Changes to Design Awards 2019

New Categories Simplify Awards

By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on June 28, 2019

2018 People’s Choice Award winner and Architecture Honor Award winner Century Inn by Margittai Architects, photography by Breanna Kristian Photography & Pittsburgh Real Estate Media

It’s rare these days for things to get simpler, but that is exactly what is happening with the new categories determined by AIA Pittsburgh’s Board of Directors for 2019 submissions.  The categories have been simplified, but changes have also been made to more closely align to AIA Pittsburgh’s organizational values.

In the past award categories were siloed by type of architecture. Going forward there will be three Architecture categories differentiated by square footage and one Unbuilt category. A number of other AIA Chapters have moved in a similar direction “The intent is to simplify to allow the submissions to describe how they are integrating multiple facets of what architects do on a daily basis,” says Joseph Chaffin, AIA, First Vice President of AIA Pittsburgh Board of Directors and Chair of Design Pittsburgh. “Broader and inclusive categories mean that a wider range of architecture can be awarded.”

In addition to awarding architects and firms, Design Awards elevate the profession for the broader design community, the real estate and construction industries, and the public.  At their best, the awards celebrate good design and demonstrate that architecture can be a conduit for innovation, cultural continuity, human well-being, community improvement, and social equity, among other messages.

For the first time, we have outlined specific criteria (5) as a lens through which the jury will review projects. In the past, it was a more opened-ended approach. For example, instead of Sustainability and Resilience being a separate category this year, “sustainability of the project” has become a judging criteria for all projects – but with a view that different projects will have very different ways of addressing and realizing sustainability.  This change aligns with the recent passing of a climate action resolution at A’19 and the Institute’s belief that every architect has a responsibility to consider sustainability in his or her work.

Additionally, a new Social Equity in Design Award has been added to recognize projects that promote social equity, which will be judged by a local jury. Submissions in all categories (built and unbuilt) will have the option to submit for the new Social Equity in Design Award for no additional fee.

Click here to see the updated Awards criteria and get your submission form (due August 2, 2019).

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