Unbuilt Design Award

AIASF Design Awards: Unbuilt Design Award



The Unbuilt Design Award recognizes purely theoretical architectural design work. At the jury’s discretion, this category will honor multiple projects, featuring Citation, Merit, and Honor Award recognitions. Submissions will be judged on quality of design, resolution of the program or idea, and innovation, thoughtfulness, and technique. Jury decisions will be based solely on the materials submitted. It is therefore important that submissions convey to the jury a full understanding of the project. Each entry in the AIA San Francisco Design Awards program is judged on the success with which it has met its individual requirements. Entries are weighed individually, not in competition with others.


  • This category is open to AIA San Francisco members as well as nonmembers.
  • Any person or firm is eligible to submit theoretical projects located within the boundaries of AIA San Francisco (San Francisco and Marin Counties, or within a 30-mile radius of San Francisco).
  • Any person or firm practicing within the AIA San Francisco boundaries (San Francisco or Marin Counties, or within a 30-mile radius of San Francisco) is eligible to submit projects located outside the area; if a firm has multiple offices, only projects designed and executed by an office within the AIASF boundaries are eligible.
  • A project that has previously won an award in other awards programs is eligible, unless the project was previously honored with any AIA San Francisco Design Award.
  • Any number of projects can be entered regardless of project size, budget, style, or building type, and submissions may include remodeling or extended use projects.
  • Work by the firm of a design professional serving as a juror is ineligible.
  • Design must be dated within three years of the final submission deadline.


To be announced in January 2023.


Do not include information identifying your firm in any materials outside of those designed to collect it, like the Design Team Form and fields on the submission site defined for this purpose. File names should not include your firm name. If any of the information provided to the jury for review – including file names – explicitly identifies the firm, your submission will be disqualified.

  • Project Name
  • Floor Area in Square Feet
  • Building Type
  • Date of Design
  • Anticipated Project Cost
  • Theoretical Location of Project
  • 50-word Summary: This should be approximately two sentences on the project. Copy should be clear, concise, and well written, as it may be reproduced in print publications.
  • 250-word Summary: This should fully outline the program and design objectives and how the project addressed these objectives.
  • Building Performance Data: AIASF has adopted AIA CA’s “Common App” as part of the submission requirements to help identify how each project responds to the urgency of climate action given the broad impacts the built environment places on both people and planet. Please be sure to use the current version of the Common App available here. For further requirements and guidance on completing the Common App as part of your submission, visit the AIASF website here. Please note that some of the technical information requested on the Common App may require consultation with your engineer, and take this into account when preparing your submission.
  • Demolition Plan: For Historic Preservation Concentration Only.
  • Floor Plans: JPEG format.
  • Annotated diagram or section: Optional; describe the overall design concept and/or sustainable
    features. JPEG format.
  • Additional Sections/Elevations: Optional; maximum two. JPEG format.
  • Additional Diagrams: Optional; maximum two. JPEG format.
  • Images: Up to 10 images of the completed project. Artwork should be saved to at least 300 dpi. You may submit up to two composite images (image files featuring multiple images). JPEG format. Do not include labels on the images. Credit photography in the Design Team section; these images will be reproduced in conjunction with recognition if the project is selected to receive an award.
  • Design Team: Should the project be selected for an award, project contributors will be publicly announced per the Design Team information provided with the submission. This information will otherwise remain exclusively for AIASF internal use. When not included in the Design Team form, AIASF is not responsible for missing project team member credits on awarded projects; make sure to include a comprehensive list of the subs on your projects, and feel free to add categories as needed. VIEW SAMPLE TEMPLATE


By submitting to AIASF’s Design Awards program, you agree to our Terms + Conditions, detailed here.


Questions about your eligibility or the submission process? View our FAQ page or email Claire Hansen, AIASF Programs Associate: chansen@aiasf.org

Interested in sponsorship? Email Raul Orellana, AIASF Development Associate: rorellana@aiasf.org