AISC’s $15,000 Conceptual Design Competition Returns--with Expanded Eligibility

August 9, 2023


CHICAGO - For the last five years, the American Institute of Steel Construction’s Forge Prize has challenged emerging architects to dream up an inspiring vision of the future--and the 2024 competition is now accepting entries from a broader pool of designers than previous iterations.

The basic question is simple: What will the future look like? What will people build with? Where will they live, work, and play? And this year, we’re asking not only practicing architects but also educators and graduate students to consider an answer.

“The future truly belongs to those who create it, and the Forge Prize offers a unique opportunity to dream big and envision something ground-breaking,” said AISC Senior Architect for University Relations Jeanne Homer, AIA. “I spent 20 years teaching architecture, and I’ve watched countless students come up with amazing concepts in the studio. I’m thrilled to invite the next generation of big thinkers and the educators who both guide and are inspired by them to enter the Forge Prize.”

The Forge Prize, established by the American Institute of Steel Construction in 2018, recognizes visionary emerging architects, architecture faculty, and graduate students for design concepts that embrace innovations in steel as a primary structural component.

The competition is open to designers or teams of designers based in the U.S. who are:

  • Emerging practicing architects (those licensed for less than 10 years or on the path to licensure);
  • Tenured or tenure-track educators who have taught for less than 10 years in a university-level architecture program in the U.S.;
  • Adjunct architecture educators who have taught for less than 10 years and have been licensed for less than 10 years or are on the path to licensure;
  • Graduate-level architecture students enrolled in a university-level, U.S.-based architecture program.

Three finalists each win a $5,000 cash prize--and they’ll all get free registration and travel support to attend the 2024 Architecture in Steel specialty conference at NASCC: The Steel Conference (March 20 to 22, 2024, in San Antonio, Texas)!

They’ll each work with a steel fabricator to refine their concept before stepping into a global spotlight to present their concepts live to the judges--and to the public--on YouTube.

The winning designers will present their visions to the industry at the conference and take home the $10,000 grand prize!

The design community has embraced the challenge since the competition’s inception, creating concepts for jaw-dropping pedestrian bridges in San Diego and New York, a revitalized public housing community in Harlem, and much more. The 2023 Forge Prize went to a design that would reimagine existing gas station infrastructure for the EV age.

Submissions are due by 11:59 p.m. Central on November 30, 2023.


For more information contact:

Dani Friedland
Director of Marketing Communications

American Institute of Steel Construction

The American Institute of Steel Construction, headquartered in Chicago, is a non-partisan, not-for-profit technical institute and trade association established in 1921 to serve the structural steel design community and construction industry. AISC's mission is to make structural steel the material of choice by being the leader in structural steel-related technical and market-building activities, including specification and code development, research, education, technical assistance, quality certification, standardization, market development, and advocacy. AISC has a long tradition of service to the steel construction industry of providing timely and reliable information. 

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