The AIA Virginia Prize design competition kicks off the new semester by offering students the opportunity to win a $3000 award. The competition is a design charrette that engages students at all of the accredited schools of architecture in Virginia.

Conducted simultaneously at Hampton University, University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, and the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center, students are given the competition program on a Friday afternoon at 5 p.m. They work over the weekend to create a design solution and submit it by 9 a.m. the following Monday.

Each school’s faculty reviews the submissions and sends up to 10 finalists to Richmond for final judging.

Development of the competition brief rotates between the four schools annually — the 2019 Prize challenge was developed by Virginia Tech.

Launched in 1980, the competition is intended to promote collaboration between the profession, students, and professors in Virginia. Historically, the charrette has taken place in January, however over the last several years, the competition has been hosted in September to accommodate an ongoing scheduling conflict at one of the schools. Now that the conflict has been resolved, the Prize weekend is shifting back to the spring semester to better align with the demands of the academic calendar.

Watch for announcement of the winner in the coming months. If you’d like to get involved, contact Rhea George at