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AIA New York’s annual Design Awards program recognizes outstanding architectural design by AIA New York members, New York City-based architects in any location, and work in New York City by architects around the globe. The purpose of the awards program is to honor the architects, clients, and consultants who work together to achieve design excellence.


December 2, 5:00pm
Submission Deadline

January 13, 6:00pm
Winners announced at Design Awards Jury Symposium

April 17, 11:30am
Honors and Awards Luncheon at Cipriani Wall Street

April 17, 6:00pm
Design Awards Exhibition on View

All events take place at the Center for Architecture unless otherwise noted.

Award Categories

Awards will be granted in five categories:

Architecture -  Recognizes design excellence in completed buildings.
Interiors - Recognizes design excellence in building interiors and related architectural work, as well as new and improved approaches to building components and architectural products.
Urban Design - Recognizes the most compelling work and ideas, both built and unbuilt, that confront and resolve environmental and urban challenges at a scale larger than that of an individual building.
Projects – Recognizes temporary structures, conceptual work, pavilions, and research. Work in this category does not need to be intended for construction. Projects undertaken for academic credit are not eligible. Entries to competitions will be considered.
Sustainability – Recognizes excellence in ecological stewardship, including reduced environmental impact and reduced energy consumption, as well as attention to quality of life issues, resiliency, and community engagement within the urban environment.

 Award levels for all categories:

Honor Award – Represents the highest level of achievement.
Merit Award – Represents distinguished achievement.
Citation – Represents exemplary achievement in a specific aspect of a project.
Best in Competition – Jurors may select one entry among the Honor Award recipients across all categories to receive this unique recognition.

Judging Criteria
We strongly encourage submissions that reflect a broad and inclusive definition of design excellence. Each entry is judged for the success with which it has met its individual requirements. Submissions must exhibit design achievement that demonstrates exemplary skill and creativity in the resolution and integration of formal, functional, and technical requirements, including ecological stewardship and social responsibility. Submissions should also reflect a strong sense of place, history, and purpose.

Submissions may be exemplary in the following areas (including, but not limited to):

Best of Typology, including outstanding achievement in building type (i.e. education, affordable housing, justice, healthcare, community facility, historic preservation, corporate interiors, high-rise, commercial retail. etc.)
Technical Advancement, including engineering achievements (i.e. structural, mechanical, transportation, computer, etc.) as well as innovative use of materials and urban systems.
Innovation and Research, including projects investigating design advocacy, cross-disciplinary research, pilot projects, public service, and theoretical propositions.
Preservation/Restoration, including the demonstration of exemplary skill, sensitivity, and thoroughness in preservation, restoration, or adaptive reuse and/or sensitive reinforcement of successful historical development patterns.


Category Eligibility
Architecture – Registered architects only
Interiors – Registered architects only
Sustainability – Registered architects only
Urban Design – Registered architects, Associate and International Associate AIA members. AIANY local member at these levels are also eligible: Corporate, Corresponding, and Allied Professional.
Projects - Registered architects, Associate and International Associate AIA members. AIANY local member at these levels are also eligible: Corporate, Corresponding, and Allied Professional.

Who is eligible?
• AIA New York members who are registered architects are eligible regardless of project location or architect’s residence.
• Registered architects practicing in New York City are eligible regardless of the project’s location.
• Work located in New York City designed by any registered architect is eligible regardless of the architect’s residence, location of primary office or membership status.
• Associate and International Associate AIA New York members may submit projects in the Urban Design and Projects categories only.

What projects are eligible?
• Architecture and Interiors projects completed after January 1, 2014.
• Sustainability projects completed after January 1, 2014 and in operation for at least one year.
• All completed New York State projects must credit New York State licensed architect of record.
• Urban Design and Projects submissions must have been initiated after January 1, 2014.
• Prior winning projects in any category may not be resubmitted.

Registration and Submission
The Design Awards submissions process is completely digital. Any references to architects and designers on any images, plans, narrative, file names, or supplemental materials will disqualify a submission.

Submission Requirements

  • All images will be reviewed digitally.
  • All images submitted must be low-resolution and clearly labeled and/or captioned with descriptive text.
  • Submission must be a single file smaller than 6 MB.
  • PDF should be formatted as 11x17, landscape, and no more than 16 pages.
  • Please check that uploaded PDF opens and will be viewed as designed.
  • All references to architects and designers must not be included on any images, plans, narrative, file names, or supplemental matierals. Entries that reveal such information will be automatically disqualified
  • Sustainability category submissions ONLY: Please include in your pdf submission a description of each applicable guidance principle. Maximum 200 words per principle. Please refer to Guidance Document found here.
  • One high-resolution press-ready image uploaded separately. 
  • Upon jury selection, winners will be contacted to provide additional images and credits for exhibition and Oculus article. Without these materials, projects will not receive proper recognition. Interiors winners will also be requred to supply manufacturer and supplier credits. 
  • Winning submissions will become property of AIA New York.

Entry Fees
$200 AIA New York members
$200 AIA New York Corporate, Corresponding, and Allied Professionals
$100 Associate AIA and International Associate AIA members
$500 other registered architects

Project Credits
The architect or firm of record, associate architects, project team, consultants, client, and general contractor must be credited. Client names will be withheld from publication upon request.

For restoration, renovation, and adaptive reuse of existing buildings, the original architect must be identified.

Submissions done as an employee or consultant must include a release from a principal of the firm acknowledging that the submitting architect had primary design responsibility and that the credits are correct.

AIA New York will publicly announce the winners of the Design Awards at the January 14th Jury Symposium. All winners will be recognized for their achievements at the Honors and Awards Luncheon on April 15th at Cipriani Wall Street. Winning projects will be presented at a Design Awards exhibition at the Center for Architecture and will be published in a special spring awards issue of Oculus magazine.

Award recipients shall be notified regarding exhibition materials following the jury symposium and announcement of the winners on January 14. The 2019 Design Awards exhibition will open on April 15 and will remain on view through early summer.