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Schedule | Eligibility | Fees | Categories | Criteria | Requirements | Jurors

2020 Design Awards Guidelines

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The AIA San Mateo County Design Awards recognizes the outstanding achievements in architecture and design. Submission is open to both AIA members and non members. Jury decisions will be based solely on the materials submitted.

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Registration Deadline: Friday, August 28th, 2020
Submission Due Date: Thursday, September 10th, 2020
Design Awards Virtual Ceremony: Thursday, November 12th, 2020[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]


  • All Licensed Architects / Firms practicing within the United States are eligible to submit projects located within San Mateo County.
  • All Licensed Architects / Firms practicing or residing in San Mateo County are eligible to submit projects regardless of the project location.
  • If a firm has multiple offices, the chapter area office is eligible to submit projects regardless of the project location. The non-chapter area offices are eligible to submit projects located in San Mateo County only.
  • Open to both AIA San Mateo County members and non-members.
  • Projects must credit every substantial contributor.

BEFORE you submit your project, download the Powerpoint template below and concealed information form:



AIA SMC Architects:                      $250 per entry
Non-Chapter Architects:                $375 per entry
Emerging Professional Award:      $150 per entry

  • Entry fees are non-refundable.




The Architecture Award celebrates outstanding achievements in architecture regardless of budget, size, or style. Project types include but are not limited to commercial, civic, institutional, educational, healthcare, laboratory, hospitality, mixed-use, multi-family residential, new construction, and/or renovation / reuse / preservation


The Residential Award celebrates homes that illustrate excellence in design and demonstrate a refined sensibility. Entries must be single family residence, including but are not limited to new or remodel / addition, custom, prefab / modular home.


The Interior Award celebrates innovative and spectacular interior spaces that fulfills the true potential of a space and enhance our living experience. Project types included but are not limited to new construction, renovations, restorations, and preservation.


The People’s Choice Award celebrates design excellence and aims to educate and inspire the public by showcasing architecture projects either located in San Mateo County or designed by firms residing in San Mateo County. All submissions for 2020 Design Awards will be automatically eligible for People’s Choice Award. The public will vote on the projects and the project with the highest number of votes will be declared the winner.


The Pro-Bono Project Award celebrates design excellence and distinguished service for projects in which licensed architect(s) received no or reduced financial compensation.


The Emerging Professional Award is intended to recognize a new professional who has expanded the role of the architect through civic participation, professional mentorship, and social service; thereby representing the profession to a larger audience. Any architect licenced for 10 years or less or AIA associate member on the path to licensure is eligible for this award.



Projects must have been completed since January 1, 2013. At the juror’s discretion, each award will honor multiple projects, featuring Citation, Merit, and Honor Award winners. Submissions will be judged on quality of design, resolution of the project or idea, energy and sustainability, innovation, equity, and social responsibility. Jury decisions will be based solely on the materials submitted. It is therefore important that submissions convey to the jury a full understanding of the project.

The AIA San Mateo Design Awards reserves the right to move entries to other categories if is clearly appropriate to do so.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]


Upon registration, the entrants shall receive an email with registration number from AIA SMC for each entry.

Jury shall review projects based on digital graphics on a screen. Chapter staff shall ensure that projects remain anonymous, receive equal time, and are presented in a similar format.

All Entry Submissions shall consist of two (2) parts:

1. Digital Graphics Presentation:

Download formatted PowerPoint from AIA SMC website. It must be completed by the applicant and accompany each entry submittal.

The digital images should thoroughly describe the project with interior and exterior photographs, floor plans, elevations, and context images. The Firm name or Architect shall not appear on any submittal graphics.

Presentation files shall be in the PDF format and should be less than 35 MB to accommodate email transfer and viewing.

2. Digital Concealed Information Form:

A digital “Concealed Information Form” will be provided on the AIASMC website. It must be completed by the applicant and accompany each entry submittal. This will not be shown to the Judges. This information is needed for our records and to properly recognize award winners. Note that the entrant must sign this form.


Questions & Comments

Do not hesitate to email AIA SMC with any questions you might have. Good luck!

Contact Jackie Tanner, Executive Director <[email protected]> or call 650.348.5133[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]


Craig W. Hartman, FAIA, is Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s Senior Consulting Design Partner. His international design work ranges from entire urban districts to singular works of landmark architecture. His projects have been widely published and examples of the work are held as part of SFMOMA’s permanent collection. Hartman’s architecture is particularly noted for environmental sustainability and its nuanced consideration of the relationships between material, structure, form and natural light. His work has been recognized over 225 awards for design, including 10 National AIA Honor Awards for Architecture, Interior and Urban Design. He is the recipient of California’s Maybeck Award and has taught, lectured and juried work at multiple architecture programs in the United States, Europe, South America and Asia. 


Rosa T. Sheng, FAIA is a Principal at SmithGroup, Studio Leader of Higher Education and Director of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion. She was the AIA San Francisco President in 2018 and Founding Chair of Equity by Design. As a licensed architect with 24 years of experience in architecture and design, Rosa has led a variety of award-winning and internationally acclaimed projects from the aesthetically minimal, highly technical development of the glass structures for Apple’s original high-profile retail stores, to the innovative and sustainable projects for Institutions of higher learning such as the LEED NC Gold-certified Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business at Mills College in Oakland, California. Rosa’s thought leadership and activism has been recognized for catalyzing a national movement for equitable practice in Architecture marked by three pivotal surveys and public speaking outreach both nationally and abroad including TEDxPhiladelphia, Cannes Lions Festival, Harvard, Stanford and KQED/NPR. In 2019, Rosa was recognized as a Metropolis Game Changer for her pivotal work with the equitable practice movement.


Takashi Yanai, FAIA is a Partner of Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects, and has been the Residential Studio Director since 2004. Takashi brings a keen sensitivity to site and context coupled with a strong appreciation for the craft of building and materiality born of his dual Californian and Japanese heritage. His houses are a profound articulation of the relationship between man and nature that underscores architecture’s power to enhance our environments. Prior to practicing architecture, Takashi was a design journalist for GA Houses in Tokyo where he had the privilege of engaging with the world’s finest residential architects. Takashi is the incoming Chair of the AIA Committee on Design, and is currently also on the SFMOMA Architecture and Design Accessions Committee. Alongside architecture, Takashi has a strong interest in photography and social media. His professional activities, travels and personal interests are well-documented and widely followed (over 50,000 followers) on his Instagram account @t_yanai.