How to Make the Most of Award Submissions

So you’ve spent hours preparing your design award submission, hoping to win and receive the praise of design peers and potential clients alike. You’ve hit the submit button, off it goes…now what?

Whether you win the award or not, the value of your effort doesn’t have to stop there. From a marketing perspective, the time you’ve spent on your submission has a number of other applications, allowing you to take better advantage of your investment. Here are just a few ways you can capitalize on your award submission.

Get Published

Going through the motions on an award submission forces you to identify the unique aspects of your project and explain them in a concise way. That’s what media contacts are looking for as well! Getting press for receiving an award is often less likely than getting press for delivering a unique project. Take the story you crafted and make it relevant for the media, regardless of the award outcome.

Share the Project with Your Audience

You’ve already written descriptions and gathered the best photos, now get an html email together, add the project to your website, write a blog post about it, etc. Don’t hold your breath waiting for an award before you share the work you’re most proud of!

Involve the Client

As a designer, you may feel great about winning an award, but what about the client? Whether residential, commercial or government, any building occupant would love to know that a.) you think their building is so nice it should be up for an award and b.) it actually won one. Keep them in the loop early, share your submittal with them for feedback and even influence them to share good news amongst their media contacts or colleagues. Getting client feedback during the award process may even uncover some unique benefits about how the building functions that you didn’t think about.

Submit It Again

The final, and perhaps easiest, piece of advice is to repurpose your award submission for another contest or event. Maybe there is a trade-specific contest, a neighborhood home and garden tour, or even an online design contest or forum. There is bound to be another opportunity to update your submission and adjust it to meet another set of requirements. Good luck!

3 Cool Competitions During #AIA2012

The 2012 AIA National Convention is just days away here in DC. While I can’t say enough about how fun the tours and Host Chapter Party are sure to be, there are also some really unique competitions worth highlighting. The competitions range from honoring High School students to recognizing architects from some of the largest firms in the country – quite a diverse group of designers!

30x30x30 – Student Design Competition: Architect’s Workstation of the Future

This competition “takes me back” to architecture school. It poses a fantastic challenge for students from six area universities to create an architect’s workstation of the future with some very specific design criteria.

  • 30 Sq. Ft: The installation must fit within a foot print no larger than 30 square feet, with a maximum dimension of 5’- 0” in the smaller direction – a challenge in the judicious use of space.
  • 30 Dollars: The mock-up submission must cost $30 or less to create – a challenge in the re-use and re-purposing of materials.
  • 30 Miles: All materials used in the installation must be sourced within 30 miles of your school campus – a challenge to be local.

The entries will be judged on the Convention floor.

Could Be: The AIA|DC Awards for Unbuilt Architecture

This year is the fourth year of the AIA|DC Unbuilt Competition. The winners of this year’s competition were announced last month and are now on display in the exhibition Could Be: The AIA|DC Awards for Unbuilt Architecture at the District Architecture Center’s SIGAL Gallery. The awards recognize and celebrate projects that have been prevented or delayed from realization, as well as concepts that are entirely theoretical.

The exhibition includes winners from the previous three years of the program as well, and is organized by the National Building Museum and presented in partnership with The American Institute of Architects, AIA Legacy, ARCHITECT Magazine, Hanley Wood, the Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA|DC), and the Washington Architectural Foundation. Award winning projects will be displayed at the District Architecture Center’s SIGAL Gallery until June 30th, so make your way off of the convention floor to go take a peek!

2012 Constance Whitaker Maffin Memorial Competition

The Washington Architectural Foundation and the Constance Whitaker Maffin Foundation will present the 2012 Constance Whitaker Maffin Memorial Competition Award to a student from Phelps Architecture, Construction, and Engineering (Phelps ACE) High School during the convention. Students from the DC high school, their families and faculty will attend the award ceremony, and competition entries will be on display prior to the awards ceremony.

This competition required students to design an outdoor performance space on the Southwest Washington waterfront. The overall goal of the competition is to raise awareness among students about the built environment and public space. The competition also provides students experience in planning and design, motivates them to use analytical skills and creativity in problem solving and inspires community action.

The 2012 Constance Whitaker Maffin Memorial Competition Awards will be presented at 3 PM on May 18 at the AIA|DC Salon, Booth 2627.