2016-2017 Steel Competition



The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) is pleased to announce the 17th Annual Steel Design Student Competition for the 2016‑2017 academic year. Administered by Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and sponsored by American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), the program is intended to challenge students, working individually or in teams, to explore a variety of design issues related to the use of steel in design and construction.


The ACSA/AISC 2016-2017 Steel Design Student Competition will offer architecture students the opportunity to compete in two separate Categories.  Category I will challenge architecture students to design a MUSEUM. The project will allow the student to explore the many varied functional and aesthetic uses for steel as a building material. Students will be exploring the ways in which design and imagination can create a popular visitor destination and a city focal point. The student must keep in mind the current needs of the city, the compatibility of the new structures with the existing surroundings, and the building’s ultimate acceptability into the existing urban fabric.

Category II will be an OPEN competition with limited restrictions. This open submission design option will permit the greatest amount of flexibility with the context. 

Category I    MUSEUM
Category II   OPEN



Criteria for the judging of submissions will include: creative use of structural steel in the design solution, successful response of the design to its surrounding context, and successful response to basic architectural concepts such as human activity needs, structural integrity, and coherence of architectural vocabulary.

Elizabeth Golden, United 4 Design & University of Washington
Hazel Ruth Edwards, Howard University
Elizabeth Martin-Malikian, Kennesaw State University
Jeffrey L. Day, MinDay Architects & University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Julian Bonder, Wodiczko + Bonder & Roger Williams University
Steven Tipping, Tipping Structural Engineers



Structural steel offers a number of benefits in building design including the capacity to bear great loads in tension and compression, high resiliency and performance under harsh and difficult conditions (e.g., earthquakes and hurricanes), and the ability to span great distances with minimum material. Steel can be shaped by many processes, ranging from standard rolled sections to custom castings and digitally generated components. It can be prefabricated and delivered for site assembly, and it can be erected quickly under almost any weather condition to meet tight construction schedules. Similarly, steel’s wide use for building cladding highlights its durability, technical capabilities and aesthetic versatility.

Steel can be easily modified during the life cycle of a building to accommodate changing occupant requirements. As the most recycled material in the world, steel is an environmentally sound building material choice. Today, structural steel is 97% recycled with the primary source being automobiles. Architects praise the natural beauty of steel and are excited about exposing it in the design of their structures to emphasize grace, slenderness and strength, and in their building envelopes to enhance environmental performance and aesthetic character. 



Program updates, including information on jury members as they are confirmed, may be found on the ACSA web site at www.acsa‑arch.org.

Additional questions on the competition program and submissions should be addressed to:

             Eric Wayne Ellis              Allison Smith 
  Director of Operations and Programs    Programs Manager 
  eellis@acsa-arch.org    asmith@acsa-arch.org      
  202.785.2324    202.785.2324