On May 21, ACSA and AIA announced this year’s winning student competition entries selected from studio projects from 47 architecture schools throughout the United States and Canada. During the 2019-2020 school year, more than 600 students submitted entries to the competition which “recognizes 10 exceptional studio projects that demonstrate designs moving towards carbon-neutral operation through creative and innovative integration of design strategies ... and sustainable systems.”
Established by AIA COTE in 2013, this annual competition was created to inspire the next generation of architects, to transform studio culture, and to promote design excellence through a holistic and integrated approach to achieve high performing, equitable and beautiful buildings. The 10 winning projects represent the diversity of architectural schools across the US and Canada and a diversity of project types ranging from a high rise for Charlotte, N.C.; a cultural center in the Maldives; housing for the unhoused in Portland, Ore., and a reimagined riverfront mixed-use project in Louisville, Ken.. This year included winners from architecture schools whose teams have not previously won, such as the University of California, Berkeley, and Iowa State University. There were also winning teams from architecture schools who have won in the past such as Clemson University, Montana State University and California College of the Arts.
Although the typical celebration for the student winners at the AIA Conference and the summer internship program are not possible this year due to COVID-19, the winners will be recognized in the architectural press and are participating in a remote mentorship program with sponsoring architectural firms over the summer.
AIA COTE is currently updating the competition program to align with the AIA Framework for Design Excellence and will launch the 2020-2021 COTE Top Ten Student Competition brief in August in time for the Fall 2020 term with updated Curriculum Guide, Studio Case Studies and Teaching Modules.
We would like to thank our incredible jury this year; Elgin Cleckley, of the University of Virginia; Carly Coulson, AIA, of Coulson; Tom Kundig, FAIA, of Olson Kundig; Adrian Parr, of the University of Texas at Arlington, and Michael Horan, of Clemson University, a past winner and our student juror. Congratulations to the 2020 Competition winners and thank you to all of the student and faculty participants. It is inspiring to see the next generation of architects committed to climate action and empowered to create a carbon positive, equitable, healthy and resilient future.