August 23, 2023

Updates to the Architectural Education Awards

Important Updates to the Architectural Education Awards Program

An overview of changes to the ACSA awards program

Dear ACSA Members,
We hope this email finds you well. We would like to inform you of some significant changes that have been proposed and approved for the Architectural Education Awards program. These changes are aimed at enhancing the transparency, acknowledgment, and equitable practices within the awards program while promoting the values and goals of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA).

• Equity, Social Justice, and Climate Action
• Teaching and Learning
• Research, Scholarship, and Creative Practice

One of the key updates involves the inclusion of a collaboration statement to be featured across all ACSA awards. This statement reflects ACSA’s commitment to empowering educators and institutions in their pursuit of diverse and impactful architectural education. Our core values of Equity, Social Justice, Climate Action, Teaching, Learning, Research, Scholarship, and Creative Practice guide us in this endeavor. We strongly believe that through the awards program, ACSA can set a precedent for best practices within architectural education and research.

It is imperative to recognize that the work submitted to our awards programs is often the result of collaborative efforts involving students, organizations, firms, communities, and industry partners. To ensure fair labor practices, we advocate for comprehensive credit and recognition of all contributors to these projects. Submissions must highlight all collaborative efforts and properly attribute contributions. This includes acknowledging compensation for student work and/or firm support, which can range from student earned course credit to financial contributions.

New Documentation
To implement these changes effectively, we are introducing new requirements for documentation in the Supporting Material for each project reference. For every project mentioned in your PDF submission, please include the following details:

  • Project Title
  • Month/Year Completed
  • Role of Nominee (in the project)
  • Collaborators & Funding Sources Expenses (e.g., donated hours, paid work)
  • Student Compensation (indicating whether students received credit or were financially compensated)

Unpaid Labor
In alignment with our commitment to fair labor practices, we have revised our stance on unpaid labor. The updated statement, which replaces the previous statement on unpaid interns, is as follows: ACSA stands firmly against unpaid labor. In support of the American Institute of Architecture Students’ (AIAS) resolution on unpaid interns, ACSA does not allow partners or firms who do not pay their interns, in accordance with all applicable laws, to submit work for ACSA publications or to receive ACSA awards. Nomination or submission to the ACSA Awards Program constitutes your understanding of this agreement.

We believe these changes will contribute to the continued growth and progress of architectural education and research, reflecting the principles and values that guide ACSA. We encourage all members to review the updated requirements and ensure that your nominations and submissions align with these guidelines.

Thank you for your ongoing dedication to architectural education and your support of ACSA. Should you have any questions or need further clarification, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Warm regards,
Eric Wayne Ellis
Senior Director of Operations and Programs
Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture


Heather Albarazi
Digital Marketing & Communications Manager