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Submittal Instructions

Step 1:

  • Review the Eligibility criteria.
  • Create your user profile and entry form by clicking here, or using the link on our home page.
  • Start your submission HERE
  • Once your user profile has been created, you can access your applications any time using the "My Applications" link on the left-hand side of the page.
  • Complete your order by submitting payment through the checkout link accessed in your cart.  An invoice/receipt will be emailed to the email address you provided.

Step 2:

  • Log in using your email and password to begin your submission form.
  • You can access the submission form by clicking the "My Application" link on the left side of the page, and clicking the "Edit" link for the project you wish to submit.
  • Fill out each applicable question for your project (required questions are marked with a red asterisk).  A minimum of 6 images is required for each project.  You can save your application any time using the "Save" button at the bottom of the page.
  • Select "Built" or "Unbuilt" subcategory
  • Click the "Save and Finalize" button at the bottom of the page to complete your submission.  No changes can be made after this point.


Submittal Guidelines

The 2023 Design Awards requires the submittal of all materials in digital format.

PLEASE READ!!! If the submitting firm or individual is revealed on any of the images, plans or narrative (outside of the credits section), the entry will be disqualified and fees will not be refunded 

All submitted content will be displayed.  No images will be hidden from the public gallery.

Number and Type of Images:

A minimum of 6 images/slides and a maximum of 12 images/slides are required.  These images/slides should include all plans, diagrams, interior and exterior views required to fully illustrate each entry.  Multiple images on individual slides are acceptable and encouraged to help explain the project.  

Floor Plans and Site Plans are strongly suggested for all entries, except Interior projects, which may omit the site plan.  Site Plans must include a North arrow and a scale.  

Other drawings, such as sections, axonometric views, elevations, graphics data, and details may be included to assist the jurors in understanding your submission.

Views of both interior and exteriors are required for all entries, except Interior projects which may omit the exterior views or exterior projects where the interior design was done by another design professional.  Exterior views should show all sides of a project.

Exceptions might be projects with many similar buildings.  Views, where possible, should show the project in the context of its immediate surroundings (i.e. adjacent streets and buildings).

Exterior views should be primarily daylighted views unless night views relate directly to the project use or effect, such as marquees, or special illumination.

For renovation projects, views taken before and after construction will be accepted when labeled accordingly.

Upload the first image as the one you want displayed at the design awards gala.  *Please do not include text on this image as it will be used in the gala video and website banners. 


Format & Size of Images:

The digital image files (plans, photos, illustrations) must be submitted as a .jpg .jpeg .png and/or .gif file format. No other formats will be accepted.

All images should be 1920 x 1080 pixels at 300dpi.  You can use the "Save for Web & Devices" tool in photoshop to achieve the desired file size. The maximum file size is 10 MB.


File Name:

Please name your files using the following coding:  Entry #_DA2022_Image #  (For example, if you are entry # 003, your first image would be titled 003_DA2022_01.jpg)

File names should not contain any empty spaces or special characters.  Please review the acceptable file formats outlined in the Format & Size of Images section of these instructions.


Text Information (Description, Credits, etc.):

The following text is required for a complete entry:

  • Project Description (500 words suggested limit).
    This is the entrant's primary opportunity to tell the story of the submitted project in words.  Is there a specific inspiration driving the design of the project?  Are there special conditions or challenges that are worth noting?  How is the Framework for Design Excellence integrated into the submission? The actual content of this narrative is completely up to the individual entrants but ideally should be geared towards helping the jury (and those who may not be familiar with each project) understand the project's background, it's design process and subsequent final result being presented for this year's awards program. The project description can include the project location. However, please make sure there is no reference to the name of the submitting firm or other information that will provide jurors with a reference to the submitting firm.

NOTE:  Do not include any credit information in the descriptive texts titled "Project Description"  


Display Boards: 

All Residential, Commercial, and INSPIRE Awards Participants are encouraged to submit a board! These boards will be on display at the Design Awards.

Please Note: ONLY your submission board shall have your company logo, firm name, and firm city. 

The exhibited panels can clearly carry the name of the architectural firm(s) and the Orange County city in which they are based but may not include detailed contact information such as phone numbers, street addresses, emails, websites, or QR codes. When printing, all display boards should be ​20 x 20 on Black Gator Foam.

Drop off dates:  September 18 through September 21 10:00AM – 3:00PM at the AIAOC Office!  Please send an email to medgar@aiaoc.org or jgill@aiaoc.org if you need to schedule a drop off outside these hours. 

DO NOT leave boards outside the office door if no one is at the office.

AIA Orange County

1981 Orchard

Newport Beach, CA 92660

These boards are for public display only and will not be judged.  You are encouraged to include your firm logo on the display boards, however, please do not place your logo on any of the online submittals per the requirements listed within the submittal guidelines, as they are being judged.


Check out last year's winning submissions here.