Because the support of AISC is largely derived from steel companies whose markets are mainly in the U.S., the competition is open to students from ACSA Full and Candidate Member Schools from the U.S. and Canada, as well as ACSA Affiliate Members Schools from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico only. 

The competition is open to upper level students (third year or above, including graduate students). All student entrants are required to work under the direction of a faculty sponsor. Entries will be accepted for individual as well as teams. Teams must be limited to a maximum of five students. Submissions should be principally the product of work in a design studio or related class.


March 19, 2014           
Registration Deadline (free registration)
May 21, 2014 Submission Deadline
August 2014
Winners Announced 
Fall 2014 Publication of Summary Book

First, second, and third prizes will be awarded in each of the two categories, in addition to a selected number of honorable mentions, at the discretion of the jury. Winners and their faculty sponsors will be notified of the competition results directly. A list of winning projects will be posted on the ACSA web site at and the AISC web site at A total of $14,000 will be distributed in the following manner: 

Category I Border-Crossing Station:
First Prize                    Student  $2,500 
  Faculty Sponsor               $1,000 
Second Prize  Student  $1,500

Faculty Sponsor  $750 
Third Prize  Student  $750 
  Faculty Sponsor  $500 

Category II Open: 
First Prize                    Student  $2,500 
  Faculty Sponsor               $1,000 
Second Prize  Student  $1,500

Faculty Sponsor  $750 
Third Prize  Student  $750 
  Faculty Sponsor  $500 


A faculty sponsor is required to enroll students online (Register Now) by March 19, 2014. Registration can be done for your entire studio or for each individual student or team of students participating. Students or teams wishing to enter the competition on their own must have a faculty sponsor, who should complete the registration. There is no entry or submission fee to participate in the competition. Each registered student and faculty sponsor will receive a confirmation email that will include information on how the student(s) will upload final submissions online. Please add the email address to your address book to ensure that you receive all emails regarding your submission.

During registration the faculty will have the ability to add students, add teams, assign students to teams, and add additional faculty sponsors. Registration is required by March 19, 2014, but can be changed, edited, and added to until a student starts a final submission; then the registration is no longer editable.



The administration of the competition at each institution is left to the discretion of the faculty within the guidelines set forth in this document. Work on the competition should be structured over the course of one semester during the 2013-2014 academic year.


Each faculty sponsor is expected to develop a system to evaluate the students’ work using the criteria set forth in this program. The evaluation process should be an integral part of the design process, encouraging students to scrutinize their work in a manner similar to that of the jury. The final result of the design process will be a submission of up to four presentation boards describing the design solution. In addressing the specific issues of the design challenge, submissions must clearly demonstrate the design solution’s response to the following requirements:

  • An elegant expressive understanding of the material – steel
  • A strength of the argument and the proposal’s ability to support the concept for the design (Category I)
  • An articulate mastery of formal concepts and aesthetic values
  • A mature awareness and innovative approach to environmental issues
  • A thorough appreciation of human needs and social responsibilities
  • A capability to integrate functional aspects of the problem in an architectural manner
  • A capacity to derive a design, using steel, with the maximum innovation and possibility

Submissions must be presented on no more than four 20” x 20” digital boards. All boards are required to be uploaded through the ACSA website as Portable Document Format (PDF) or image (JPEG) files. The names of student participants, their schools, or faculty sponsors, must NOT appear on the boards, or in the project title.

A brief essay, 500 words maximum, (in English) is required as part of the submission describing the most important concepts of the design project. Keep in mind that the presentation should graphically convey the design solution and context as much as possible, and not rely on the design essay to convey a basic understanding of the project. The names of student participants, their schools, or faculty sponsors, must NOT appear in the design essay. This abstract is included in the final online submission, completed by the student(s) in a simple copy/paste text box.

The student is required to submit the final entries that must be uploaded through the ACSA Competition website at by 5:00 pm, Eastern Time, on May 21, 2014. If the submission is from a team of students, all student team members will have the ability to upload the digital files. Once the final submit button is pressed no additional edits, uploads, or changes can be made. Once the final Submission is uploaded and submitted, each student will receive a confirmation email notification. You may “save” your submission and return to complete. Please note: the submission is not complete until the “complete this submission” button has been pressed. For team projects: each member of team projects may submit the final project. A final Submission upload must contain the following:

  • Completed online registration including all team members and faculty sponsors
  • Each of the four 20”x20” boards uploaded individually as a high resolution Portable Document Format (PDF) or image (JPEG) files
  • A design essay or abstract (simple copy/paste text box completed during submission)
  • A competition program (1,000 word max in a simple copy/paste text box during submission). This is required for all submissions in Category II OPEN, and for submissions that make significant changes to the Category I BORDER-CROSSING STATION program.


Winning projects will be required to submit high resolution original files/images for use in competition publications and exhibit materials.


+ Download the full 13-14 Steel Competition Program (pdf)

For questions please contact: 


     Eric Wayne Ellis                                               Angela DeGeorge
     Director of Operations and Programs          Programs Coordinator                            
     202.785.2324                                                   202.785.2324