shawn Evans
Todd Drake
Anthony Bracali
Scott Kelly
John Cluver
Daryn Edwards
Patrick Stewart Mcdonough
Karen Blanchard
Michael Kelly