Student Essay Prize Competition | HDR Architecture

Submissions for this form are closed.


All students enrolled in an architecture degree program are invited to participate in a student essay prize competition sponsored by HDR Architecture. The winner will receive complimentary airfare and hotel accommodations to the 2013 AIA Convention.


Architecture has the ability to communicate a spatial relationship with the body's environment that heightens its senses to acknowledge the use of form and materials through space and scale.  An architectural practice is informed by similar concepts, yet utilizes people to control space and scale to enhance relationships.  For your essay, consider the concept of 'scale' and how it relates to our built and societal environments.

"What is the relevancy of scale in our profession?"

Students are invited to submit a 500-word essay that interprets and reflects their personal viewpoint of the question. The purpose of the essay is to weave together reflections in a way that conveys a new thought to the reader. Essays will be judged on their ability to provide a clear interpretation of the author's message and purpose as well as the author's ability to provide arguments that support their interpretation.

The competition is intended to encourage, promote, and reward critical thinking and writing by young professionals. HDR Architecture reserves the right to publish selected essays in a small anthology or on its design blog, BLiNK.


  • Full-time undergraduate students enrolled in any architecture degree program or majoring in architecture
  • Essays must be submitted in English
  • Essay must not have been previously published and must not have been awarded any national or international prize
  • Finalist will be required to provide proof of current registration in the form of a copy of the most recent school transcript


One finalist will be selected and awarded complimentary airfare and hotel accommodations to the 2013 AIA Convention in Denver, CO, from Wednesday, June 19 to Saturday, June 22, 2013.

Steps to Enter

  1. Meet all eligibility requirements
  2. Write a 500-word essay that reflects your interpretation and viewpoint of the question
  3. Submit the essay in the space below no later than 11:59 p.m. CDT, Thursday, May 30, 2013


Katie Gerfen, Senior Editor, Design, ARCHITECT, chair

Ian Thomas, Architect, HDR Architecture

Additional judges to be announced

Entry Form