Firm Award Rules and Eligilibity

The AIA Chicago Firm Award was established in 1991 to recognize outstanding achievements and excellence in the body of work produced by a firm over a period of time, and the ongoing contributions of the firm to the advancement of the architectural profession. This award is given for the collective achievements of an organization, rather than for the individual contributions of firm principals. 

The purpose of the AIA Chicago Firm Award is to recognize: 

  • Outstanding achievements by a firm
  • Excellence in the body of work produced by a firm over the last ten years
  • The contribution made by a firm to the advancement of the architectural profession in the areas of design
  • Research, planning, technology, and architectural practice
  • Distinctive characteristics or personality of a firm and its operations 


Membership in AIA Chicago is required. Successor firms may be considered if the collective body of work presented is that of most of the remaining principals. While the jury will examine the entire history of the firm, close attention will be given to the work of the past ten (10) years. Past award-winning firms are eligible to reapply after 10 years. 

Eligible firms must: 

  • Have not won the Firm Award in past 10 years 
  • Be a 2030 Signatory 
  • Report to DDx


AIA Chicago will convene a local jury to review the submissions. The winner will be notified as soon as possible after the deliberations. The winner may be asked for additional materials to be used in publicizing the award in Chicago Architect, in the architecture media, and on the Chapter’s website.


January 27, 2023: Call for Entries

February 27, 2023, 5:00pm Central: Submission Deadline

Late March, 2023: Winner Announced

The winner of the Firm Award will be celebrated in late spring/early summer, recognized at Designight, and featured in Chicago Architect magazine.

Entry Question Preview: 

The submission entry form for the Firm Award focuses on areas of firm culture, demographics, EDI initiatives, sustainability, design, and the impact the firm has had on the built environment. A snapshot of the questions and information to gather prior to beginning your firm’s submission can be found below: 

  • Firm history, size, and demographics. 
  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion initiatives. 
  • Sustainability initiatives. 
  • How does the firm/staff participate in conveying the role of Architects and Architecture to the public? 
  • What are the ways your firm is embracing and integrating sustainable philosophies and technologies in projects? 
  • What strategies and methods are used by the firm to develop and promote younger staff/emerging professionals for the future? 
  • How does your team collaborate to accomplish firm and project goals? 
  • Tell us about your firm's design philosophy. 
  • What makes the firm what it is today? 


  • PROJECT IMAGES: Submit up to 10 project images that convey:
    • Positive impact to community and environment
    • Collaborative team effort in and out of the office
    • Cumulative effect on the practice of architecture
  • AWARDS: Submit 1 page of awards and honors received by your firm for projects and/or staff members.  
  • LECTURES: Submit 1 page listing public lectures, symposiums, or presentations given by your firm and/or staff members.  
  • PUBLICATIONS: Submit 1 page listing articles, books, documentaries by or about your firm and/or staff members.  
  • GROUP PHOTO of all firm employees.

Please Note 

Each step of the entry process contains instructions. Please read directions carefully and contact Ashley Spellshould you have questions. 

Once you register and begin a submission, you will be able to access and save during the open submission period or until you hit the final submit button. 

Revisions will not be possible after the final upload is complete.