Design Awards FAQs


Q. I work for a Seattle-based firm that just completed a project in Santa Cruz; are we eligible?
A. No; either the firm or the project must be within 30 miles of San Francisco. If your firm is working elsewhere, click here to find which AIA Components represent you and your projects.

Q. My firm has offices nationwide, including San Francisco. We just completed a project in Dubai. Are we eligible?
A. If your San Francisco office was the lead design team, yes.

Q. I am taking a Revit class at City College. Am I eligible for the student rate?
A. No, you must be a full-time architectural or design student.

Q. Can one project be submitted to multiple categories?
A. Yes, but you must register and pay for each submission separately.

Submission Requirements

Q. Do I just have to pre-register and begin my application by the deadline, or is my submission due that day?
A. You must enter your completed project submission by the deadline.

Q. Once I’ve identified the main category that my project falls under, is it also required that I enter it into one of the three concentrations, or are the concentrations additional areas of judging that you have the option of submitting for if the project qualifies?
A. It is only required that a project be submitted to one of the three main categories (Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Unbuilt Design) – entry for consideration in one of the additional concentrations (Historic Preservation, Social Responsibility, and Urban Design) is entirely optional, and should only be pursued if the project qualifies. Selecting a concentration will influence the narrative that accompanies the project; if you would like to submit to consideration in multiple concentrations, you you must register and pay for each submission separately, and adjust the narrative accordingly.

Q: I'm having trouble accessing the Design Team Credits Template or the Sustainable Design Supplement. Can you send this to me?
A: If any links do not work for you, please contact

Q: You only allow 10 images, can we put more than one image per file?
A: Yes, at your discretion you may create composite images as long as you include individual image files that are at least 8"x10" at 300dpi for each of the images in the composite along with your submission. You may have no more than two composite images in your submission. Remember that if any materials to be reviewed by the jury identify your firm, the submission will be disqualified.

Q. We would like to use captions with our images. Is this allowed?
A. Yes, you may use captions at your discretion as long as they are not placed directly over the images. However, please keep in mind that the image will be viewed electronically. Text should be big enough to be legible on screen.

Q. Can I include the name of the client in my submission?
A. Yes, unless you are your own client. In this case, you please make sure to remove your name from all imagery.

Q. Can my diagrams be in PDF format?
A. No, please ensure all imagery are JPEGs.

Q. Do you care if our images are oriented vertically or horizontally?
A. No, as long as your images are at least 8"x10" at 300 dpi, the orientation is up to you. However, for publication purposes it is helpful if you include a mix of both vertical and horizontal images in the event that your project is awarded.

Q. I am submitting a project in the Unbuilt category. Do I still need to fill out the sustainable design supplement?
A. For Interior Architecture and Unbuilt projects, if you do not have building performance data to share, do not leave the Common App field blank. Mark “Not Available” in the fields as needed. While unavailable metrics for your Unbuilt or Interior Architecture design may be noted, completing all the descriptive and strategy narratives is still required to ensure the jury understands your approach. All built projects must provide performance data and narratives where requested on the Common App.


Q: Will entrants be notified directly if they receive an award?
No, all awardees are announced at the annual Design Awards ceremony.

Q: How are the honorees recognized?
A: Honored entries are celebrated at the ceremony, are featured in the Design Awards exhibition, and recognized on the AIASF website.

Q. Is there any formal recognition for submissions that are not awarded?
A: No, however, all residential entries are considered for AIASF's annual Home Tours programs.