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Upcoming Architecture and Design Competitions

Upcoming Architecture and Design Competitions

By: Dagmawit Kemal

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As an architect or designer, you can keep your creative juices flowing by entering competitions or even by submitting your previous projects for any awards. Recognition for hard work feels great and can give you the confidence boost to continue your current project. Therefore, we’ve compiled (i) conceptual architecture and design competitions, (ii) magazines to submit previous projects for free exposure, and (iii) top global award competitions for pre-existing projects.

Top Global Awards:

The Design Awards:  

The International Design & Architecture Awards is a global competition hosted by Design Et Al Magazine– a leading UK interior magazine site. In 2019, we were nominated for our 10th Ave Park project.

Architects or designers can submit their projects for awards in categories including bathroom, restoration, beach house, lighting scheme, kitchen design.. etc. They also host a variety of other competitions such as “The International Hotel & Property Awards,” and the “International Yacht & Aviation’s Awards.”  The 2020 submissions are open and the final weeks for submissions are coming up. You can view the previous winners here.

Magazine submissions:


Deezen is one of the world’s most influential architectural/ design digital magazine. They have been hosting their annual Deezen awards for the three years now. Although the 2020 entries have officially closed, you can still submit your project to be published on their website with over 2.5 million visitors. Deezen takes all of their submissions via email and have separate emails for architecture projects, interior projects, and design and technology projects. This is a free way to gain exposure for all of your hard work. Keep an eye out for the 2021 Deezen Awards!

Conceptual Architecture & Design:

Evolvo SkyScraper Competition:

The Evolvo SkyScraper Competition was established in 2006 and is one of the world’s most prestigious awards for high-rise architecture. This competition seeks to examine the relationship between “the natural world, the skyscraper and community, as well as the skyscraper and the city.” The participants have to define what a skyscraper can look like in the 21st century. What makes the skyscraper sustainable? What sorts of factors measure the environment and economic responsibility of the skyscraper? Architects, designers, students, and engineers are invited to participate in this competition and are encouraged to work in teams. It is important to note that this is a digital competition and there will be no need for hard copies. If you’re interested in challenging yourself and critically thinking about the role of skyscrapers in our society- then this is a great competition to enter!

Epidemic Babel: Healthcare Emergency Skyscraper
First place winner of 2020 Skyscraper Competition

Emotions, Architecture, and Opioids

If you think of Architecture as a way to create social change, then- “Emotions, Architecture, and Opioids” could be a good competition for you. According to their website, the competition “explores the emotional impact of architecture: how the built environment can make people feel and behave in certain ways – similar to art or music.” The competitors must consider the Opioid crisis in America and how they can create architecture to help eliminate the stigma of drug-related issues as a less of a criminal more of a public health issue. The ultimate goal of this competition is to design a methadone medication unit located in Venice, Los Angeles. This is an idea-based presentation and deadline to submit is September 6. Check out more information on their website.

AIA Film Challenge:

The AIA Film Challenge merges filmmaking, design and architecture. It is a film contest that asks participants to amplify stories that show the power of design to change communities. The challenge is open to anyone who wants to uplift projects that they see within communities that create a healthy world ultimately improving peoples’ lives. This year’s theme is to tell a story about architects partnering with communities and civic leaders to create sustainable design. You can see previous films that participants have submitted here. Entries are due by August 24th and there is no fee to enter.  Check out this video below to learn more!

The Home Competition:

What does “home” mean to you? That’s ultimately what the Home Competition (ranked the #1 Design Competition of 2018 & 2019) aims to answer. Furthermore, the competition asks participants to define “home,” and in turn “explore ideas of domestic architecture for the future.” Designers can consider “global population shifts, new materials and building techniques, the rise of co-housing, tiny homes, and marketplaces like Airbnb.” The website guidelines state that all submissions should define how the inhabitants living in proposed area interact with the space. This can be through graphic representation, text summary, or both.  Submissions are due by October 26th and winners are announced in December 2020. Click here to see previous winners and projects.

“Fabricated Landscapes”
Honorable Mention of 2019 Home Competition


We hope these competitions have caught your attention and that you feel encouraged to apply. The internet is a free source to expose your work to the global community. Therefore, submitting your projects on websites like Deezen that have millions of viewers can be significant for small architectural firms. If you’ve got some free time and want to learn a new skill like filmmaking or even challenge yourself to a conceptual competition, it is worthwhile to dig deeper into some of these upcoming architecture and design competitions. Good luck!

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