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Design Awards



More details will be coming on our 2018 Design Awards

Embracing our future, architecture in Silicon Valley is constantly seeking ways to reach new heights in our practice, values and culture.  We are well poised in the region to rise from the ashes of recovery, connect with our peers, find our identity and own our destiny.


The Design Awards is a biennial event for Santa Clara Valley architects who submit built and unbuilt projects for consideration. Categories for consideration include Architecture, Residential, Interior Architecture, Urban Design/Master Plan, Small Project/Big Impact, Unbuilt/Research/Competition, and Social Responsibility. Projects are judged based on a variety of features, including unique design, originality, extended use attributes, sustainability, budget, and use of environmental surroundings.


Architecture – Open to any project type, including renovations, adaptive reuse, preservation, multi-family housing, commercial and new construction.


Residential– Open to only single family residential home projects.  This category includes new builds, remodels, additions and historic preservation. 


Urban Design/Master Plan – Projects beyond the scale of an individual building which expand the role of the architect by contributing to urban planning and community development and which demonstrate a significant contribution to improving the quality of life in neighborhoods, communities or regions. Examples include, but are not limited to, civic projects; landscape projects; urban planning; environmental projects; and design advocacy on behalf of the public.


Interior Architecture – Interiors projects not limited by scale, budget, or project type. Entries may include renovations, additions, adaptive reuse, preservation or new construction.


Small Project/Big Impact – Commissions that leverage design opportunities to produce a positive impact beyond the limits imposed by small scale and/or budget. Projects may be of any type or scale including furniture and industrial design.  


Unbuilt/Research/Competition – Projects of any scale or type whose construction has not commenced at the deadline for submissions to this awards program. Projects are eligible for consideration even if their physical realization is never anticipated. This includes the work of students in accredited school architecture programs pursuing degrees in architecture or otherwise on a career path toward a professional degree in architecture.


Social ResponsibilityProjects of any scale that were performed pro bono by a member of AIA Silicon Valley to make the world a better place through service and philanthropy qualify.  



AIA Silicon Valley Special Awards



Entrant shall be a member of AIA Silicon Valley. Submit a PowerPoint of your own design choosing, not more than 20 slides. 


Birge Clark Award – This award recognizes outstanding achievement in architectural design as expressed in a body of work produced by an individual architect over a period of at least 10 years.  The award is intended to honor the individual rather than the firm. The emphasis of the awards is the quality of the body of architectural work, consistently designed, over the career of the architect.


Firm Award – This award recognizes a firm that has consistently produced distinguished architectural design for a period of at least 20 years and has contributed to the advancement of the profession in at least three of the following areas: architectural design, research, planning, technology, practice, preservation and innovation. In addition, the award honors a firm that promotes continual collaboration among individuals, produces work which transcends a specific area of expertise, has a record of community service, and develops a culture which educates and mentors the next generation of architects.


25 Year Award – This award recognizes a distinguished project of enduring architectural significance, which has retained its central form, character and integrity intact over time.  The entry shall have been completed 25 to 50 years ago, after January 1, 1967 and prior to January 1, 1992.


People’s Choice Award

This award is selected via public participation through an on-line website. The viewer is invited to choose from a select list of designs located in Santa Clara County. Write-in candidates will also be eligible for this award.

Ticket Details


$85 Individual tickets

$35 Student tickets

$750 Tables of 10
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