Design Awards: Call for Submissions

Please note, the 2023 Design Awards Call for Submissions has now ended.

Thank you to all who have submitted! We look forward to celebrating the winners at our annual Design Awards Celebration.


Call for Submissions

The 2023 AIA Eastern PA Design Awards is now accepting project submissions.  The Annual AIA Eastern PA Design Awards is a celebration of design excellence, innovative partnerships, and the nearly 200 inspiring Architects, Associate, and Allied and Members who make up our chapter.  The AIA Eastern PA Design Awards highlight our members dedication to creating a better built environment, engagement within our communities, and advocacy for the industry.  The awards will be announced and presented at the annual Design Awards Celebration in December.  All entries will be featured on our website.  Recipients will be recognized in a member newsletter as well as a locally distributed press release.


Chapter members are encouraged to submit projects for the AIA Eastern PA Design Awards in any geographical location that meets the following criteria:

  1. The project’s “Architect of Record” is a current member of AIA Eastern
  2. The project was completed within the past five (5) years – December 31,
  3. The project has not previously received an AIA Eastern PA

Project Entry & Submission Form & Fee’s

A Project Entry & Submission Form must be completed for each project to be submitted by 11:59 PM, Monday, September 11th, 2023.  Entry for each Project Submission is $100.  Payment for each Project Submission is due at the completion of the Project Entry & Submission Form via PayPal (preferred) or check.  Please note all entry fee’s are non-refundable.  Please send check payments to:

AIA Eastern PA
1836 North Cedar Crest Blvd. #200
Allentown, PA 18104

Award Categories & Instructions to Jurors

Inspired by the values set forth by AIA National, AIA Pennsylvania, and AIA Eastern PA, there are a total of nine (9) categories available to be awarded. The jury may subdivide an award category at its discretion if it determines that the variety of project conditions would otherwise limit a fair and equitable evaluation. Each project is eligible to receive only (1) award max, with the exception of the Overall Award of Excellence.

Each project submission will be assigned a random number to maintain anonymity. The jury will review the submissions. They will evaluate the qualities of each project submission, not its presentation style, when granting awards. The jury will reference the AIA’s Framework for Design Excellence as a guideline. The jury will provide concise written comments about the qualities of each winning project following the judging. These comments will be announced at the awards ceremony and posted on the chapter website following the awards ceremony.


Built projects of all types including, but not limited to, new construction, additions, and alternations.

Impactful Design

The Impactful Design Award recognizes projects that demonstrate a commitment to occupant/ stakeholder engagement, EDI (equity, diversity, and inclusion), resilience and access within communities, and more. FDE Criteria: Design for Equitable Communities, Design for Integration, Design for Discovery.

Interior Architecture

The Interior Architecture Award recognizes projects that have transformed interior spaces and can demonstrate use of 3 out of 10 Framework for Design Excellence principles.

Preservation Architecture

The Preservation Architecture Award recognizes projects that demonstrate a commitment to flexibility, adaptability, and resiliency in historic preservation, historic restoration, historic rehabilitation, reconstruction, and/or adaptive reuse projects. FDE Criteria: Design for Change, Design for Economy.

Small Project

This Small Project Award recognizes projects that demonstrate design excellence regardless of the limitations of size and budget. Projects must meet one or more of the criteria below:

Residential Design

The Residential Design Award recognizes single and multi-family residential design that addresses affordable housing, mixed-use connectivity, community engagement, and universal design.

Distinctive Details

The Distinctive Detail Award recognizes projects that demonstrate experimentation and innovation in the use of materials, processes, and/or technology.

Sustainable Design

The Sustainable Design Award recognizes projects that demonstrate a commitment to sustainable design and/or achieving recognition through programs such as LEED, WELL Building Standard, Living Building Challenge, or others. FDE Criteria: Design for Ecosystems, Design for Water, Design for Energy, Design for Well-being, Design for Resources.

Overall Award of Design Excellence

The Overall Award of Design Excellence is awarded to any project, regardless if that project has already received one of the awards listed above, that demonstrates use of 5 out of 10 Framework for Design Excellence principles. This project is selected by the jury as a project that exemplifies all-around excellence in design.

People’s Choice Award

Each project submission will be available for viewing and voting prior to the Design Awards Program via social media.  The winner will be announced at the conclusion of the Design Awards program.

Project Entry & Submission Information

Submitter Contact Information

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Title
  • Firm Name
  • Phone
  • Email

Project Information

If you are submitting more than one project, please fill out a Project Entry and Submission Form for each project.

  • Project Title
  • Project Location (Address, City, State, Zip)
  • Project Stats
    • Total Project Area (SF)
    • Total Construction Costs (excluding site work, furniture, fixtures, and equipment)
    • Project Completion Date (if applicable)
    • Project Type (Business, Healthcare, Education, Mixed-use, etc.)
  • Project Synopsis
    Provide a brief (75 words max) project overview, background, and impact statement.

Project Team Information

  • Architect of Record – The Architect of Record must be an AIA Eastern PA member.  In the case of multi-office firms, eligible projects are limited to work done by the Eastern PA based firm and projects completed within the chapter’s boundaries (Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Monroe, Northampton, Schuylkill counties).
    • First & Last Name
    • Title
    • AIA Number
  • Project Architect
    • First & Last Name
    • Title
    • AIA Number, if applicable
  • Project Team Members
    • First & Last Name
    • Title
  • Principle Consultants, Contractors, Suppliers, Partners
    • First & Last Name
    • Title
    • Company
  • Client/ Company/ Organization
    • Company/ Organization (or Anonymous)
    • First & Last Name (or Anonymous)

Project Submission File

All submissions must be completely anonymous. Any submission that identifies the design firm, project architect(s) or previous awards/publications will be immediately disqualified.

  • One (1) 11” x 8.5” PDF file
  • File Name Format: “2023 Design Awards_Project Name”
  • First Page
    • Project Name
  • Project Narrative

Provide a summary of key information such as program requirements, square foot area, site issues, etc.  Brief explanation of project and design concept, unique or difficult design problems and how they were solved. Limit 350 words.

  • Framework of Design Excellence Principles Narrative

Provide a brief explanation of at least two (2) Framework of Design Excellence Principles and how they relate to the project. Limit 350 words.

  • A minimum of two (2) and a maximum of twelve (12) color photos or renderings (photographer credits and captions for each photo)
  • Site plan of the project with a north arrow indicated on plan
  • Building plans of the project with a north arrow indicated on all plans
    • Building elevations labeled by compass direction (i.e. southwest elevation)
    • One or more building sections (or interior sections / details for interior renovation projects). For projects other than interior renovations, provide scaled site plans, with north arrow, showing topography, site context and site response.
    • For interior projects, provide floor plan(s) with furniture, fixtures, and lighting information and any other drawings necessary to fully explain the project’s use.

Image Upload

  • 1-3 digital JPG or PNG files (max 200 MB) to be included during celebration slideshow
  • Photographer/ Firm credit

Presentation Boards (Optional)

In addition to the digital submission, each entrant is able to bring a presentation board (any size, orientation, or layout) to be displayed at the awards celebration – please note, this is optional. Boards may comprise drawings, models, photos, prints and other information to describe the projects. Firm identification should be included on the board.  Each firm is responsible for bringing their board and an easel to the Design Awards.


AIA Eastern Pennsylvania assumes no liability for original photos and other submission materials. AIA Eastern Pennsylvania retains the right to reproduce any of the submission materials in its publications, education programs and on our website. By making a submission, the entrant agrees that the information is correct and complete. The entrant will hold harmless AIA Eastern Pennsylvania for any and all damage arising out of the information contained herein. Any errors or omissions are the complete responsibility of the entrant. The entrant further certifies that permission has been obtained from the owner, developer, and photographer of the project to   publish photographs, images, drawings, and other information included in the submission.  They also release and authorize AIA Eastern Pennsylvania to use all such materials.