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Welcome to the 2023 AIAOC Design Awards Program!  



   9 | 28 | 23 - Design Awards Gala 


AIAOC looks forward to this year's entries and urges all of our members to present their best work for recognition. 

From the largest urban planning solution to the smallest home on a constrained lot, each awarded project stands on its own merit as an example of exceptional work by exceptional architects.  

To provide fair and equitable review of all submittals, a residential jury and a commercial jury is selected from AIA members outside our chapter who deliberate and choose the winners based on the Chapter’s judging criteria. 

Following the lead of National AIA, AIA Orange County will continue to use the 10 Principles of the AIA Framework for Design Excellence as part of the submission requirements.  As you prepare your submission, we ask that you review how each Principle is addressed in your design, and then describe how you achieved those Principles in the area provided. We encourage you to further describe how you achieved these Principles in your uploaded submission.   

Submissions must select and respond to at least one Principle.  However, we encourage you to review the outline below and consider how your submission responds to other Principles and include justification. 

The AIA Framework for Design Excellence challenges architects with a vision of what the profession strives to achieve. As the chapter continues to integrate the Principles of the Framework into submittal requirements of the Design Awards, we encourage everyone to consider how their projects address multiple Principles. 

Please contact AIAOC Executive Director, Jeffrey Gill FAIA at jgill@aiaoc.org with questions and/or to review Best Practices on how to respond to the Framework.

The outline below is only a brief summary of each Principle.  You can learn more about the AIA Framework for Design Excellence HERE  



  1. Design for Integration: How does the project engage the senses and connect people to place?  What is the purpose of the project that helps to align with the other Principles?   
  2. Design for Equitable Communities: How does the project engage and promote human connection?  How does the project promote inclusion and social equity within the community? 
  3. Design for Ecosystems: How does this project support the local ecosystem?  How are users connected with the local ecosystem? How does the design build resilience while reducing maintenance? 
  4. Design for Water: How does the project use water wisely and handle rainfall responsibly?  
  5. Design for Economy: How does the design show that higher performance can be cost-effective?  
  6. Design for Energy: Does the project exceed building code requirements? Is energy generated on-site from renewable or passive sources?  What is the zero net carbon impact?  
  7. Design for Wellness: How does the design promote comfort and health?  How does the design connect place with nature? How does the design encourage a healthy lifestyle?  
  8. Design for Resources: How does the project promote zero waste?  How are materials and products selected and designed to reduce embodied carbon and environmental impacts while enhancing building performance? 
  9. Design for Change: How does the project design anticipate adapting to new uses, adapt to climate change, and support resilient recovery from disasters?  
  10. Design for Discovery: What lessons for better design have been learned through the process of project design, construction and occupancy and how was that shared with project teams?  

Check out the Design Awards Webinar: 

"How to Prepare Your Submission"  

You can watch it here

Disclaimer: Submission dates stated in the video are not current, please refer to the 2023 dates at the top of this page.