Design Arena: Global Architecture Competitions You Can Join this 2024

Here is a list of five architecture competitions where you can showcase your work, gain global recognition and your peers' respect, and receive highly coveted prizes

Words Gabrielle de la Cruz and Featured architecture competitions

In this day and age, competitions are no longer seen as mere platforms where people go against each other to win a prize. They have evolved into programs that offer participants the chance to take away insights to better themselves in their fields, meet respected names in their industries, and share their work and advocacies with a wider audience. In the architecture industry, competitions have become spaces for architects and designers to showcase their work confidently, listen to talks and keynotes from industry luminaries, and network with people who can potentially become collaborators or clients in the future.

We’ve compiled a list of five architecture competitions that you can join this 2024—all of which offer you the chance to present your project to a global audience and gain permanent exposure through an extensive list of media partners and online channels. Awards come in the form of trophies, sculptures, and certificates, with one prize giving you the chance to win an original drawing by a renowned architect!

Live project presentation at the World Architecture Festival

World Architecture Festival

Established in 2008, the World Architecture Festival (WAF) is the “only awards program where all finalists present their projects live to a panel of judges live at the festival.” The judging panel comprises over 140 leading architects, designers, journalists, and industry experts. Aside from the chance to showcase their work, shortlisted design firms and individuals are also provided with insights to strengthen their future work through talks and keynotes by architecture and design luminaries. The annual three-day event also guarantees networking and socializing, allowing delegates to meet their design heroes and peers. Local and global industry brands participate in the festival as well, with interactive product displays, demonstrations, and lounges for talks and discussions providing further design knowledge and exposure to participants.

All winners of the WAF receive trophies during the Gala Night and are provided by the festival with complimentary press kit distributions where their works will be shared to over 7,000 print and digital publications in more than 100 countries. WAF 2024 is set to happen at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, following the success of the previous edition in the same venue.

 Eligibility and Submission Requirements

WAF welcomes all architects, interior designers, developers, and contractors from all over the world! Other associated organizations, including clients, may also enter on behalf of the architect if provided with consent. There are 44 built and unbuilt project categories to choose from.

Entries must contain a 200 to 500-word project write-up, a hero image, a maximum of six (6) additional project photos, and a total of three (3) project plans/sections. The highlight of each submission is the A2 entry boards, which should only contain relevant text, images, and plans about your project. Be creative with your boards as these will solely be used by the jury to judge your entry, and make sure you do not include any practice information on the designs.

Cost of joining WAF

Festival fees vary in price, depending on the date you enter. Here’s a tip: this year’s edition allows participants to upload partial information and incomplete boards upon submission. You can edit your entry even after payment. Just make sure to finalize everything by April 19, 2024!

Fees are as follows:

Early Bird rates (before March 28)

WAF Early Bird entry: £795

Inside Early Bird entry: £645

Standard rates (after March 28)

WAF Standard: £875

Inside Standard: £725

For delegates (once you get shortlisted):

Early Bird rate (before June 14): £999

Standard rate (June 15 to September 6): £1199

Late rate (September 7 to November 8): £1299

Important dates

  • March 28 – Deadline for early bird submissions
  • April 19 – Entries close
  • July – Shortlist announcement
  • July 5 – Last day for finalists to purchase discounted festival passes
  • November 6 to 8 – WAF 2024 in Singapore
  • November 8 – Gala night and overall winners’ announcement

Visit the official website of the World Architecture Festival here.

Kanto Architecture Competitions You Can Join this 2024
2024 Philippine Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale, Tripa de Gallina: Guts of Estuary. Photo by Marco Zorzanello, courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia

The Venice Architecture Biennale

The Venice Architecture Biennale is not strictly a competition, but an international architecture exhibition festival held in Venice, Italy every other year. Each participating nation is called to address issues such as poverty, inequality, fragility, climate change, and disaster risks through their respective pavilions. The biennale says that the architecture exhibition is “both a moment and a process,” as the structure and format are borrowed from art exhibitions, but goes beyond by telling a story and highlighting questions of production, and resources and representation that “are rarely acknowledged or discussed.”

The 2025 edition is the biennale’s 19th year and is the Philippines’ fifth time to participate. Filipino submissions are made through the Philippine Arts in Venice Biennale (PAVB), an institutional project of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). The organization calls for curatorial proposals and is in charge of selecting the official representative for every edition. PAVB says that proposals for this edition are anticipated to be premised “on current local and global concerns such as surging urbanization, environmental sustainability, and social equity.”

Eligibility and Submission Requirements

Filipino citizens who are “architects, curators, practicing artists from different disciplines, urban planners, ecological activists, geographers, historians and critics of space, heritage workers, and the like” are welcome to submit their proposals to the PAVB.

Qualifications of the proponent/curator are as follows:

  • Natural-born, naturalized Filipino citizens, or Filipinos with dual citizenship upon submission of application (Kindly attach proof of identification and citizenship)
  • Has participated as curator in at least one international contemporary exhibition or an exhibition involving artists from overseas

Qualifications of the exhibitor/s are as follows:

  • Natural-born, naturalized Filipino citizens, or Filipinos with dual citizenship upon submission of application (Kindly attach proof of identification and citizenship)
  • Has/have participated as exhibitor/s in at least one national contemporary exhibition or related projects/platforms

Cost of joining the Venice Architecture Biennale

“As a government project, all expenses in the realization of the exhibition are subject to government auditing rules and regulations,” PAVB says. However, keep in mind that the open call does not fall under the grant program of the NCCA, and that the production of the exhibition will be directly facilitated and paid for by the NCCA through the PAVB Coordinating Committee and/or partner organization. “In this light, the proposed budget will not be released to the proponent but will be paid directly to all payees and suppliers.”

The committee emphasizes that “only the curator and an exhibitor will travel to Venice for an ocular visit to be funded by the project.” If necessary, an exhibition mock-up will also be mounted in Manila on a case-to-case basis.

Important dates

  • April 30 – Deadline for Entries
  • May 31– PAVB’s announcement of the selected proposal
  • May 24, 2025 – Venice Architecture Biennale 2025

Visit the official website of the PAVB here.

Kanto Architecture Competitions You Can Join this 2024

Iconic Awards

The Iconic Awards is an initiative by the German Design Council, honoring the best in architecture and design solutions internationally. The German Design Council has been operating as one of the world’s leading centers in communication and knowledge transfer within design, branding, and innovation since 1953, underlining the critical role of design in global industry and business.

Holistic projects in the fields of architecture, interior architecture, product design and brand communication are recognized by Iconic Awards. The jury consists of representatives from the said fields, with the diverse focus areas promoting discourse within the panel and opening up new perspectives and a holistic view of the submitted projects. Multiple prizes are given by Iconic Awards, with up to 15 entries given a prize sculpture for the Best of the Best award per category. Special prizes such as the Architects of the Year and Interior Designers of the Year are also given by the jury, along with an honorary award for one Client of the Year. All winners are provided with a sculpture and personalized documents, along with a professional photograph taken during the ceremony in Munich, Germany. Winning the Iconic Award also means an automatic nomination in the German Design Awards and far-reaching communications work through the German Design Council’s media distribution lists and social media channels.

Eligibility and Submission Requirements

According to Iconic Awards, eligible participants include “architects, interior designers, engineers, specialist planners, agencies and design studios, construction and real estate companies, as well as manufacturers of materials, building technology, fittings, plumbing and bathroom products, etc.”

The five main categories of the awards are Architecture, Interior, Product, Communication, and Concept. Registrations must be made through this link and submissions must be in the form of digital presentation charts. Each submission can be in portrait or landscape orientation and congested into an A2-sized PDF file with up to four pages and a maximum file size of 50 MB. Project images should be included, and if necessary, short English texts. The resolution should be at least 70 dpi. Make sure your file name comes with the project ID at the beginning.

Cost of joining the Iconic Awards

Service fee during the selection: £1500

Service fee for winners: £1900

Service fee for Best of Best winners: £2500

Note from the awards: The winners will be invoiced for these mandatory fees. All prices apply per award and do not include the applicable statutory VAT. These fees will be waived for winners of the special categories and the Honorary Award. Participants in the competition whose applications for grant were approved will likewise have their winners’ fees waived.

Important dates

  • March 22 – Early bird deadline
  • May 17 – Online registration deadline
  • June 5 – Jury session
  • September 24 – Announcement of Winners
  • October 7 – Awards ceremony

Visit the Iconic Awards official website here.

BLT Built and Design Awards

The BLT Built and Design Awards is an annual program that “encompasses all forms of buildings, projects, and infrastructure that cope with the challenges of today’s urbanization; projects which inspire the next generation of professionals.” All entries are voted on by a grand jury panel composed of experienced and prominent academics, professionals, press members, entrepreneurs, and leaders within the building industry.

The awards, now in its fourth edition, specifically look at innovative and sustainable projects. Winners are awarded with a BLT trophy that “will foster recognition from industry leaders and potential clients.” The awards team will also fully support the winners for publishing their projects with marketing campaigns, press releases, and interviews. BLT adds that “there are major synergies between Architecture, Landscape, Interior Design, and Construction Products,” and joining the awards ensures that a “design, project, product, process, or software will be presented widely, across the industry.”

Take note that BLT Built and Design Awards only hosts a live awarding ceremony every two years, and all winners are invited at no additional costs. The winner’s announcement is done via an integrated e-shop available under the winner’s member page.

Eligibility and Submission Requirements

BLT Built and Design Awards is open to architecture companies and even students from all over the world. Membership profiles are free. Student submissions will be evaluated among student submissions only and will receive reduced fees.

Architects can enter their projects in the architecture category, and landscape architects can enter in the landscape category. Submissions are made through the awards’ official website and each entry should come with a complete profile of the designer, a brief description of the design, and one cover photo. Up to nine (9) JPEG or PNG supporting images are accepted per entry and each image must not exceed 4MB and should be a minimum of 1000 pixels wide. Only letters and numbers can be used for the title of the images. You also have the option to add links to your design such as supporting videos, online materials, and website articles. Take note that you can no longer edit your entry after submission and payment.

Kanto Architecture Competitions You Can Join this 2024
The 2023 BLT Built and Design Awards Architectural Design of the Year, Haus Balma by Kengo Kuma & Associates

Cost of joining the BLT Built and Design Awards

  • Professional: CHF 260 incl. Swiss VAT (approximately $280)
  • Student: CHF 80 incl. Swiss VAT (approximately $87)

Take note that for both professional and student entries, submitting the same entry in additional categories comes at a 50% discount.

Important dates

  • March 31 – End of Early Bird 10% discount
  • May 31- End of extended Early Bird 5% discount
  • July 28 – Regular deadline
  • September 8 to 29 – Final deadline with a 10% late fee
  • September 29 – Program close

Visit the BLT Built and Design Awards official website here.

Kanto Architecture Competitions You Can Join this 2024

Prix Claude Parent Prize

“Inspired by Claude Parent’s constant will to question architecture in its foundations, to research and experiment with an alternative architectural scenario, this international prize aims to reward active architects whose work opens new fields for this discipline,” opens the Claude Parent Prize website. The prize was announced last December 15, 2023, and is in honor of Claude Parent, who is regarded as “one of the most important architects and theorists of the architectural revolution that took place in the second half of the 20th century.” He is also known for his “research and experiments in dynamic, often fractured, architecture and urbanism.”

The prize says that it will also “allow architecture students to attend demanding debates, to better understand the work of Claude Parent, that of the winners, the members of the jury, and above all to become aware of the need, today, to explore and propose new transgressions.” The jury will be composed of luminaries from the architecture industry, including 2008 Pritzker Prize laureate Jean Nouvel. This 2024, the prize for winning the award is an original drawing by Claude Parent with an estimated value of 7,000 euros.

The 2024 Prize Jury of the Claude Parent Prize

Eligibility and Submission Requirements

The Claude Parent Prize is interested in all forms of architecture and is international. Entries may be submitted by an architect or a multidisciplinary team with at least one architect. The prize says that “whether the teams are multi-disciplinary or not, the architect alone is responsible for the entry and must first ensure that each member of his/her team fully agrees to the terms of these rules.”

Each submission must contain a minimum of three (3) projects (built or unbuilt) and will be judged according to their originality and potential impact. It is important to note that the selection committee will focus more on recent projects and not on old projects and that the prize will only be accepting 200 entries. Each entry should also contain a 300 to 500-word write-up of the candidates’ “theoretical and practical approach” that demonstrates how their proposals “contribute to an architectural renewal.” Images and video screenshots are welcome, but videos in any format will not be accepted.

Cost of joining the Prix Claude Parent Prize

A fee of 20 euros is collected during application submission.

Important dates

  • March 15 – Deadline for applications
  • April 29 to 30 – Announcement of the winner and events around the prize

Visit the Claude Parent Prize official website here. •

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