2020 Design Awards


  • We will broadcast our Awards show live in June 2022. We hope to host an in-person event in conjunction with our show if at all possible - stay tuned for details in late spring.

  • Our Design Awards program has resumed its spring submission deadline/late spring Gala schedule from previous years, with plenty of advance notice to start planning your submissions and project photographs. Please see our full proposed schedule.

  • As in previous years, we will notify the winners in late April, but will not reveal which award your project has won until the actual Awards show. This will allow you to reach out to your clients and project teams in advance of the Gala. Interviews with the architects and possibly with clients will be conducted with our videography team in Rochester during the last week of April and the first week of May; please be aware of this possible time commitment upon registration.

  • We are reaching out to potential sponsors at this time based on an assumption of presenting a virtual show at minimum. Future sponsorship opportunities may present themselves as the Gala draws closer.  Please contact Linda Hewitt at lbhewitt@aiaroc.org for more information about sponsoring our Design Awards.

  • Finally, a note about categories: We ask that you select one category for each project at registration. Only one category per project will be considered. Due to the size of our competition, AIA Rochester does not award Design Awards per category.  The categorization is intended to assist the outside jury with their review. The categories are also intended to align with AIA New York State's Design Award process to allow your submission to be used separately at the state level as well.

More information will be added as it becomes available. Thank you in advance for your participation, and good luck!

Sponsor the Design Awards!

AIA Rochester is pleased to announce the 2022 Design Awards program! 

Design Awards Schedule

February 1, 2022

Registration due

April 1, 2022

Project submissions due

mid April 2022

Jury convenes

late April 2022

Winners contacted

last week in April/

first week in May

Interviews with winners


June 2022

Design Awards Gala

Sponsor the Design Awards

Call for Entries

Last year’s circumstances were unprecedented, but we are proud to have presented our annual awards in a new format. Like all of you, the Design Awards committee faced a new set of rules and roadblocks and adapted the process to meet our goals. Before being declared “essential”, Rochester’s architectural community knew that the important task of building our communities could not come to a standstill. It is in tribute to your spirit of perseverance that we adopted this year’s theme, “Keep Calm and Design On.”

Download the Call for Entries.

Keep Calm Logo-01.png


The entrant must specify one category for each project submission.

Due to the size of our competition, AIA Rochester does not award Design Awards per category.  The categorization is intended to assist the outside jury with their review only.



___Single Family Detached, less than 2,500 square feet

___Single Family Detached, 2,500 square feet and over

___Multi Family, Multiple Dwellings





___Small Projects, less than 5,000 square feet

___Large Projects, greater than 5,000 square feet


___Urban Planning/Design


___Adaptive Reuse/Historic Preservation





___Commissioned architectural design work by practicing emerging architects licensed 10 years or less, not yet built –or-

___Complete commissioned architectural design work, not yet built or completed by all other architects




___Pro Bono Projects:  A project for which those licensed architect(s) involved received no financial compensation


___Sole Practitioner:  Projects submitted from firms having only one architect, and no other professional staff.


AIA Framework for Design Excellence

As we are less than a decade away from the AIA 2030 Commitment, AIA Rochester continues to include a focus on sustainability in our annual Design Awards this year and into the future.  Please choose a minimum of three of the ten measures of the AIA’s Framework for Design Excellence and explain how your project addresses these.

The ten measures in the Framework are:

1. Design for Integration: What is the big idea behind this project and how did sustainability inform the design concept?

2. Design for Equitable Communities: How does this project contribute to creating a walkable, human-scaled community inside and outside the property lines?

3. Design for Ecology: In what ways does the design respond to the ecology of its place?

4. Design for Water: How does the project relate to the regional watershed?

5. Design for Economy: How does the project efficiently meet the program and design challenges and provide “more with less”?

6. Design for Energy: Is the project energy-efficient and sustainable while improving building performance, function, comfort, and enjoyment?

7. Design for Wellness: How does the design promote the health of the occupants? 

8. Design for Resources: How did the design team optimize the amount and makeup of material used on the project?

9. Design for Change: Is the building resilient, and able to easily accommodate other uses in 50-100 years?

10. Design for Discovery: What lessons for better design have been learned through the process of project design, construction, and occupancy, and how have these been incorporated in subsequent projects?

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