2021 COTE Competition
AIA COTE® Top Ten for Students
International Student Competition
Architects play a crucial role in addressing both the causes and effects of climate change through the design of the built environment. Innovative design thinking is key to producing architecture that meets human needs for both function and delight, adapts to climate change projections, continues to support the health and well-being of inhabitants despite natural and human-caused disasters, and minimizes contributions to further climate change through greenhouse gas emissions. Preparing today’s architecture students to envision and create a climate adaptive, resilient, and carbon-neutral future must be an essential component and driving force for design discourse.
Given their long lifespan, new buildings must be designed to address solutions to climate change and to respond to its projected impacts, well into the second half of the 21st Century and beyond. As with the COTE Top Ten award for built work by design professionals, COTE Top Ten for Students allows designs to be characterized in terms of 10 measures ranging from Community to Water to Wellness.
About the Competition
The AIA COTE® Top Ten for Students Competition is sponsored by The American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment (AIA COTE®), in partnership with the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA). Each year, the competition recognizes ten exceptional student design studio projects that integrate health, sustainability, and equity, evaluated following the same categories of the AIA COTE® Top Ten Award for built work, and the AIA Framework for Design Excellence (now adopted as the basis of professional practice and awards across the AIA).
Criteria for Judging
Successful responses should demonstrate design moving towards carbon-neutral operation through a creative and innovative integration of design strategies such as daylighting, passive heating and cooling, materials, water, energy generation, and other sustainable systems, through a cohesive and beautiful architectural understanding. Issues to consider include community enhancement, land use and effect on site ecology, bioclimatic design, energy and water use, impact on health and wellness, approach to environmental quality, materials and construction, adaptation, long-life considerations, and feedback loops. Entries will also be judged for the success and innovation that the project has met the ten measures of the Framework for Design Excellence.
Iowa State University
University of Washington
The Cooper Union
Awards + Recognition
Ten projects will be chosen for recognition at the discretion of the jury. Winners and their faculty sponsors will be notified of the competition results directly. Winning projects will be announced and displayed at the 2021 AIA National Convention. Winning projects will also be promoted on the ACSA website at www.acsa-arch.org & the AIA COTE® website at www.aia.org/cote,
A total of $5,000 will be distributed to the winning teams, with each of the top 10 winning projects will receive a $500 stipend to attend the 2021 AIA National Convention. Winning students will be recognized during the 2021 AIA National Convention at the COTE reception.
in cash prizes
An ACSA member school, faculty sponsor is required to enroll students by completing an online registration form prior to submission by January 13, 2021. The competition is open to students from all ACSA Full and Candidate Member Schools, as well as ACSA Affiliate Members Schools including international member schools. You can find a listing of all ACSA member schools online. Students are required to work under the direction of a faculty sponsor. Submissions will be accepted for individual as well as team projects. Teams must be limited to a maximum of three students.
Students are invited to submit their studio projects. Entries must be buildings, but can be of any program, at any scale, in any location. Projects can be a remodel or adaptive re-use. Work should have been completed in a design studio or related class within the 2020 calendar year.