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, and experiential graphic designers. New to this year, we will also be including community planners.
This year we are celebrating our 25th anniversary. We spent a moment to look back to how it all began...
Who we are
Projects submitted to the following categories will be evaluated against peer projects of a similar scale:
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
Projects submitted this category may include New Construction and Renovation of Interior Projects
Large Scale = >5,000 sf
Small Scale = <5,000 sf
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 awards for the categories above, at their discretion, the jury may award any number of projects for additional honors such as innovation and historic preservation.
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 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.
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.