Submission Deadline: June 7, 2023

2023 Steel Competition

Spiritual Space & Open


April 5, 2023

Registration Deadline

June 7, 2023

Submission Deadline

Summer 2023

Jury Convenes

Fall 2023

Winners Announced


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 5, 2023. 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.

Faculty Sponsor Online Registration

One Registration for Each Entry


A faculty sponsor is required to enroll students online (available at by April 5, 2023. Registration can be done for an 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 April 5, 2023, but can be changed, edited, and added to until a student starts a final submission; then the registration is no longer editable.

Registration Steps
  1. Faculty log into the ACSA website,
  2. Click the “Register your Students NOW” button,
  3. Select the 2023 Steel Competition (Category I or II) from the submission type dropdown menu & Click “Enter”,
  4. Select “Individual Registration” to add individual student. Click “Save and Continue”. You will need to know each student’s first & last names, email, & institution, which are all required fields for each student,
  5. Select “Team Registration” if this is a team registration, you may add additional students
    by clicking “Add Student” to the same submission to this team, teams must be limited to
    a maximum of five students,
  6. Once the individual student or team is complete, Click “Submit”,
  7. Repeat steps 3 – 6 for each individual or team.
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 2022-2023 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. After the submittal deadline, faculty will complete a survey about this process.



Digital Submission Format
Submissions must be presented on four 20” x 20” digital boards, no more than 20MB each and uploaded individually. All boards are required to be uploaded through the ACSA website as JPEG files. Information in the text boxes can be typed directly or inserted copy/paste.  The names of student participants, their schools, or faculty sponsors, must NOT appear on the boards, or in the project title, project title file name(s), or any text box information.

Design Essay or Abstract
A brief essay, 500 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.

NEW Performance Evaluation (New for Category I only. Not required for Category II.)
Each student will answer a few multiple-choice questions upon submission about a performance analysis topic determined by the faculty or student(s). If possible, please show your performance evaluations on your submission boards and images. For the list of questions and an expanded explanation of this, please refer to the Supplemental Studio Guide and these questions:

  1. What category of performance did you measure or assess in your design?
  2. What standard or benchmark did you measure against?
  3. How did your final design performance compare with your standard or benchmark?
  4. If you measured and your design performance was below the standard or benchmark, did you redesign and measure or assess again?

Program Summary
A program summary, 250 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. Those students entering Category I should have a program of spaces within 10% of the given net square feet. The gross area would include building circulation and service spaces.

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, navigation strategies, and vertical structural elements;
  • Large scale drawing(s), either orthographic or three dimensional, illustrating:
    • the use and detailing of steel 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 7, 2023. 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 (500 words maximum)
  • A Performance Evaluation (Category I students only)
  • A Program Summary diagram/text of spaces and areas (250 words maximum).

The names of student participants, their schools and faculty sponsors must NOT appear on the boards, or in the project title, project title file name(s), or any text box information.

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.

Competition Organizers & Sponsors

Edwin Hernández
Programs Coordinator

Eric W. Ellis
Senior Director of Operations and Programs