Design Awards

The AIA Silicon Valley Design Awards program recognizes the outstanding achievements in architecture and design of Silicon Valley individuals and organizations as well as celebrates the distinguished work of architects and related professionals from afar who contribute to the framework of our local built environment. The program serves to inform the public of the breadth and value of architectural practice.

Registration Deadline


Submit Materials Deadline

Main Categories

Special Award Categories

Design Awards Ceremony


Submission Instructions

Please read through all these instructions before submitting your project(s).

Step 1: Register

Complete registration by TBD.

  • Required of both design awards and special awards submission.

Step 2: Download Forms

Download and complete the following required forms. These will need to be uploaded under the Required Forms section of the project submission form.

  1. Main Categories:
    PowerPoint Template

    Special Awards Categories:
    Special Awards PowerPoint Template
  2. Architect’s Release Form
  3. Photographer’s Release Form
  4. Uncompensated Interns Form
  5. Common App (Optional)

Step 3: Submit Project

Complete your project submission by TBD or for the Special Awards, by TBD.

  • Make sure to include your registration Order Number with your project submission.

Main Categories & Eligibility

Entrants must be licensed architects. Members of the AIA Silicon Valley may submit projects completed after December 2011 located anywhere. Non-Members can submit only projects built in the County of Santa Clara after December 2011.

Open to any project type, including renovations, adaptive reuse, preservation, multi-family housing, commercial and new construction.

Open to only single family residential home projects. This category includes new builds, remodels, additions and historic preservation.

Interiors projects not limited by scale, budget, or project type. Entries may include renovations, additions, adaptive reuse, preservation or new construction.

Projects beyond the scale of an individual building which expand the role of the architect by contributing to urban planning and community development and which demonstrate a significant contribution to improving the quality of life in neighborhoods, communities or regions. Examples include, but are not limited to, civic projects; landscape projects; urban planning; environmental projects; and design advocacy on behalf of the public.

Commissions that leverage design opportunities to produce a positive impact beyond the limits imposed by small scale and/or budget. Projects may be of any type or scale including furniture and industrial design.

Projects of any scale or type whose construction has not commenced at the deadline for submissions to this awards program. Projects are eligible for consideration even if their physical realization is never anticipated. This includes the work of students in accredited school architecture programs pursuing degrees in architecture or otherwise on a career path toward a professional degree in architecture.

* Entrants for the Unbuilt Projects category shall be similarly qualified, but in addition to these qualifications, entrants may also be Student or Associate members of the AIA Silicon Valley.

Projects of any scale that were performed pro bono by a member of AIA Silicon Valley to make the world a better place through service and philanthropy qualify.

Special Awards & Eligibility

Through its Special Awards program, the Chapter recognizes outstanding achievements in four distinct areas. Open to active members of the AIA Silicon Valley.

This award recognizes outstanding achievement in architectural design as expressed in a body of work produced by an individual architect over a period of at least 10 years. The award is intended to honor the individual rather than the firm. The emphasis of the awards is the quality of the body of architectural work, consistently designed, over the career of the architect.

This award recognizes a firm that has consistently produced distinguished architectural design for a period of at least 20 years and has contributed to the advancement of the profession in at least three of the following areas: architectural design, research, planning, technology, practice, preservation and innovation. In addition, the award honors a firm that promotes continual collaboration among individuals, produces work which transcends a specific area of expertise, has a record of community service, and develops a culture which educates and mentors the next generation of architects.

This award recognizes a distinguished project of enduring architectural significance, which has retained its central form, character and integrity intact over time. The entry shall have been completed 25 to 50 years ago, after January 1, 1969 and prior to January 1, 1994.

This award is selected via public participation through an on-line website. The viewer is invited to choose from a select list of designs located in Santa Clara County.

Thank You to Our 2023 Design Awards Sponsors

Previous Design Award Winners

  • Cal Poly Student Housing

    Cal Poly Student Housing

    Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, Inc.

    Citation Award

    Category: Architecture

    Year: 2020

  • Graduate Palo Alto Hotel

    Graduate Palo Alto Hotel

    ELS Architecture and Urban Design in collaboration with AJCP Interior Design

    Merit Award

    Category: Architecture

    Year: 2023

  • Palo Alto Fire Station Number 3

    Palo Alto Fire Station Number 3

    Shah Kawasaki Architects

    Honor Award

    Category: Architecture

    Year: 2020

  • 2820 Orchard Parkway “The Yard”

    2820 Orchard Parkway “The Yard”

    AAI, Architecture & Interior Design

    People's Choice Award

    Category: Architecture

    Year: 2016

  • Waverley


    Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects

    Merit Award

    Category: Residential Architecture

    Year: 2018

  • Wilton Court

    Wilton Court

    PYATOK architecture + urban design

    Citation Award

    Category: Architecture

    Year: 2023

  • Japantown Senior Apartments

    Japantown Senior Apartments

    OJK Architecture + Planning

    Merit Award

    Category: Architecture

    Year: 2016

  • 636 Waverley

    636 Waverley

    Hayes Group Architects + David Kleiman, Assoc. AIA + Paula Shaviv, AIA

    Honor Award

    Category: Architecture

    Year: 2018