AIA Philadelphia 2021 Design Awards

The 2021 AIA Philadelphia Design Awards program celebrates the best contemporary architecture regardless of budget, size, style, or type. These stunning projects demonstrate the range of outstanding work our members create and highlight the many ways buildings and spaces can improve our lives.

In 2019, the AIA adopted the Framework for Design Excellence as the set of guidelines and requirements to assess project performance, recognizing that Design is not just about aesthetic components, but how buildings perform for people. Along with many of our peer Chapters, AIA Philadelphia has taken the lead on incorporating the Framework into our Design Awards program over the past two years. The Framework for Design Excellence is made up of 10 measures, formerly known as the COTE Top Ten. This Framework organizes our thinking, facilitates conversations with our clients and the communities we serve, and sets meaningful goals and targets for climate action, which requires a holistic approach addressing the interdependence among people, buildings, infrastructure, and the environment. The Framework for Design Excellence provides the elements that support this vision during project evaluation. While projects submitted do not need to address all the measures included in the framework, they do need to highlight how they perform in this context and highlight relevant narratives and metrics when applicable.

The jurors will review the information provided in the Sustainability Form in addition to the traditional Project Submission, for all projects. The jury evaluates entries based on how successfully projects have met their individual requirements and relative to the AIA Framework for Design Excellence. All projects must demonstrate design achievement, including a sense of place and purpose, of ecology and environmental sustainability, and of history. Submitted projects do not have to adhere to all measures but need to address several of them. Submitters are strongly encouraged to consider their submission materials in this context.

To adhere to AIA National's submission guidelines, built projects submitted for the design competition must have been completed within the last five years.

It is within the jury's discretion to select any built project from any built category for consideration for the Gold Medal. Likewise, it is also in the jury's discretion to select any unbuilt project for the Silver Medal.

The jury process must remain blind, so do not include any identifying information on any slides, including on your title slide. Identifying information includes:

  • Firm Name or Address
  • Principal or Employee Names
  • Company Logo
  • Corporate Tagline

This year's Design Awards celebration will be held on Thursday, December 2, 2021. For more information about the Design Awards, please visit the AIA Philadelphia Design Awards program page.


Submission Fees

  • Built Project Categories $195
  • Unbuilt Project Categories $195
  • Divine Detail Submissions $50


Submission Process

Step 1: Create Profile
Create a new username and password. If you are submitting more than one entry, you will be prompted for a payment at the end of each submission. Your contact information will pre-populate in each new entry you begin. Click Save Address and Continue to begin your first entry.


Step 2: Submit Your Entry

  • Check the boxes indicating you agree to and meet the eligibility requirements.
  • Describe your firm's role in the project.
  • Enter the names of your collaborating firms and their roles, if applicable.
  • Enter your Firm Name, Contact Name, Job Title, Email Address, and Phone Number.
  • Select your project subcategory.
  • Check the box indicating that your project has been completed after January 1, 2016.
  • Enter your Project Title.
  • Enter your Project Description. If selected for an award, this description will be read aloud at the Design Awards Celebration.
  • Select YES or NO from the dropdown menu indicating whether or not you would like your project to be included in the exhibition. Please note: This year we are returning to the 40x40 board template. Firms are responsible for logistics, printing, and shipping of boards. Please visit the Design Awards program page on the AIA Philadelphia website for more information.


Step 3: Uploads

  • Project Submission - PDF File Only (File Size Limit 10MB). This is the file that will be reviewed by the jury. Please submit one PDF File Only. The submission file is limited to 16 pages total. Your project submission should be: 1 cover page + 12 page project submission + 3 page sustainability form, for a total of 16 pages in ONE PDF. All project categories will be automatically considered for the Sustainability Recognition Award.
  • Project Team Information Page - PDF Files Only
  • Design Awards Presentation Slide - JPG Files Only. The Design Awards presentation slide will be used during the awards ceremony, the night of Thursday, December 2, 2021. We are collecting slides from everyone, regardless of whether your project is selected for an award. Please save the PPT file as a JPG.
  • Photo upload - JPG Files Only. Please upload 10 hi-res images of your project.
  • Name of Photographer

Upload templates can be found here.


Step 4: Design Awards Entry Authorization

By entering your name, you agree to comply with the Design Awards submission criteria.


Additional information and FAQs can be found here.

Late entries cannot be accepted. Thank you for your cooperation!

AIA Philadelphia 2021 Design Awards


The 2021 AIA Philadelphia Design Awards program celebrates the best contemporary architecture regardless of budget, size, style, or type. These stunning projects demonstrate the range of outstanding work our members create and highlight the many ways buildings and spaces can improve our lives.


In 2019, the AIA adopted the Framework for Design Excellence as the set of guidelines and requirements to assess project performance, recognizing that Design is not just about aesthetic components, but how buildings perform for people. Along with many of our peer Chapters, AIA Philadelphia has taken the lead on incorporating the Framework into our Design Awards program over the past two years. The Framework for Design Excellence is made up of 10 measures, formerly known as the COTE Top Ten. This Framework organizes our thinking, facilitates conversations with our clients and the communities we serve, and sets meaningful goals and targets for climate action, which requires a holistic approach addressing the interdependence among people, buildings, infrastructure, and the environment. The Framework for Design Excellence provides the elements that support this vision during project evaluation. While projects submitted do not need to address all the measures included in the framework, they do need to highlight how they perform in this context and highlight relevant narratives and metrics when applicable.


The jurors will review the information provided in the Sustainability Form in addition to the traditional Project Submission, for all projects. The jury evaluates entries based on how successfully projects have met their individual requirements and relative to the AIA Framework for Design Excellence. All projects must demonstrate design achievement, including a sense of place and purpose, of ecology and environmental sustainability, and of history. Submitted projects do not have to adhere to all measures but need to address several of them. Submitters are strongly encouraged to consider their submission materials in this context.
To adhere to AIA National's submission guidelines, built projects submitted for the design competition must have been completed within the last five years.


It is within the jury's discretion to select any built project from any built category for consideration for the Gold Medal. Likewise, it is also in the jury's discretion to select any unbuilt project for the Silver Medal.
The jury process must remain blind, so do not include any identifying information on any slides, including on your title slide. Identifying information includes:

  • Firm Name or Address
  • Principal or Employee Names
  • Company Logo
  • Corporate Tagline

This year's Design Awards celebration will be held on Thursday, December 2, 2021. For more information about the Design Awards, please visit the AIA Philadelphia Design Awards program page.


Submission Fees

  • Built Project Categories $195
  • Unbuilt Project Categories $195
  • Divine Detail Submissions $50



Submission Process
Step 1: Create Profile
Create a new username and password. If you are submitting more than one entry, you will be prompted for a payment at the end of each submission. Your contact information will pre-populate in each new entry you begin. Click Save Address and Continue to begin your first entry.


Step 2: Submit Your Entry

  • Check the boxes indicating you agree to and meet the eligibility requirements.
  • Describe your firm's role in the project.
  • Enter the names of your collaborating firms and their roles, if applicable.
  • Enter your Firm Name, Contact Name, Job Title, Email Address, and Phone Number.
  • Select your project subcategory.
  • Check the box indicating that your project has been completed after January 1, 2016.
  • Enter your Project Title.
  • Enter your Project Description. If selected for an award, this description will be read aloud at the Design Awards Celebration.
  • Select YES or NO from the dropdown menu indicating whether or not you would like your project to be included in the exhibition. Please note: This year we are returning to the 40x40 board template. Firms are responsible for logistics, printing, and shipping of boards. Please visit the Design Awards program page on the AIA Philadelphia website for more information.



Step 3: Uploads

  • Project Submission - PDF File Only (File Size Limit 10MB). This is the file that will be reviewed by the jury. Please submit one PDF File Only. The submission file is limited to 16 pages total. Your project submission should be: 1 cover page + 12 page project submission + 3 page sustainability form, for a total of 16 pages in ONE PDF. All project categories will be automatically considered for the Sustainability Recognition Award.
  • Project Team Information Page - PDF Files Only
  • Design Awards Presentation Slide - JPG Files Only. The Design Awards presentation slide will be used during the awards ceremony, the night of Thursday, December 2, 2021. We are collecting slides from everyone, regardless of whether your project is selected for an award. Please save the PPT file as a JPG.
  • Photo upload - JPG Files Only. Please upload 10 hi-res images of your project.
  • Name of Photographer

Upload templates can be found here.


Step 4: Design Awards Entry Authorization
By entering your name, you agree to comply with the Design Awards submission criteria.


Additional information and FAQs can be found here.
Late entries cannot be accepted. Thank you for your cooperation!

AIA Philadelphia 2021 Design Awards

The 2021 AIA Philadelphia Design Awards program celebrates the best contemporary architecture regardless of budget, size, style, or type. These stunning projects demonstrate the range of outstanding work our members create and highlight the many ways buildings and spaces can improve our lives.

In 2019, the AIA adopted the Framework for Design Excellence as the set of guidelines and requirements to assess project performance, recognizing that Design is not just about aesthetic components, but how buildings perform for people. Along with many of our peer Chapters, AIA Philadelphia has taken the lead on incorporating the Framework into our Design Awards program over the past two years. The Framework for Design Excellence is made up of 10 measures, formerly known as the COTE Top Ten. This Framework organizes our thinking, facilitates conversations with our clients and the communities we serve, and sets meaningful goals and targets for climate action, which requires a holistic approach addressing the interdependence among people, buildings, infrastructure, and the environment. The Framework for Design Excellence provides the elements that support this vision during project evaluation. While projects submitted do not need to address all the measures included in the framework, they do need to highlight how they perform in this context and highlight relevant narratives and metrics when applicable.

The jurors will review the information provided in the Sustainability Form in addition to the traditional Project Submission, for all projects. The jury evaluates entries based on how successfully projects have met their individual requirements and relative to the AIA Framework for Design Excellence. All projects must demonstrate design achievement, including a sense of place and purpose, of ecology and environmental sustainability, and of history. Submitted projects do not have to adhere to all measures but need to address several of them. Submitters are strongly encouraged to consider their submission materials in this context.
To adhere to AIA National's submission guidelines, built projects submitted for the design competition must have been completed within the last five years.

It is within the jury's discretion to select any built project from any built category for consideration for the Gold Medal. Likewise, it is also in the jury's discretion to select any unbuilt project for the Silver Medal.
The jury process must remain blind, so do not include any identifying information on any slides, including on your title slide. Identifying information includes:

  • Firm Name or Address
  • Principal or Employee Names
  • Company Logo
  • Corporate Tagline

This year's Design Awards celebration will be held on Thursday, December 2, 2021. For more information about the Design Awards, please visit the AIA Philadelphia Design Awards program page.


Submission Fees

  • Built Project Categories $195
  • Unbuilt Project Categories $195
  • Divine Detail Submissions $50



Submission Process


Step 1: Create Profile
Create a new username and password. If you are submitting more than one entry, you will be prompted for a payment at the end of each submission. Your contact information will pre-populate in each new entry you begin. Click Save Address and Continue to begin your first entry.


Step 2: Submit Your Entry

  • Check the boxes indicating you agree to and meet the eligibility requirements.
  • Describe your firm's role in the project.
  • Enter the names of your collaborating firms and their roles, if applicable.
  • Enter your Firm Name, Contact Name, Job Title, Email Address, and Phone Number.
  • Check the box indicating that your project has been completed after January 1, 2016.
  • Enter your Project Title.
  • Enter your Project Description. If selected for an award, this description will be read aloud at the Design Awards Celebration.
  • Select YES or NO from the dropdown menu indicating whether or not you would like your project to be included in the exhibition. Please note: This year we are returning to the 40x40 board template. Firms are responsible for logistics, printing, and shipping of boards. Please visit the Design Awards program page on the AIA Philadelphia website for more information.



Step 3: Uploads

  • Project Submission - PDF File Only (File Size Limit 10MB). This is the file that will be reviewed by the jury. Please submit one PDF File Only. The submission file is limited to 16 pages total. Your project submission should be: 1 cover page + 2 page project submission + 3 page sustainability form, for a total of 6 pages in ONE PDF. All project categories will be automatically considered for the Sustainability Recognition Award.
  • Project Team Information Page - PDF Files Only
  • Design Awards Presentation Slide - JPG Files Only. The Design Awards presentation slide will be used during the awards ceremony, the night of Thursday, December 2, 2021. We are collecting slides from everyone, regardless of whether your project is selected for an award. Please save the PPT file as a JPG.
  • Photo upload - JPG Files Only. Please upload 10 hi-res images of your project.
  • Name of Photographer

Upload templates can be found here.


Step 4: Design Awards Entry Authorization
By entering your name, you agree to comply with the Design Awards submission criteria.


Additional information and FAQs can be found here.
Late entries cannot be accepted. Thank you for your cooperation!

AIA Philadelphia 2021 Exhibition

The Annual AIA Philadelphia Exhibition will take place in two locations this year! October 6 - 17, 2021 at Cherry Street Pier as part of the DesignPhiladelphia Festival, and December 2, 2021 at the Center for Architecture and Design, during the AIA Philadelphia Design Awards Celebration. 

Exhibition applications and submission fees are due by Friday, August 27, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. Please see below regarding information about board specifications.


Exhibition Information:

  1. Submitting firms will: handle all logistics, printing, and courier services of all exhibit boards. Exhibit boards must be delivered to the Center for Architecture and Design (1218 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107) by 5 p.m. on Monday, September 27. Boards arriving after this date are not guaranteed a place in the exhibition.
  2. Board Specs: Boards are limited to 40" x 40" panels only, and must have 4 grommet holes.
  3. Installation & Dismantling: Installation and dismantling will be handled by AIA Philadelphia staff and volunteers. No modifications to the exhibit will be permitted during the course of the show, regardless of the reason. You must ensure that pertinent permission for exhibition and/or publication from clients is obtained prior to entry of your materials.
  4. Display: Location of panels within the exhibition system is strictly by random order. We will make every effort to place firm’s boards together. 



Submission Process

Step 1: Create Profile

Create a new username and password.

Click Save Address and Continue to begin your first entry.


Step 2: Submit Your Entry

  • Enter your Company Name, Membership Type, Contact Name, Email Address, and Phone Number.
  • Enter your Project Title.
  • Enter the name of the Architecture Firm and your photographer.
  • Complete the submission form and check out. The submission fee is $75, and you can include as many boards as you would like. Please indicate how many boards you plan on getting printed in the space provided. We need an accurate count of boards to ensure the exhibit is assembled properly.
AIA Philadelphia