Submission Deadline: June 1, 2022

2022 Timber Competition

TIMBER IN THE CITY 4: Urban Habitats Competition


April 13, 2022

Registration Deadline

June 1, 2022

Submission Deadline

Summer 2022

Jury Convenes

Summer 2022

Winners Announced



Because the support of SLB is largely derived from companies whose markets are mainly in the U.S., the Timber in the City 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.

Judging Criteria

Criteria for the judging of submissions will include: timber as the primary structural material, creative and innovative use of timber/ wood in the design solution, successful response of the design to its surrounding context, the creative and clear approaches to designing a healthy urban mixed-use environment with timber as a central material, successful response to basic architectural concepts such as human activity needs, commitment to meeting the needs of underserved communities, structural integrity, and coherence of architectural vocabulary.

The Jury will judge each student design proposal based on of the following criteria:

  • The quality of the architectural concept and the rigor with which it is developed; Its technical sophistication and resolution;
  • The effectiveness of its visualization and representation through a variety of material, graphic, and digital media, those prescribed within each studio section as well other techniques that students may employ to supplement and substantiate their presentations;
  • The breadth of design consideration with respect to the environmental and social implications and impacts of the building proposed and the way in which those concerns are quantified and visualized.
  • A successful sustainability and low carbon building performance.

Supporting Learning Objectives of the Competition: 

  • Explore structured collaborative work amongst students and faculty in addition to individual proposals.
  • Incorporation of outside community of specialists into discovery and learning process.
  • Identify and experiment with specific tools for integrated thinking and making.
  • Create and follow a structured workflow for innovation and iteration.
  • Specific emphasis on evidence of physical modeling, making, and mock‐ups.
  • Distill key findings into a compelling discovery and proposal that has a conceptual and physical imperative, and is fully described.


Faculty Sponsor

A faculty sponsor is required to enroll students by completing an online registration form prior to submission by April 13, 2022. Complete one online form 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 online registration form. There is no entry or submission fee to participate in the competition. Please add the email address & to your address book to ensure that you receive all emails regarding your participation in the competition.

During registration faculty will have the ability to add students and create teams. Registration is required by April 13, 2022, but can be changed, edited and added to until a student begins their final submission.

Faculty Responsibility

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 2021-2022 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.


Digital Submission Format

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

Digital Essay or Abstract

A brief essay, 300 words maximum, 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, 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.

Program Summary
A program summary, 150 words maximum, diagram/text of spaces and areas is required as part of the submission. All interior and exterior spaces are to be included; total net and gross areas are required. The program summary is included in the final online submission, uploaded by the student(s) in a simple copy/paste text box.
Required Submission Documents

Submissions must include (but are not limited to) the following required drawings:

  • Three-dimensional representations – in the form of axonometrics, perspectives showing the proposal in its context, montages and/or physical model photographs – to illustrate the character of the project;
  • Site plan showing proposal in its context of surrounding buildings and topography, together with details of access/circulation;
  • Building/site sections sufficient to show site context and major spatial and program elements;
  • Floor plans to show program elements, spatial adjacencies and navigation strategies;
  • Large scale drawing(s), either orthographic or three dimensional, illustrating:
    • the use and detailing of timber for building structure and/or envelope
    • integrated design

Incomplete or undocumented entries will be disqualified. All drawings should be presented at a scale appropriate to the design solution and include a graphic scale. The site plan should include a north arrow.

Online Project Submission

After the faculty sponsor completes the online registration, each student will receive a confirmation email, which will include a link to complete the online submission. The student is required to submit the final entries that must be uploaded through the ACSA Competition website at by 11:59 pm, Pacific Time, on June 1, 2022. 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. 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, but each project should be submitted only once. Once the final submission is uploaded and submitted, each student will receive a confirmation email notification.

The 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 high resolution JPEG files, no more than 20MB each,
  • A design essay or abstract (300 words maximum)
  • A program summary diagram/text of spaces and areas (150 words maximum).

The names of student participants, their schools and faculty sponsors must NOT appear on the boards, abstract, program summary, or in the file name.

Winning projects will be required to submit high-resolution original files/images for use in competition publications and exhibit materials. By uploading your files, you agree that the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) has the rights to use your winning submission, images and materials in a summary publication, online and in promotional and exhibition resources. ACSA will attribute authorship of the winning design to you, your team, faculty and affiliation. Additionally, you hereby warrant that the submission is original and that you are the author(s) of the submission.

Edwin Hernández
Programs Coordinator

Eric W. Ellis
Senior Director of Operations and Programs