The Lion City Calls: World Architecture Festival 2024 Now Open for Entries

The world’s largest architectural competition of its kind is open for entries this 2024, and we have a quick briefer in preparation for the live crits in Singapore

Words Gabrielle de la Cruz and WAF 2024

World Architecture Festival WAF 2024 Kanto Creative Corners
WAF 2023 World Building of the Year, Huizhen High School by Approach Design Studio – Zhejiang University of Technology Engineering Design Group Co.,Ltd.

The World Architecture Festival kicks off this 2024 with a call for entries and a few changes to take note of! WAF is once again taking place at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, this time with earlier dates. This edition is set to happen from November 6 to November 8, 2024, while last year’s dates were November 29 to December 1, 2023. The festival has also made a few adjustments to the entry process, allowing participants to edit and complete their submissions until the final deadline. 

WAF has been gathering architects and designers from all over the world since 2008. Participating practices and designers are given the opportunity to gain global recognition and expand their network, while finalists get to present their projects live in front of their architecture and design peers and heroes. Category winners are announced per day and the biggest awards are given at the end of the festival.

Read on for a quick entry guide, tips, and more for WAF 2024! 

What makes WAF worth it?

The WAF awards program is unique as it requires all finalists to present their projects live to a panel of judges during the festival. This equal platform allows both new and established professionals in the industry to showcase their work. The judging panel comprises over 140 leading architects, designers, journalists, and industry experts.

Apart from the competition, the festival also offers a series of talks and keynotes by industry luminaries, providing participants with valuable insights to inspire and strengthen their future work. Delegates are encouraged to socialize during the three-day event, allowing them to build an international network ripe for discourse and collaboration. The participation of industry brands, both local and global, further exposes the participants to the pulse of the design world, with interactive product displays, demonstrations, and lounges for talks and discussions.

Who can join WAF?

Architects, interior designers, developers, and contractors from all over the world are welcome to WAF! Other associated organizations, including clients, may also enter on behalf of the architect if provided with consent.

Which projects qualify for WAF 2024?

For the completed buildings/landscape and interior projects, WAF accepts those completed between January 1, 2023, and June 30, 2024. Future projects do not require a completion date to qualify. The festival says that “all designs must be by professionals whose qualifications are recognized by their local accreditation organization.”

WAF 2023 Future Project of the Year, The Probiotic Tower by Design and More International

What are the entry must-haves?

WAF Program Director Paul Finch shared a few tips on strengthening WAF submissions. You can read the full article here. We’ve also created a summary below:

  1. A project description is necessary! Provide at least 200 to 500 words.
  2. Images, of course. Choose one hero image and include up to six (6) more project photos.
  3. Project plans/sections are also welcome! WAF allows you to upload three (3).
  4. Your most creative A2 entry boards, which the judges will solely use in deciding the shortlist. Make sure that your two boards contain only relevant text, images, and plans about your project entry. Do not include any practice information on the designs.

Are there steps to follow in entering WAF and INSIDE?

  1. Create your account and choose among the 44 categories.
  2. Provide the details of your project: description, images, and plans.
  3. Upload your boards. WAF says that the boards should be less than 40 MB each. Preferred file types are jpeg, png, or pdf.
  4. Read and agree to the terms and conditions, then make your payment.
World Architecture Festival WAF 2024 Kanto Creative Corners
WAF 2023 Landscape of the Year, Benjakitti Forest Park by TURENSCAPE, Arsomsilp Community and Environmental Architect © Turenscape & Arsomsilp Community

What’s new about this year’s submission process?

For this edition, you can submit your project with just a few basic details and benefit from the early entry discount! WAF is allowing 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!

How much does it cost to join WAF 2024?

For entries:

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:

Early Bird rate (before June 14): £999

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

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

World Architecture Festival WAF 2024 Kanto Creative Corners
Pangasinan Barangay Centers by Buensalido + Architects. This project was Highly Commended under the Future Project, Civic and Community Category at WAF 2023 and also won under the WAFX Ethics and Values category.

How will I know if I’m shortlisted?

WAF will announce the shortlist in July 2024. The festival will reach out to you should you be selected as a finalist. Take note that all finalists have to purchase two tickets to attend and present their project live in Singapore.

What happens when you win the WAF?

All winners will be recognized and will receive their WAF trophies during the Gala Night on November 8, 2024. Special prizes for outstanding projects will also be given here.

A complimentary press kit distribution will also be done by WAF, courtesy of their partner v2com newswire. v2com, “the international newswire specializing in design and architecture.” They will share each winning press kit with over 7,000 print and digital publications in more than 100 countries.

World Architecture Festival WAF 2024 Kanto Creative Corners
The student team from the University of Northern Philippines receiving their trophy at the WAF 2023 Gala Dinner.

What are the dates to remember?

  • January 12 – Call for entries
  • 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
World Architecture Festival WAF 2024 Kanto Creative Corners
Team Philippines at WAF 2023

How has the Philippines been performing at WAF?

The first Filipino finalist at the World Architecture Festival is Manny Miñana, who was shortlisted in 2014. We’ve built a supportive and hopeful community since, with WAF’s founding sponsor GROHE and Kanto’s editors sending off and hosting private practice crits for finalists every year.  

2023’s Pinoy WAF finalists took home a total of five (5) awards last December, our biggest turnout yet since 2021. The Philippines was well-represented by 12 shortlisted projects from 12 Filipino firms (including INSIDE), along with victorious returns to WAF’s sister events Global Student Charette and the Architecture Drawing Prize. We look forward to another memorable WAF journey in Singapore this 2024 with you and more Pinoy practices in tow! •

Click here for more WAF 2024 details. For further inquiries, reach out to Bernadette Vitug of WAF at
or +44 (0)20 3953 2214.

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