Design + Honor Awards: A Peek at the Process

Mariposa Garden House | 2020 AIA Colorado Award of Excellence, Award of Distinction + Editor’s Choice | Renée del Gaudio Architecture | Photo: David Lauer

Everyone enjoys being recognized for excellence. The good news is that AIA Colorado has continued to improve its process for its Annual Design + Honor Awards. To better understand the award procedures, the AIA Colorado Awards Committee Chair Marisol Foreman, AIA shared some insights during a recent webinar offering a peek at the process.

First, this year’s deadline to submit is June 15 at 5 p.m. MST. Plan and coordinate now! Submissions are received and can be accepted now at the AIA Colorado website. The submission page details submission guidelines and eligibility. The submission fee is $250 per entry.

Next, be familiar with the two Honor Award categories: 1) Individual Awards and 25-year Award; and 2) Firm and Young Firm Award.

Following are some tips to a successful submission:

  1. Use exceptional photography. An architect’s craft is visual; therefore, ensure your photos highlight and demonstrate your submission.
  2. Double-check your answers, the questions, and guidelines. Do not let an administrative error or comprehension limit your ability to be competitive. As always, reach out to the Awards Committee and have a mentor or coach to help with this process.
  3. Understand your audience—the jury. It’s architects communicating with architects. Have an experienced colleague review entries before submission.

What are the changes to this year’s award’s process?

This year, AIA Colorado will have diverse representation of jurors nationwide instead of a single chapter. This benefits award recipients who want to pursue regional or national awards. This expanded approach enables an easier scalability of awards submission and better outcomes at higher AIA levels.

Also, an Excel spreadsheet is now the entry document for submissions and helps award nominations at higher levels in AIA. The AIA Colorado Awards Committee recognizes the value of regional and national awards and has now streamlined the process to better position our members for additional submissions. AIA Colorado CEO Mike Waldinger said, “These thoughtful adjustments will elevate and hopefully translate into regional and national awards.”

AIA Colorado encourages you to plan, coordinate, and submit for this year’s Design + Honor Awards.

About the Author

JP Arnold

JP Arnold, LEED Green Associate, APR, is Marketing and Business Development Manager at Bridgers & Paxton. He is an AIA Colorado Allied Member and is a member of the Editorial Committee.

Arnold is a retired U.S. Army Public Affairs Officer (PAO) and Signal Officer. As a PAO, he worked with more than 150 media engagements around the world to include The New York Times, CNN, BBC, Newsweek, NBC News, along with Seattle and Colorado Springs media markets. He worked on the National Army Marketing and Advertising Recruiting Campaign alongside Weber Shandwick PR and McCann Erickson Ad Agency.

He is Accredited in Public Relations (APR) and holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Mass Communication from Ouachita Baptist University and Middle Tennessee State University (Phi Kappa Phi Honors). He has been married for more than 20 years to his wife and they have two children and several pets.

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