2018 Honor Awards

Welcome to the 2018 Honor Awards!

As our region expands and our cities densify, we face challenges that innovative and human-centered design can address. Whether responding to the homelessness crisis, helping to protect an ecological asset, or cultivating cultural diversity in a neighborhood, our community continues to prove that design has the power to affect positive change. This year, we celebrate and recognize the diversity of perspectives, scales, and typologies that fuel transformation in our region.

We invite you to submit to AIA Seattle’s Honor Awards for Washington Architecture, and we call your attention to:

  • A new Research & Innovation submission category, which recognizes work focused on the intersection of design, research, and technology. Do you have a project component, process, original research, or a design innovation that advances architectural practice or the design process? Submit to this category, and elevate awareness of the impressive strides in research and innovation coming out of our community.
  • The Energy in Design Award is in its third year! As we strive to strengthen our collective commitment to building performance within the context of a changing climate, resource scarcity, and design excellence, AIA Seattle is pleased to once again commend BUILT category projects that make quantifiably significant strides in energy reduction while also maintaining the highest qualitative design caliber. Be sure to download this year’s updated energy performance calculator.
  • The story behind your design matters to the jury. Every year, jurors praise submissions that tell the story behind the marketing images. What concept drives your design? What were the challenges along the way? What are the relationships and ideas that inform your design solution? Who does the project serve? Through your project narrative, captions, and inclusion of process work, we encourage you to tell the jury the whole design story.

Recognizing the changing conditions of our profession and encouraged by the legacy of design leadership in our region, we invite you to submit before the deadline on September 26th. It’s a new year and a new jury! If you have never submitted before or have not yet been recognized, we encourage you to join the conversation.

Your voice is essential. Tell your design story.
-Tim Richey AIA & Susan McNabb AIA | Co-chairs, Honor Awards Committee

How to Submit

We’re using a new, simplified submission site this year!

  • After signing up for Submittable, you can start, save, and return to draft submissions at any point until the deadline (5:00pm PDT on September 26).
  • Submit to one of three categories: BUILT, CONCEPTUAL, or RESEARCH & INNOVATION. For more details about submission categories and submitter eligibility, see pg. 3-4 of the Submittal Brief.

What to Submit (The Overview)

  • Before you prepare your submission(s), be sure to review the Submittal Brief for guidance on file formatting requirements.
  • BUILT submissions only: Download and complete the 2018 Energy Calculator.

Energy in Design Calculator Questions? 

  • Attend an informational session + tutorial on August 30, 4:00-5:00pm at the Center for Architecture & Design. RSVP here.
  • Download the Energy in Design Calculator Instructions.
  • E-mail or call during office hours. Technical assistance ‘Office Hours’ from the Integrated Design Lab will be available between 8:00am Tuesday, September 18 – 5:00pm Friday, September 21. During this technical assistance window, you may e-mail Michael Gilbride or call (206) 616-6566.

Tell the Jury a Story

Every year, jurors praise submissions that reveal the story behind the marketing images. What concept drives your design? What were the challenges along the way? What are the relationships and ideas that inform your design solution? Who does the project serve? Through your project story, captions, and inclusion of process work, we encourage you submit the whole design story.

Refer to past winners for examples of submissions. Awards are the final determination of the jury.

In addition to the jury’s own criteria, the AIA Seattle community has identified four considerations for the submission review process. As you prepare your submission, consider addressing the theme or themes that help tell your design’s story:

  • Inspiration | How does the project manifest its stated intent–in form and function–revealing innovation in both thought and practice?
  • Problem-solving | How does the project creatively address challenges inherent in its site, budget, program, materials, collaboration, and context? What are the organizing principles informing design?
  • Environmental Sensitivity | How does the project exhibit serious intent to minimize negative environmental impact and enhance its relationship to the environment?
  • Social Impact | How does the project enhance the community in which it is situated? How does it help promote a vibrant and equitable community?

Juror Names Coming Soon!

Why Submit?

  • Publicize your work—your project will be part of a program experienced by hundreds of architecturally-minded attendees from the design industry and beyond.
  • Get your work out there—all submitted projects are featured on the AIA Seattle Online Gallery, a perfect place for AIA Seattle to direct design-hungry writers. National editors and writers interested in architecture and the built environment use the Honor Awards website as a resource.
  • Put your creativity to work twice—if you’ve got a great project that never made it out of the design phase, don’t let it go to waste, submit it in the Conceptual category.
  • Refine your pitch— submitting your project is a great way to hone how you communicate about your work. Those who have submitted in the past say that the process helped them speak about their work to clients and to fellow team members in a more coherent and persuasive way.
  • Get in front of distinguished colleagues—have your work reviewed by prominent architects like David Adjaye, David Lewis, and Catie Newell.
  • Build respect from peers and clients—recognition from a panel of carefully chosen jurors adds to your firm’s credibility. The Awards themselves exhibit the breadth and depth of architectural talent here in Washington. This is a great way to showcase to the greater community our strength as a design community.
  • Build buzz about your firm—use your firm’s recognition to leverage coverage of you and your projects in magazines and journals that are seen by peers and potential clients throughout the Northwest.


Questions about the Honor Awards? Contact AIA Seattle Professional Programs Manager, Cassie Blair.

Sponsorship Questions? Contact AIA Seattle Managing Director, Kimber Lebliq

Special thanks to our 2018 Honor Awards Sponsors