Architecture Students Gain Experience in Annual Design Competition

On September 16, nearly 50 architecture students from universities in the Washington, DC, area got a firsthand look at how creative design solutions can improve their community during the 2018 Interschool Design Competition. Sponsored by NCARB, the annual competition is a collaborative effort between AIA DCAIA Northern VirginiaAIA Potomac Valley, and the National Building Museum.

students participate in annual design competition

Held in the museum’s Great Hall, the competition included students from The Catholic University of America, Howard University, Morgan State University, The University of Maryland, University of the District of Columbia, and Virginia Tech. The participants were organized into teams including one student from each school.

students review rules during design competition

The competition’s goal is to help connect what students are learning in the classroom to the skills they’ll use in real-world practice—while exploring the realities and limitations imposed by an architecture project. This year, each team was asked to design a mixed-use building in Washington, DC’s Chinatown that includes an early childhood development center and low-income housing, as well as a community park.

students design building layout

Over the eight-hour competition, students collaborated with peers while considering the community’s needs and incorporating sustainable elements into their designs. Participants were given essential drafting tools to craft their solutions.

design competition award ceremony 2018

With challenges that mimic current practice, the event demonstrated how ideas are developed into design solutions, which are then evaluated by a jury of architects for overall design excellence, as well as innovation, impact, and relevance.

students display designs

Students who participated in the competition were given a free NCARB Record for one year, and can report their work in the competition to earn credit toward the Architectural Experience Program® (AXP).