Young Architects Studio Competition

The Challenge

Vision PGH 2050
Design for a resilient future.

What should Pittsburgh look like in the year 2050?

Pittsburgh isn’t just growing again; it’s thriving. It’s a center of technology, innovation, culture, medicine and education, and has been recognized for its environmental stewardship and sustainable design practices. However, it is not a city without its challenges.

In 2014, Pittsburgh was selected as a member of the 100 Resilient Cities. Instituted by Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) whose purpose is to help cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. Through this process air quality issues, inequality, public health challenges, flash floods, infrastructure failure, and extreme weather were identified as the chronic stresses and acute shocks that challenge and threaten our city. Pittsburgh has come a long way since the days of the booming steel industry that created environmental pollution, but it still has work to do in an effort to go beyond sustainable to become a truly resilient city where all residents can thrive. What creative design solutions would it take to get us there?

Entrants are limited to the City of Pittsburgh and may take a macroscopic or microscopic approach to this challenge. Possible approaches may include but are not limited to design solutions for housing, public transit, complete streets, vibrant open spaces, commercial centers, industrial developments adaptive reuses, waste and stormwater management, and energy conservation methods. The approaches are endless and we encourage entrants to be as creative and innovative as possible!

The Successful Design Shall:

  • Address a design solution to one or more of the identified acute shocks and chronic stresses:
    • Air quality issues
    • Inequality
    • Public health challenges
    • Flash floods
    • Infrastructure failure
    • Extreme weather
  • Be both memorable and impactful
  • Promote principles of sustainability, resiliency, and diversity that create healthy environments for all residents and visitors
  • Develop an appropriate character / place / experience suited to Pittsburgh
  • Respect historic assets



Enter the competition as an individual or create a design team! Individual entries must come from either an architecture graduate or undergraduate. AIA membership/AIAS is not required; however, individual entrants and team members must be located within AIA Pittsburgh’s 11-county area.

  • Architecture Graduates
    Individual architecture graduates, who have been out of school for no more than ten years, are eligible to enter this competition. Entrants may or may not be licensed to practice architecture.
  • Architecture Undergraduates
    Individual architecture undergraduates, who are currently enrolled in an architecture program, are eligible to enter this competition.
  • Design Teams
    The teams must be lead by an architecture graduate and/or undergraduate and can include graduates, who have been out of school for no more than ten years, or undergraduates in a design industry related field which can include, but is not limited to engineers, landscape architects, or artists.


Submit A Proposal



  • Friday, August 19th: Submission Request Forms must be received by AIA Pittsburgh via email or fax. Please submit by email to or via fax at 412.471.9501.
  • Friday, August 26th: Project submission must be received by AIA Pittsburgh via DropBox to be eligible for judging.


View a variety of past proposals from AIA Pittsburgh’s Young Architects Studio Competition (YASC) that focus on design solutions for urban voids and underutilized places and spaces along the riverfronts.