Schools Connections 2023 Mug Competition 

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Photo Credit ©️ Joshua A.W. McKenrick

Each year, the Schools Connections Committee holds a scholarship competition for architecture students who are attending school in Virginia or attend an architecture school out-of-state but reside in Virginia. Cash prizes are awarded to winning students with funds coming from the Northern Virginia Chapter of the AIA, alongside matching funds from AIA National through a component matching scholarship grant program.

This year’s competition involved students creating a design to be placed on a standard white ceramic coffee mug. The aim of the competition was to design a graphic that would spark a conversation about architecture when the mug is viewed in someone’s hands. 

Entries were solicited back in October of 2023 with a due date at the end of November. Students’ entries were judged on composition, clarity, technique and an overall answer to ‘does this make me want to talk about architecture?’ Three winners were selected, each representing the Washington Alexandria Architecture Center (WAAC). The winners were notified at the end of December, and in late January were presented with a scholarship check as well as a mug with their winning design. 

This 2023 mug design competition winners were: 

FIRST PLACE
-Manuela Delfino Perez, Master’s student at the WAAC

The shading, the line weights, the pops of color and the overall composition of the pieces; all of it came together for an appealing design that won over the judges. Many architectural conversations could be started after a viewing of a mug with this design.


SECOND PLACE
-Anahita Nazerieh, Master’s student at the WAAC

The rhythm and simplicity of the design appeals to the eye of the architect, or anyone familiar with sketches and diagrams. A great promotion for the Washington Alexandria Architecture Center as well. 


THIRD PLACE
-Arushi Mathur, Master’s student at the WAAC

Coming off a win from last year’s competition; this entry mixes basic architectural graphics into a vibrant composition that forces a second look, revealing finer patterns and details. 


Please join me in congratulating the winners of the 2023 Schools Connections Committee Mug Competition!
Joshua A.W. McKenrick, AIA, 2023 Schools Connections Committee Chair

Published: 02/13/2024
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