AIA Northern Virginia
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Interschool Design Competition
For over two decades, the Washington DC Metro area chapters of the American Institute of Architects and the National Building Museum have collaborated to organize the annual Interschool Student Design Competition (ISDC). These competitions have helped open doors for students to the various local architecture curriculums and the architecture profession.

Who Takes Part in the Competition?
Participants in this design competition are students at all levels enrolled in the area's university architecture programs, including the following accredited universities for 2021:

How does the Competition Work?
Teams of six are composed of students from each University. At the kick-off event, the students meet their fellow teammates, are told limited information about the program and are given the site location. Teams are encouraged to visit the site and start planning strategies for the day of the competition. On the morning of the competition, teams receive the full program and have 9 hours to develop their entry. Once complete, the entries are judged by a panel of design professionals, with winners and prizes announced at the Awards Ceremony. The ceremony commences the Spotlight on Design lecture at the National Building Museum.

In 2021, the event was held virtually with the Kick-Off Event on Sept. 16, and the competition on Sept. 18. After a full day of design and collaboration, students submitted their entries to the jury, led by Dr. Hazel Ruth Edwards, FAICP, for deliberation. Winning teams were announced on Sept. 19 during the virtual awards ceremony.

Many thanks to the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), our exclusive sponsor for this event. Their help and support of the competition were instrumental in its success.

View the event on the Chapter's YouTube Channel.