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.