This has always been a hot topic in the architecture community. I’ve been on both sides of the fence myself. I once won 4th place in a design competition for “Most Liveable Design” in which the winning design was to be built as a spec home and then sold. It always rubbed me funny that if my design was the “most liveable” why would such a design not be the winning entry for a competition intending to build a home that someone would eventually live in?
But I digress. Award competitions, the likes of which discussed here, take into consideration only those that are the highest profile, the highest budgets and, yes, the most shiny photo spreads. Personally, I would like to see these competitions broken into cost categories. Most notably a category for most innovative design for single family homes under $250,000.00. Now THAT would be a sweet competition in my book.
Awesome post, as always, by my buddy Lee.

think | architect


Okay, I promised myself I would leave this alone. But I can’t help myself, so pardon my sarcasm and generalization ahead. Glossy magazine awards and AIA award programs showcase amazing unique houses each year. We love them, yet hate them. These edgy projects are part of a self-perpetuating cycle where the juries choose their favorites each year rather than consider the broader public’s opinion. It’s an architectural equivalent to Amish friendship bread that never ends.

Let’s think a bit deeper here about the criticism from architects about these awards. What is the real issue here? Why are we agitated by this? One issue is custom “traditional” houses are commonly overlooked. I’m not trying to tackle that issue today except to say that unique contemporary houses getting all of the attention is getting architects in a dither. It’s also accepting that the honored selections are not intended to be prototypical for…

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