2014 Recipients

The AIA Small Project Practitioners (SPP) Knowledge Community presents the tenth annual Small Project Award Program to recognize the work of small project practitioners and to promote excellence in small project design. This Award Program strives to raise public awareness of the value and design excellence that architects bring to all project types, including renovations and additions, no matter the limits of size and budget.

View the award recipients »

AIA SPP Small Project Design Competition: The Pop-up Project

The AIA Small Project Practitioners invited architects and architecture students to submit design ideas to the 2014 SPP Small Project Design Competition. Award winning projects were be recognized in AIA publications and electronic media, including the SPP Journal and website.

Competition Award Recipient

G Model

Bart Shaw

Jury Comments:

Great branding opportunity — along entire back of kiosk. Simple and elegant design, including the way it is carried when broken down.Combines well with multiple tents to create larger vendor kiosk.

Honorable Mention

Folding Farm II

Jeffery S. Poss, FAIA | small studio, Illinois School of Architecture
Charles Huss
David Emmons
Jordan Buckner

Very cool looking and a truly local producer. Could be a mobile suite for a larger farmer. Sellable and familiar, but for a boutique seller. Beautiful story or hyper local vendor.

Box It Up

Robin Osler | EOA/Elmslie Osler Architect
Chris Shelley
Joana Torres

Familiar for farmers. The integrated tables are small, but a great way to anchor and organize the tent. Existing tent could be retrofitted for this design.

Best Use of Innovative Technology


Ar. Pragesh Pramod Khanna | Vastu Srajan

Very original and technology none of us had heard of before. Visually appealing. We all want to see it built and see how it actually would work.

2014 AIA SPP Small Project Design Competition Jury

The Jury was made up of four (4) members: 2 licensed architects, a farmer, and a member of the partner non-profit:

Jean Dufresne, AIA
SPACE Architects + Planners

Katherine Darnstadt, AIA
Latent Design

Alex & Allison Needham
Radical Root Farm

Tim Murakami
Growing Home Inc.

About the Competition

Farmers markets across the United States are popping up as fast as pop-up tents. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Agriculture put the number of markets at more than 6,100—a 16 percent increase over the 2009 count. Most of these markets feature delectable produce sold by friendly vendors under a hodgepodge of well-worn tents.

Chicago is a FOOD city. It has thousands of restaurants and a very active and influential “foodie” community. Mix in the growing “local” food movement, and you have created a very vibrant food culture in Chicago. Throughout the Spring, Summer and Fall, the streets are full of street festivals and farmer’s markets where local producers sell their harvest.

These markets occur all over, often in dense areas with little to no green space, where a neighborhood street is blocked off for an evening or a day, allowing local farmers to set up their wares under the cover of a bland, nondescript white vinyl pop up canopy.

This year’s design problem is to design AND build a better pop-up canopy.

Street fairs and farmer’s markets are full of the simple, generic 8’-0” x 8’-0” or 10’-0” x 10’-0” white canopies. The structures are light and portable, which also means that vendors have to get creative when they anchor them to the ground (no stakes allowed). And most vendors can’t afford a custom tent, so they are all white, with flimsy signage.