Rochester area architects help shape, create, and develop our community. AIA Rochester’s annual Design Awards recognizes the best of recent projects created by our local architects, and honors those projects that embody the utmost excellence in design.

AIA Rochester Design Excellence Awards

The 2020 Design Awards program will be held online on September 25! This year, our Awards are free for all and accessible to the public.

        Virtual AIAROCtail Hour     6:30 p.m.

        Design Awards                      7:00 p.m.

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Though the pandemic has compromised this year’s traditionally sold-out in-person celebration, it offers a new opportunity to share our Design Awards Gala with all of our clients, colleagues, and the public.  This year’s Design Awards Gala will be shown online on Friday, September 25 beginning at 6:30 p.m.  It will be free and accessible to the public to allow everyone to learn about and support the work that our local architects have done. We are excited to reach a larger and more diverse audience than ever before as we reveal the winning projects!


We are asking for your help in supporting our celebration and public outreach by sponsoring the 2020 AIA Rochester Design Awards. Our flyer offers several tiers of support available to our sponsors at every level, and outlines the benefits of each tier. This year, sponsorships may be easily purchased online or by contacting Linda Hewitt at 585-232-7650 or

Design a Signature Cocktail Contest

We can’t be in the same room for Design Awards this year, but we can still share a toast! Concoct a signature cocktail recipe to be featured at our Design Awards Virtual Happy Hour. We can make and enjoy the signature beverage together at home while we toast our winners. 

Consider designing your cocktail’s name to include 2020 buzzwords such as “pandemic” or “virus,” or to address the new sustainability (green!) aspect of our Awards. AIAROCtails may be alcoholic or non-alcoholic.

Snap a photo and post to Instagram with the hashtag #AIAROCtail2020 (be sure your profile is public). Include your drink’s name and recipe in the comments. Entries may also be emailed to All entries due by
Friday September 18, 2020.  Winner receives bragging rights, a certificate, and a prize.

This year, the Design Awards program begins an annual inclusion of the ten tenets of the AIA's Framework for Design Excellence into our selection criteria. 

Submitting architects were asked to explain how their project incorporated at least three of the tenets. The jury will consider this information during their selection process.

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AIA Rochester

5 Castle Park

Rochester, NY  14620