AIA Rochester is pleased to announce the 2023 Design Awards program! 



  • We will hold an in-person awards celebration in June 2023!  The 2023 Celebration will again be in the format of a formal cocktail reception. 

  • Though the celebration is again scheduled for next June, the Design Awards timeline now aligns with that of other chapters - please note the dates for deadlines.

  • We will notify winning teams in March, 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 celebration. 

  • A note about categories:  In response to member feedback and internal discussion, the AIA Rochester Design Awards Committee restructured the project classification system last year. Entrants are encouraged to select all categories that describe their project. Please review the new category structure.  The categorization is intended to assist the outside jury with their selection process only.  Due to the size of our awards competition, AIA Rochester does not award Design Awards per category.

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


The 2022 Design Awards champagne toast

Download the Call For Entries and register your project(s) by November 3, 2022.



The AIA Rochester Design Awards Committee has restructured the project classification system. Entrants are encouraged to select all categories that describe their project. The categorization is intended to assist the outside jury with their review only.

Due to the size of our awards competition, AIA Rochester does not award Design Awards per category.



___New Construction
___Urban Planning/Urban Design
___Historic Preservation
___Adaptive Reuse


___Single Family Detached
___Multi Family, Multiple Dwellings
Other: _____________________________


___Other: _____________________________


___Medical Facility
___Other: _____________________________


___Flex Building
___R&D Facility
___Other: _____________________________

Interior Design

___Provided as part of an architectural project
___Provided independent of an architectural project


___Unbuilt (Recognizes commissioned architectural design work by practicing architects not yet built or completed)

AIA Framework for Design Excellence

Introduced in 2019, AIA’s Framework for Design Excellence “represents the defining principles of good design in the 21st century. Comprised of 10 principles and accompanied by searching questions, the Framework seeks to inform progress toward a zero-carbon, equitable, resilient, and healthy built environment. These are to be thoughtfully considered by designer and client at the initiation of every project and incorporated into the work as appropriate to the project scope. The Framework is intended to be accessible and relevant for every architect, every client, and every project, regardless of size, typology, or aspiration.”


Since AIA Rochester integrated the Framework into the Design Awards in 2020, we have been pleased to recognize that our entrants regularly incorporate these measures during the design process to create good architecture. 

Each entry in the 2023 Design Awards is required to illustrate how it incorporates a minimum of three Framework measures. 

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?


Designers Unleashed: Architectural Ideas Competition 

Coming soon!


In conjunction with the Design Awards, AIA Rochester will again be announcing the 2023 AIA Rochester Designers Unleashed: Architectural Ideas Competition. This competition is intended to showcase the talents of young designers in our community, test the limits of what is achievable in our built environment, and inspire new solutions to the design and development issues we currently face. 


Designers Unleashed challenges participants to take an actual site available for development in the city of Rochester and unleash their ideas upon it, without mercy or recourse, showcasing its full architectural and design potential. 

The competition is open to students, unlicensed architectural interns, architects licensed 10 years or less at the time of submission and interior designers, who live, work, or go to school in the AIA Rochester jurisdiction.


Refer to the forthcoming Designers Unleashed Call for Entries for full details. Registration is due by noon on November 3, 2022. Submissions are due by noon on January 12, 2023. The entries are judged by the Design Awards jury. The winner will be notified in March and invited to attend the Design Awards Ceremony to be recognized. 

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