March 6, 2013         
Registration Deadline
May 22, 2013
Submission Deadline
August 2013
Winners Announced

Winning students, their faculty sponsors, and recent graduate/emerging professionals will receive cash prizes totaling $30,000. The design jury will meet July 2013, 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 website (

First Prize                                 Student / $7,500         Faculty Sponsor / $2,500  
Second Prize Student / $5,000 Faculty Sponsor / $1,500  
Third Prize Student / $2,500  Faculty Sponsor / $1,000  
Recent Graduate Award      $10,000    


images provided by: naturally:wood

Students and Recently Graduates (within 5 years of graduation) from the U.S. and Canada are eligible to participate in the competition. All student entrants are required to work under the direction of a faculty sponsor from an ACSA member school. Entries will be accepted for individual as well as team solutions. Teams must be limited to a maximum of five individuals.


An online registration form must be completed for an entire team or for each individual participant. There is no registration fee to participate in the challenge. Each registered participant will receive a confirmation email that will include information for final online submission. Please add the email address to your address book to ensure that you receive all emails regarding your submission.

Students / Faculty
Currently enrolled students will require a faculty sponsor from an ACSA member school to enroll students by completing an online Registration Form (available at by March 6, 2013. Faculty sponsors must complete a form for the entire studio or for each individual student or team of students participating. Each student will receive a confirmation email that will include personal login information for final online submission. Students or teams wishing to enter the challenge on their own must have a faculty sponsor, who should complete the form.

During registration the faculty will have the ability to add students, add teams, assign students to teams, and add additional faculty. Registration is required by March 6, 2013, after which edits and additions can be made until a student starts a final submission, then the registration is not editable. Faculty may assign a “Faculty Representative” to a registered student, who will have access to change, edit, and make additions to the registration.

Recent Graduates

Recently graduated students, interns, or emerging professionals, within 5 years of graduation, are required to contact ACSA directly to receive personal ACSA credentials and complete an online Registration Form by March 6, 2013. To receive personal ACSA credentials contact Angela DeGeorge at

Each presentation must directly address the criteria outlined in the Design Challenge and Criteria for Judging and must include (but are not limited to) the following required drawings. All drawings should be presented at a scale appropriate to the design solution and include a graphic scale and north arrow.  

  • SITE PLAN showing the surrounding buildings, topography, and circulation patterns
  • DETAILED RENDERINGS of the building, clearly showing the timber structural system.
  • VERTICAL SECTION of the whole building/site sufficient to show site context and major program elements
  • LARGE SCALE DRAWING(s), either orthographic or three dimensional, illustrating the innovative use of timber and associated componentry, at 1” - 1’-0”.
  • 3-DIMENSIONAL REPRESENTATION(S), either in the form of an axonometric, perspective, or model photographs – one of which should illustrate the character of the project. At least one of these views must be of a significant interior space, and one view must be of the building shown within the neighborhood context.

A brief essay, 500 words maximum, (in English) 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 as much as possible, 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.

Submissions that do not adhere to the program criteria outlined must provide a program brief.

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 2012-2013 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. The final result of the design process will be a submission of up to four presentation boards describing the design solution. In addressing the specific issues of the design challenge, submissions must clearly demonstrate the design solution’s response to the following requirements:

  • An elegant expressive understanding of the material – Timber
  • A strength of the argument and the proposal’s ability to support the concept for the design
  • An articulate mastery of formal concepts and aesthetic values
  • A mature awareness and innovative approach to environmental issues
  • A thorough appreciation of human needs and social responsibilities
  • A capability to integrate functional aspects of the problem in an architectural manner
  • A capacity to derive a design, using wood, with the maximum innovation and possibility

Submissions must be designed on no more than four 20” x 30” (portrait format) digital boards. The names of student participants, their schools, or faculty sponsors, must NOT appear on the boards.

All boards are required to be uploaded through the ACSA website in Portable Document Format (PDF) or image (JPEG) files. Participants should keep in mind that, due to the large number of entries, preliminary review does not allow for the hanging end-to-end display of presentation boards. Accordingly, participants should not use text or graphics that cross over from board to board. The names of student participants, their schools, or faculty sponsors, must NOT appear on any of the submitted material.

The entrant is required to submit the final project. It must be uploaded through the ACSA Competition website at by 5:00 pm, Eastern Time, on May 22, 2013. If the Submission is from a team, all 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. Once the final Submission is uploaded and submitted each student will receive a confirmation email notification. 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.

A final Submission upload must contain the following:

  • Completed online registration including all team members and faculty sponsors
  • Four 20” x 30” (portrait format) boards uploaded individually as a high resolution Portable Document Format (PDF) or image (JPEG) files
  • A design essay or abstract (copy and pasted into the text box during submission)

Incomplete or undocumented entries will be disqualified. Winning projects will be required to submit high-resolution original files/images for use in competition publications and exhibit materials.

Program updates, including information on jury members as they are confirmed, may be found on the ACSA web site at Additional questions on the competition program and submissions should be addressed to:

Eric W. Ellis, Director of Operations and Programs, or
Angela DeGeorge, Programs Coordinator
Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture
1735 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20006
Tel: 202.785.2324


For questions please contact: 

Eric Wayne Ellis                                                   Angela DeGeorge
Director of Operations and Programs              Programs Coordinator                                
202.785.2324                                                       202.785.2324