It’s time to put your creative hats on, as the year moves ahead, a wide range of competitions are waiting to embark on the journey of innovation. Architecture Competitions give students to explore new concepts and techniques without the fear of making any mistakes. These competitions teach them to work on some ideas that still may need detailing in the real world but on sheets, they start taking shape. Along with experience these also reflect on the student’s portfolio for his or her future opportunities, making them confident for the public jury, helping gain recognition within the field, and at the end of the day competitions keep them in practice.

Here are 15 competitions every student should know about:

1. The Home Competition | Architecture Competitions

The Home Competition
The Home Competition ©

Ranked as the no. 1 design competition of 2018 & 2019, the home competition provides a platform to imagine the private space of a household as it shifts through cultural practices and technological advancement. Giving the freedom of space, context, and concept to be used, the design challenge proposes a leap of imagination to design a home that adapts to the potential circumstances of the future.

2. eVOLO- Skyscraper Competition

eVOLO- Skyscraper Competition
eVOLO- Skyscraper Competition ©

The annual competition strives for the design of skyscraper designs that assess the relation of skyscrapers with the people, city, and environment. The brief provides immense freedom of scale, context, and program but emphasizes on giving due consideration to the relationship that the design will establish with the social and cultural context, innovative use of technology and apt sustainable approaches.

3. INSPIRELI Awards and Competition | Architecture Competitions

Inspireli Awards and Competition ©

The INSPIRELI awards and competition call for ideas and stories of students from across the world which lay in the domain of architecture, urban design, and landscape. It is a unique opportunity to share one’s work at a global stage in the quest for excellence. Additionally, it has a design competition as a part of the program, which is also considered for the award.

4. International VELUX Award for students of architecture

International VELUX Award for students of architecture
International VELUX Award for students of architecture ©

With a prime focus on the use of daylight in buildings with an innovative approach, embedded in intense research and experimentation, the competition seeks solutions which are ahead of time. It is held every second year and is conducted in different regions throughout the world. The competition acknowledges the students as well as teachers who guide the design approach and methodology.

5. Berkeley Essay Prize Competition | Architecture Competitions

Berkeley Essay Prize Competition
Berkeley Essay Prize Competition ©

Established by the department of architecture at the University of California, Berkelythe essay writing competition proposes a question that addresses the domain of the built environment and its relation to people and calls for budding answers in 500 words. It is open for students enrolled in an undergraduate architecture degree program across the world. Held in two rounds, the winner is endowed with a travel fellowship.

6. 120 Hours

120 Hours
120 Hours ©

120 Hours- 5 days is the timeline in which students of architecture are challenged to provide solutions for a socially engaging and conceptually complex design brief. Established by students of architecture themselves from the Oslo school of architecture and design, the solutions that competition seeks are as unique as its format.

7. Architecture at Zero

Architecture at Zero
Architecture at Zoo ©

The theme of the competition is an energy-efficient design primarily for public buildings. For a predetermined site each year, entries are invited that comply with the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC). The challenge is open to students as well as professionals from the field of architecture and sustainability.

8. What Design Can do | Architectural Competitions

What Design Can do ©

Considering various societal issues, what we can do is frame challenges that invite thought-provoking solutions of growth, change, and exemplary visions. With their collaborations with pioneers in the field of design and architecture, their platform even provides an opportunity to make the ideas into reality.

9. Asia Young Designer’s Award

Asia Young Designer’s Award
Asian Young Designer’s Award ©

Providing an opportunity to the young talent in the field of architecture and interior design, the Asia young designer’s award celebrates the work of students through 15 countries, i.e. Bangladesh, China, and the regions of China (Hong Kong & Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. Different criteria such as innovation, color use, sustainability, functionality, conceptualization is aligned to determine the winning entries.

10. Transparence and Archumen | Architecture Competitions


Transparence and Archumen
Transparence and Archumen ©

Coming up with a challenging theme each year,  Transparence is a competition that encourages extensive research and opens doors for creative design solutions for projects that are diverse in nature as well as scale. Under the same banner of organizers, Archumen, an architectural quiz competition is held in four different zones in India. Both the platforms have acquired massive interest from students across the nation.

11. IGBC Green Design Competition

IGBC Green Design Competition
IGBC Green Design Competition ©

An initiative by IGBC, calls for innovative designs for projects such as a school, home, and shelter for construction workers, with a keen emphasis on sustainability. The competition aims to encourage young designers to think out of the box and implement green building design strategies.

12. Young Architects Competition

Young Architects Competition
Young Architects Competition ©

Open to students and professionals, the periodical competition is a captivating experience that evokes research-based entries for challenges in architecture and city planning. The association has developed a wide range of complex design briefs so far, such as citadels, refuge towns, a railway station, etc., for which winning entries have been equally thought-provoking.

13. RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship

RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship
RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship ©

The scholarship invites architecture schools to nominate a student enrolled in the program, with an exceptional caliber for critical thinking about the sustainable survival of cities and towns. The applicants are further required to propose their intent and itinerary for the traveling scholarship. It is sponsored by the Norman Foster Foundation in collaboration with RIBA.

14. SOM Travelling Scholarship

SOM Travelling Scholarship
SOM Travelling Scholarship ©

The scholarship aims to acknowledge the work of a student to pursue intensive research in the field of architecture and urban design. It also provides a prestigious opportunity to collaborate with pioneers in the field as well as renowned faculty to develop their work. The winner receives $50,000 and the runner-up is awarded $20,000 as the traveling fellowship.

15. Rotch Travelling Scholarship | Architecture Competitions

Rotch Travelling Scholarship
Rotch Travelling Scholarship ©

A two-stage design competition is conducted every year that awards one student as the winner of the reputed scholarship. The winner is awarded nearly $40,000 to pursue a semester abroad and travel as per their intentions for six months.


Aditi Sharma is an architect, researcher and amateur photographer based in Mumbai. Through RTF she is expressing her ardent thoughts in the domain of culture, history, gender, and architecture.