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Enter the Cincinnati Design Awards and showcase your best design work! Projects completed within the past five years in the disciplines of architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, urban planning and experiential graphic design are all eligible for consideration.

The Cincinnati Design Awards (CDA) promote the best in environmental design by Cincinnati-area creative firms. It is the goal of this program to recognize local and regional designers and design firms for their outstanding work in the community and also to educate the general public to the benefits of supporting quality design. Each year, the Cincinnati Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Cincinnati), the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Cincinnati/Dayton City Center, the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Cincinnati/Dayton, the Society for Experiential Graphic Design (SEGD) Cincinnati Chapter, the Miami Section of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and the American Planning Association (APA) Cincinnati Section invite their members to present their best work in their respective annual design competitions. All entries will be judged by a common jury of distinguished guests connected to all facets of the design profession. The awards are announced at the annual CDA banquet with a panel of guest jurors.

After you have read all the information below, use the buttons above to either register as a new entrant or log in to your existing CDA account to manage your entries or purchase new ones (buttons will only be available during the submission timeline). Good Luck to all CDA entrants!

2021 Important Dates

  • Call for Entries:  Sample submissions forms, and additional details will be posted online on August 2nd, 2021
  • New this year, we’ll be hosting an online seminar, ‘How to create winning submissions’, to be held Friday September 24th, at 12:00. This will be a great opportunity to ask questions about the submissions process, get tips on how to craft winning entries, and get additional background information from the CDA committee on how the juries have considered projects in years past. Please click here to join the meeting.
  • The online awards submission system opens August 30, 2021.
  • This year’s entry deadline will be October 1, 2021 at 5:00 pm EST. has been extended to October 8th, 2021 at 5:00 pm!
  • This year we will be celebrating again together in person! The Award night is scheduled for October 29th, 2021 – to be held at Memorial Hall, from 6:00-9:00.

Contacts

If you have questions regarding the program itself or your entry (requirements, categories, etc.), please contact Michelle VonderBrink (michelle.vonderbrink@thinkchamplin.com) by email.

2021 Categories

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

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.

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

In addition to awards for the categories above, at their discretion, the jury may award any number of projects for additional honors for the following:

  • Community impact: More than ever, we hope that our roles as project designers impact our communities beyond simply fulfilling immediate programmatic needs. If you think that your project has far-reaching impacts into the community above and beyond the norm, it may be eligible for this award.
  • Historic Preservation: Preservation of our places, spaces, and communities is paramount, both to preserve and celebrate our collective identities, and as a bedrock of sustainability. You may be eligible for this award if your project team went above and beyond to preserve elements of cultural or historic significance.
  • Interdisciplinary: While most projects are interdisciplinary in nature, this award honors projects that illustrate an exemplary amount of detail and seamless coordination between different design disciplines. For this award, the project should show that the work of individual design disciplines not only fit into the parti of the entire project, but each discipline enhanced and elevated the other’s work, so that the project on the whole became more successful.
  • Innovation in design: Every project is an innovative solution to a project prompt. However, some projects provide opportunities to dig deeper and come up with never before seen solutions, products, and materials. If your project represents such an opportunity for cutting-edge research, methods, or performance, whether built or just conceptual, it may be eligible for this honor.

Note: The number of awards in any category is subject to the discretion of the jury. The jury also has the right not to award any projects in any given category in any given year if the work is not deemed of sufficient quality.

Eligibility

  • Projects must have been completed within five calendar years of the CDA submission deadline each year.
  • The submitting firm must have a local office actively involved in the project.
  • The submitting firm must be the Design of Record, responsible for the overall design of the project concept.
  • Submissions by design teams and joint ventures shall be eligible for the member fee only when the Designer of Record is a local member.
  • Non-members may submit at a non-member rate.

2021 Entry Fees

AIA / IIDA / ASID/ ASLA / SEGD / APA
Member entries: $150
Non-member entries: $300