The 2019 AIA International Design Awards

Submissions now open! 


AIA International is the broadest geographical region of the American Institute of Architects. The AIA International Region Design Awards recognizes best practices, innovative thinking, and design excellence of AIA member projects worldwide. All Architect members of the the AIA International Region are eligible to submit entries for projects located anywhere in the world (except US).  US-based architects can submit projects located in the International Region. 

 There will be global recognition of the awards with presentations to be held at the IR's annual conference in Shanghai, November 14-17, and additionally at the AIA National Conference on Architecture 2020 in Los Angeles, May 14-16, 2020.   Additionally, we have co-initiated with Dow a  special new opportunity, the Sustainable Future Award, to receive ongoing recognition throughout the coming year for projects which are recognized by our design jury first and then by carbon energy efficiency experts for designs which reduce energy use, optimize natural resources and steward human health.  Projects that meet carbon and other necessary criteria could also potentially be invited to contribute carbon savings to the carbon partnership between Dow and the International Olympic Committee.

The Categories:


INTERIOR architecture




FIRM AWARD (New in 2019)



Submissions now open
here to submit!


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Previous award winners:

2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017 /2018

Deadline August 28, 2019 5pm Eastern US time

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(L-R) Marcio Kogan; Hon FAIA, Redux House; 2014 Honor Award / SOM; Park Hotel India; 2014 Honor Award / Henning Larsen, Nordea Bank HQ; 2018 Honor Award


  1. All Architect and International Associate members in good standing of the AIA International Region are eligible to submit entries for projects located anywhere in the world. (Note: members of the International Region include full members of one of the International Chapters (AIA UK; AIA CE; AIA HK; AIA JP; AIA ME; AIA SH and AIA CA), and "unassigned" members of the International Region).

  2. All Architect members in good standing of the AIA International Region are eligible to submit entries in all categories.

  3. All International Associate members in good standing of the AIA International Region are eligible to submit entries in the Open International category.

  4. All Architect members in good standing of the AIA, residing anywhere in the world, are eligible to submit projects located in the International Region in the ‘Open International’ category.

  5. Associate members of the AIA International Region (as opposed to International Associates) are eligible to submit projects in the Unbuilt Category.

  6. Built and Unbuilt work must have been completed since January 1, 2014.

  7. The AIA member submitting the project must have been an AIA member in good standing at the time the design of the submitted project was undertaken.

  8. The AIA member submitting the project must be the primary author of the design submitted. When one Architect is not the sole author of the design, all other participants contributing substantially to the design must be given credit as part of the submission.

  9. Projects designed by joint venture or associated architects should be submitted by one member only; credit for all design participants is to be noted in the entry form under Collaborative Acknowledgements.

  10. All entries that meet the requirements of their respective categories are eligible regardless of size, budget, style, location or building type.

  11. Projects which have received a local Chapter Award (either in the International Region or in the US) or which have received a National Award, are eligible for submission to the International Region Awards Program.

  12. Work by architects or design firms serving as jurors for current year awards are ineligible.

  13. Architecture firms submitting for the Firm Award must be based in the International Region. Multi-national firms headquartered outside of the International Region are eligible so long as the submitting office is in the International Region, and is a fully functioning office (design, construction documentation, and construction administration). Proof of this may be required. The decision of the Awards program administrators as to the eligibility of a firm is absolute and final.

  14. Architecture firms submitting for the Firm Award must be at least 51% owned by full US-licensed architect(s) who are AIA members in good standing.

  15. The AIA International Region reserves the right to determine the eligibility of all submissions.

  16. See ELIGIBILITY MATRIX (below) for clarification

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  1. The jury will award AIA IR Honor Awards and AIA IR Merit Awards. The Jury will comprise of not less than three distinguished architects including at least two AIA architects. Submissions will be juried in September. All Jury decisions will be based solely on the materials submitted; no field trips will be taken. Winners will be recognized at an awards ceremony at the AIA IR Conference in Shanghai, on November 16, 2019, and at the AIA Convention in Los Angeles from May 14-16, 2020, and on AIA IR websites and various publications.

  2. Entries will be judged on how successfully the design addresses individual project program requirements, the successful integration of the solution within its context, and its worthiness for an award in design excellence.

  3. Projects will be evaluated on one or more of the following criteria:

    • DESIGN QUALITY reflecting resolution of the program or idea; innovation, thoughtfulness, and technique.

    • DESIGN RESOLUTION of formal, functional and technical parameters.

    • DESIGN ADVANCEMENT through proposing new approaches to the development of architectural and/or urban form.

    • SOCIAL ADVANCEMENT demonstrating a commitment to social progress.

    • TECHNICAL ADVANCEMENT exploring new technologies and/or their architectural applications.

    • ENVIRONMENTAL ADVANCEMENT demonstrating a commitment to environmentally sensitive design, sustainability and/or energy/resources conservation.

    • PRESERVATION / RESTORATION demonstrating skill, sensitivity and thoughtfulness in preservation, restoration, or the adaptive re-use of existing buildings.

  4. Project authorship will remain confidential throughout the jury deliberations.

  5. The jury may elect not to confer an award in a category. The decision of the jury is final.

If authorship is revealed on any photos, plans, slides or narrative, the entry will be disqualified.

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(L-R) Nelson Chen Architects, St. Andrews Church Life Centre, 2016 Honor Award winner; David Chipperfield Architects, Museo Jumex, 2015 Honor Award winner; Brian MacKay-Lyons, Hon FAIA, Two Hulls House, 2015 Honor Award winner


Entries must be submitted in one of the categories listed below. These categories are used to clarify the different requirements for each group and to focus the jury on the many broad and diverse areas of practice.


Eligible entries may be new construction, renovation or preservation/restoration projects. The project must be built work completed since January 1, 2014. For multi-building projects, the Architect submitting the project (or portion thereof) must offer detailed evidence of authorship of each portion of the project.

Interior Architecture
Eligible entries may be new construction, renovation or preservation/restoration projects.  The projects must be built work completed since January 1, 2014.

Urban Design
Eligible entries may be urban design projects, planning programs, civic improvements, campus plans, environmental programs, or redevelopment projects. The projects should not be individual buildings. Incomplete projects or ongoing programs may be recognized if a significant portion has been completed or implemented by a local jurisdiction or authority since January 1, 2014.

Open International

Eligible entries must be located outside of the USA. They can be Architecture, Interior Architecture, Urban Design, revitalization or other types of work. This category includes projects of all scales which enhance the built environment in a way that is respectful of context and culture and which aim through craftsmanship and sustainability to serve as a benchmark for architects globally and/or through innovation and ingenuity to serve as a benchmark for the profession. The project must be built work completed since January 1, 2014. For multi-building projects (or portions thereof), the submitting Architect must offer detailed evidence of authorship of each portion of the project.


Eligible entries must be unbuilt projects that will not be built. The project design must be completed since January 1, 2014. This category is to recognize the efforts of our architect members who have completed meaningful work, but due to client change, land use change or other reasons beyond the control of the architect, the project will not be built. Note: This is NOT a category for projects under construction, for projects that are under construction or have any plans to be built, they must wait to be completed and then submitted under the Architecture Category in future year(s).

Firm Award (New category in 2019)

The jury evaluates candidates based on how well they meet program criteria, which include how firms have:

o   demonstrated great depth and breadth in their work, having a cumulative effect on the profession of architecture

 o   produced work that is a product of a collaborative environment, consistently addressing the future of architecture while honoring its tradition

 o   transcended or united specific areas of expertise 

o   become widely known—by architects, designers, educators, and the public—for the quality of their work

Sustainable Future Award

The Sustainable Future Award (SFA) is an additional award. All projects selected by the jury for design excellence are eligible for an award in this category, with a focus on those demonstrating meaningful, sustainable and integrated design that enhances human health, energy efficient and stewardship of our planetary resources. There is no additional cost to be considered for the SFA award, but there are additional questions to answer (see submission requirements). 

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Deadline and Entry Fees

The deadline for submissions is August 28, 2019 5pm Eastern US time  

    • The deadline will be strictly observed.

    • The entry fee is $350 USD per submission for AIA International Regional members, $475 USD for AIA members outside of the International Region.

    • For non-US licensed architects who are not AIA members or AIA International Region members the fee is $600 USD. The entry fee will also include a one-year local membership in one of the AIA IR Chapters.

    • Entry fees are non-refundable.

    • Please use the Submission Preview before submitting your payment. You can go back and edit your submission until the deadline expires but no refunds will be issued.

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Eligibility Matrix

Eligibility Matrix graphic_v6.png

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(L-R) Michael Lischer, Hiromi Hosoya, TBC

Michael Lischer; ARB, FAIA
As the founding partner of the London based architectural practice, Sport Concepts, Mr. Lischer has been involved in many of the most prestigious sports facility projects around the Globe.  These include Wembley Stadium, the Singapore Sports Hub, the Budapest Sportaréna, and over 30 Olympic bids and projects.  He is a licensed architect in the United Kingdom and United States and is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

Mr. Lischer has been active in the American Institute of Architects for over 30 years.  He is one of the founding members of the AIA United Kingdome and continues to serve on the AIA UK board of directors.  He served on the National AIA board of directors and was the Institute’s first International Director.

Hiromi Hosoya; M.Arch, B.Arch, B.F.A. / SIA
A founding partner of Hosoya Schaefer Architects AG, a Zürich based office for architecture, urban design and research founded in 2005. She was a co-curator of the Salon Suisse at the 2014 Architecture Biennale in Venice, commissioned by the Swiss Arts Council. 

Ms Hosoya holds a Master in Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Prior to her career in architecture, Hiromi spent five years working in international trade for a large, Japanese conglomerate. Prior to founding Hosoya Schaefer Architects, Hiromi had worked for five years at Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects in Tokyo. She has taught interdisciplinary design studios at Cornell University in 2005 and 2006, and was professor at the Academy of Fine Arts, in Vienna, Austria from 2007 to 2012. Furthermore, she had taught an advanced design studios at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design in 2011 and 2018.

Hosoya Schaefer has won numerous first prizes in Switzerland and is working on a wide spectrum of projects, for example, the Engadin Airport in St. Moritz, conversion of the MEWA-Areal in Wädenswil, and the Station Square Project in Herisau. Together with her partner, Markus Schaefer, Hiromi is planning to publish a book titled “The Industrious City” in 2020 about how to bring the production back in the city and how to increase the synergy between production and living. The book tries to show the way for the future integrative city, and that the urban industry could be shaping our social, political, spatial and economic futures.

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Design Award upload requirements summary

(inclusive of ‘Sustainability Future Award’ – no extras)

(Note: all details listed on each task as one progress on-line, also summarized below for clear preparation)

Task 1: Eligibility (enter architect’s name on two lines)

Task 2: Architect and client info

Task 3: Collaboration Acknowledgements (name other architects + consultants involved)

Task 4: Project Description:

(Project Title; Category; Description- < 250 words; Sustainability <100 words - optional

Task 5: Project Details

Project Address; year of completion (2014-2018); Site Area; Floor Area; Building Height; No of Floors; Program; (Optional project video upload). For SFA (Sustainable Future Award) please see Appendix A below for additional questions. For Firm Award please see Appendix B below.

Task 6: Copyright Image page (give photo credit)

Task 7: Submission Upload for Jury Review:

PDF with project photos, drawings and text is the primary evaluation tool for jurors. PDF no more than 20 pages, and no more than 10MB in size.

Photos: Submit a minimum of three images/photographs

Drawings: Floor Plans; Site plans; Elevations; Sections

Task 8: Exhibition Images Submission Guidelines:

Print Area Size: 594mm x 385mm; Resolution: 300DPI or higher

Maximum File Size: 10MB per image; Image quantity: Minimum 2 – Maximum 4 Portrait or Landscape

Task 9: Booklet Publication Images Submission Guidelines: Print Area Size: 90mm x 150mm; Resolution: 300DPI or Higher Max file size: 10MB; Image Quantity: Minimum 2 - Maximum 4 Portrait format recommended or 2 Landscape Images.

Task 10: Optional Sustainability: Enhanced recognition opportunity 6 questions

Task 11: Optional Upload for Sustainability (10MB max)

Task 12: Submit payment with cc


Appendix A

Sustainability Future Awards – Additional Questions

Note – This is optional, only if you want to be additionally considered for this award.

Questions for Sustainability Future Award

1. Best Practice Standards

List any best practice standards incorporated in the project design (LEED v4,

LEED 2009, WELL, BREEAM, RESET, BEAM and/ or other)

2. Design for Energy: (ref. AIA COTE Measure 6)

Please share a short narrative and any metrics available that illustrate how the

project incorporates: Design intention for reduced consumed energy (may reference

energy use intensity (EUI) or carbon emissions; can share actual measurements if

available but not required)

3. Design for Resources: (ref. AIA COTE Measure 8)

Please share a short narrative and any metrics available that illustrate % of waste

diverted from landfill, % of reused and recycled materials (may make reference to

CO2 intensity, LCA, EPD if available, but not required)

4. Design for Water (ref. AIA COTE Measure 4)

Please share a short narrative and any metrics available that illustrate how the

project incorporates: Design for water reduction (may include rain water capture,

grey water use, roof or ground water capture design, actual water use measured if

available but not required)

5. Design for resource efficiency (ref LEED v4)

Please share any narrative or design intentions that illustrate how the project

incorporates: Design with energy efficiency best management practices and aims to

achieve minimum energy use (LEED v4)

6. Design for Human Health and Wellness (ref. IWBI WELL standard; RESET)

Please share a short narrative and any metrics available that illustrate how the

project incorporates: Design for human health and wellbeing. (may make reference

to IAQ monitoring actual data, ergonomics, stair incorporation, but not required)

Appendix B – Firm Award Questions

There is no mandated format for the Firm Award, except:

- First page of the submission should be a 1-page maximum summary that outlines why your firm should receive the award.

- 10 Mb maximum PDF file

- Identify ownership (minimum 51% US-licensed AIA member required)

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(L-R) AEDAS, Sandcrawler, 2017 Honor Award; SOM, Burg Khalifa, 2014 Honor Award; CL3 Architects, Millennium Mitsui Hotel, 2015 Merit Award

Previous award winners:

2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017 /2018

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