2018-2019 Steel Competition


The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) is pleased to announce the 19th Annual Steel Design Student Competition for the 2018-2019 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 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 2018-2019 Steel Design Student Competition will offer architecture students the opportunity to compete in two separate categories:


Challenges architecture students to design an intermodal transportation center that proposes a cohesive transit system that includes components such as international, regional, and local train stations, bus terminals, ports, airports and spaceports in a major urban location.

Category II OPEN
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.


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, (e.g., 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. Similarly, steel’s wide use for building cladding highlights its durability, technical capabilities and aesthetic versatility.
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: https://www.aisc.org/technical-resources/curved-steel/.


April 3, 2019               Registration Deadline (free registration)
May 22, 2019              Submission Deadline
Summer 2019             Winners Announced
Fall 2019                     Publication of Summary Book



The design jury will meet in Summer 2019 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 at www.acsa‑arch.org and the AISC web site at www.aisc.org.


Winning students and their faculty sponsors will receive cash prizes totaling $14,000 with distribution as follows:

        Category II OPEN 
  First Prize    First Prize 
  Student                       $2,500    Student                       $2,500 
  Faculty Sponsor          $1,000    Faculty Sponsor          $1,000 
  Second Prize    Second Prize 
  Student                       $1,500    Student                       $1,500 
  Faculty Sponsor          $750    Faculty Sponsor          $750 
  Third Prize    Third Prize 
  Student                       $750    Student                       $750 
  Faculty Sponsor          $500    Faculty Sponsor          $500 

A limited number of honorable mentions may also be awarded at the jury's discretion. Prize‑winning submissions will be exhibited at the 2020 ACSA Annual Meeting and the 2020 AIA National Convention as well as published in a competition summary publication.

Seung K. Ra
, Oklahoma State University
Mindy Viamontes, EXP
Winifred Elysse Newman, Clemson University
Kevin Alter, University of Texas , Austin
Yolande Daniels, Studio SUMO


Because the support of AISC is largely derived from steel companies whose markets are mainly in the U.S., the competition is open to students from ACSA Full and Candidate Member Schools from the U.S. and Canada, as well as ACSA Affiliate Members Schools from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico only.


The competition is open to upper level students (third year or above, including graduate students). 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.


Program updates, including information on jury members as they are confirmed, may be found on the ACSA web site at www.acsa-arch.org/competitions. Additional questions on the competition program and submissions should be addressed to:


Eric Wayne Ellis
Senior Director of Operations and Programs

Edwin Hernández
Programs Coordinator


+ Program
+ Guidelines
+ Registration
+ Resources

+ 2018-2019 Steel Design Student Competition Program (PDF)