Registration Deadline: April 13, 2022

2022 Steel Competition

Towards a New Monumentality & Open

April 13, 2022

Registration Deadline

June 1, 2022

Submission Deadline

Summer 2022

Winners Announced

Fall 2022

Publication of Summary Book

Competition Overview

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) is pleased to announce the 22nd Annual Steel Design Student Competition for the 2021-2022 academic year. Administered by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), the program is intended to challenge undergraduate and graduate students, working individually or in teams, to explore a variety of design issues related to the use of steel in design and construction. Steel must be used as the primary structural material and contain at least one space that requires long-span steel structure, with special emphasis placed on innovation in steel design.

The Opportunities

The 2022 Steel Design Student Competition will offer architecture students the opportunity to compete in two separate categories:

Category I: Towards a New Monumentality

21st Century Democratic Public Space

In recent years, imperative discussions over the significance of legacies, memories, and the meaning of public monuments and memorials are taking place throughout the world. While memories can differ, and historical facts can be emphasized (and/or obscured), many institutions, monuments, memorials and public spaces have become much more ‘visible’ than ever before. Politics and the political can evolve — hopefully towards a more just society — and marches, protests and actions against racism, violence and injustice continue to re-affirm that the democratic public space is indeed a space for assertion of political and cultural rights. This category asks students to creatively and critically consider novel approaches towards a new monumentality and the conception and creation of democratic public spaces for the twenty-first century. Students are invited to submit design proposals that will address a plurality of publics and generations, and that, as agents for culture and dialogue, can serve to question, illuminate and encourage new kinds of public engagement, aiming to make the world a better place.

The questions which one asks oneself begin, at least, to illuminate the world, and become one’s key to the experience of others.
James Baldwin

Category II: Open

Steel Design

Offers architecture students the opportunity to select a site and building program using steel as the primary material. This competition category permits the greatest amount of flexibility for any building type.

Students may not enter both categories of the competition.

ADVANTAGES OF STEEL

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, such as earthquakes and hurricanes, and the ability to span great distances with minimal 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.

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. 

Curved steel is an art, providing endless possibilities for architectural expression. Curved steel enhances the visibility of any building project – from the largest monumental project to that building down your street. Curved steel is a unique way to increase the design creativity of your next building project. And most importantly, curved steel is readily available nationally from a number of qualified AISC Associate Member Bender-Rollers. AISC information on curved steel: aisc.org/curvedsteel.

Awards

The design jury will meet in Summer 2022 to select winning projects and honorable mentions. 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 and the AISC web site at www.aisc.org.

Winning students and their faculty sponsors will receive cash prizes totaling $20,000 with distribution as follows:

$20,000

in cash prizes
Category I: Towards a New Monumentality

Student

Faculty Sponsor

First Place

$4,000

$1,500

Second Place

$2,000

$1,000

Third Place

$1,000

$500

Category II: Open

Student

Faculty Sponsor

First Place

$4,000

$1,500

Second Place

$2,000

$1,000

Third Place

$1,000

$500

A limited number of honorable mentions may also be awarded at the jury’s discretion. Prize‑winning submissions will be exhibited at the 2023 ACSA Annual Meeting and the 2023 AIA National Convention as well as published in a competition summary publication.

Eligibility

Because the support of AISC is largely derived from steel companies whose markets are mainly in the U.S., the ACSA/AISC Steel Design Student Competition is open to students and/or student teams from ACSA Full and Candidate Member Schools, as well as ACSA Affiliate Members Schools from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

An ACSA member school, faculty sponsor is required to enroll students by completing an online registration form prior to registration by April 13, 2022. All student entrants are required to work under the direction of a faculty sponsor. Entries will be accepted for individuals 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.

Criteria for Judging

Criteria for the judging of submissions will include the following:

  • Creative use of structural steel in the design solution;
  • Clear visionary positions & creative design approaches that envision a new monumentality and democratic public spaces for the twenty-first century;
  • Successful response of the design to its surrounding context;
  • Successful response to basic architectural concepts such as human activity needs, structural integrity, and coherence of architectural vocabulary.

Competition Program written and developed by: Julian Bonder, Roger Williams University; along with ACSA & the American Institute of Steel Construction.

Image: Interior view of the Statue of Liberty. Photo by Daniel Schwen.
Sponsor
Administrator

Edwin Hernández
Programs Coordinator
ehernandez@acsa-arch.org
202.785.2324

Eric W. Ellis
Senior Director of Operations and Programs
202-785-2324
eellis@acsa-arch.org