November 3rd, 2023

6:00-9:00, at Memorial Hall OTR

Celebrating the Best in Built Environment Design by Cincinnati-Area Creative Firms

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About CDA

The Cincinnati Design Awards (CDA) program recognizes the best built-environment design produced by Cincinnati-area creative firms and promotes the social and economic value of good design in our community. Each year, a distinguished nationwide jury of design thought leaders and eminent practitioners presents the awards to projects submitted by local architecture, interiors, landscape, community planners and experiential graphic designers. New to this year, we will also be including student work from local Universities!

In 2021 we celebrated our 25th anniversary. We spent a moment to look back to how it all began, and the impact we've had...

Who we are

2022 Jurors

Alecia Kintner
President & CEO | ArtsWave
Kim Yao, FAIA
Principal | Architecture Resource Office
Ana Pinto-Alexander, FIIDA, EDAC, RID
Global Interiors Director | HKS, INC
Kathy Fry
Principal/Owner | Mayer/Reed 
Tao Zhang
Principal & Chair of Design Culture | SASAKI

Committee Members

Michelle VonderBrink
Champlin Architecture

Luke Field
THP Limited

Blake Kishler
Kolar Design

Megan Mershman

Eric Anderson
KZF Design

Erin Hershberger
Champlin Architecture

Julie Carpenter
AIA Cincinnati

Kevin Kluender
drawing dept

Bonny Rienecke

Diana Bolton
Human Nature, Inc

McKenzie Goyert

Suzanne Hopkins
Senior Designer
Kolar Design

Rob Busch
drawing dept

Rebekah Vazquez


Projects submitted to the following categories will be evaluated against peer projects of a similar scale:

Building Architecture

Projects submitted this category may include New Construction, Adaptive Reuse, Preservation, Additions, Urban Design and are evaluated against peer projects of a similar scale

Large Scale = >10,000 sf
Small Scale = <10,000 sf

Interior Architecture

Projects submitted this category may include New Construction and Renovation of Interior Projects

Large Scale = >5,000 sf
Small Scale = <5,000 sf

Experiential Graphics

Projects submitted this category may include Wayfinding, Branded Environments, Placemaking, Interactive Experiences, Exhibition Design, Individual Signs

Large scale = environments or systems
Small Scale = features or elements

Landscape Architecture & Community Planning

Projects submitted this category may include Residential, Parks, Urban Design, Campuses, Streetscape, Hospitality, Landscape Art, Interior Landscapes, Gardens, Green/Blue Infrastructure, Green Roofs, Trails & Recreation, Community and Comprehensive Plans, Open Space Networks, Neighborhood Improvement/Revitalization Plans.

Planning & Analysis Projects = evaluating the rigor and soundness of analysis and planning projects that contribute to a unique sense of place.

Implementation = results of a plan or a built project of unusually high merit contributing to an improved quality of life.

In addition to the categories above, the jury may bestow an award for special recognition for Innovation in design, Historic Preservation, Community Impact and Interdisciplinary Design.

Award Levels

Honor Awards

Honor Award winners represent design conceived and executed at the highest levels of the profession. Fully realized and expertly crafted solutions like these make our environment more functional, beautiful, and inspiring for everyone.

Merit Awards

Merit Award winners reveal what design can do when applied with wit and purpose. They often surprise with their resourceful approach to difficult circumstances and never fail to bring delight to users.

Mention Awards

There is something about Honorable Mention projects that you can’t always put your finger on, but you can rarely forget. This award is how our jurors say it.