Food for Thought: 18 Exceptional Student Projects Win Steel Industry Awards

September 10, 2020


CHICAGO – The American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) are pleased to announce that 18 remarkable student projects have won the 2020 Steel Design Student Competition.

This year, the competition offered two challenges that prompted architecture students to explore working with steel in design and construction. For the first category, the 2020 ACSA/AISC Steel Design Student Competition challenged students to design an urban food hub, finding solutions to food production and distribution in an urban setting. The second category was open, allowing students the opportunity to select any site and building program that uses steel as the primary material.

The 18 winning projects range from a plan to reinvigorate Quebec City’s marina with a “food machine” built of movable parts to a striking ossuary for New York’s Hart Island to a reimagined headquarters for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

ACSA and AISC are very grateful to the distinguished judges for their generosity and dedication. These jurors include:

Category I: Urban Food Hub Jury

  • Ming Hu, University of Maryland, School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation
  • Ayad Rahmani, Washington State University, School of Design and Construction
  • Chuck Wyder, Harley Ellis Devereaux

Category II: Open Jury

  • Jared Ganstine, Structural Design Group
  • Michelle Pannone, Marywood University, School of Architecture
  • Kristina H. Yu, University of New Mexico, School of Architecture & Planning

Students and faculty sponsors who worked on the following projects have won cash prizes that range between $2,000 and $500. For more information about the competition, please visit


First Place: Food Machine
Students: Hatem Bouassida and Antoine Hurez
Faculty: Jacques Plante and Richard Pleau
Université Laval

Second Place: From 'AgriHood' to AgriHUB
Students: Callum Nolan, Ethan Paddock, Colin Williams, and Patrick Stephen
Faculty: Terri Boake
University of Waterloo

Third Place: Pesce Plaza
Student: Jacob Lyons
Faculty: Kristopher Palagi, Soo J. Jo, and Tara Street
Louisiana State University

Honorable Mention: HOOPLA
Students: Briley Houston and Phillip Minton
Faculty: Kevin Stevens
University of Tennessee-Knoxville

Honorable Mention: Bandes de culture
Students: Alice Corrivault-Gascon and Dominique Arseneault
Faculty: Jacques Plante and Richard Pleau
Université Laval

Honorable Mention: Shanghai Food Bridge
Students: Yifan Zhou, Connie Kwan, and Sydney Foster
Faculty: Clark Llewellyn
University of Hawai’i at Manoa

Honorable Mention: Hongkou Hub - Sustainable Community Farming in Urban Shanghai
Students: Wenzhu Li, Feifan Chen, Richard Robinson, and Bruce White
Faculty: Clark Llewellyn
University of Hawai’i at Manoa

Honorable Mention: Shanghai Food Basket
Students: Bingjie Li, An Guo, Angus Lin, and Janica Domingo
Faculty: Clark Llewellyn
University of Hawai’i at Manoa

Honorable Mention: Transcend
Student: Allison Loth
Faculty: Timothy Gray
Ball State University


First Place: "W" for Will
Students: Rui Li and Fei Hu
Faculty: Fei Wang
Syracuse University

Second Place: Hart Island Ossuary
Student: Tatiana Estrina
Faculty: Vincent Hui
Ryerson University

Third Place: Urban Roots
Students: Ashkan Radnia, Gavin Reeb, and Spencer Sparagna
Faculty: Kyoung-Hee Kim and Liz McCormick
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Honorable Mention: Adaptive Infrastructures
Student: Jacob Bodinger
Faculty: Margarida Yin
California Polytechnic State University

Honorable Mention: the HOODOO
Students: Alena Nagornaia, Solanda Magnuson, Elitsa Vutova, and Amy Tang
Faculty: Thomas Fowler
California Polytechnic State University
Partners: Leo Chow, FAIA, SOM & Mark Sarkisian, PE, SE, LEED, SOM

Honorable Mention: Pack Instinct
Student: Imani Jackson
Faculty: Erik Hemingway
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Honorable Mention: Fusion
Student: Pablo Garcia
Faculty: Christopher Welty
Kennesaw State University

Honorable Mention: CDC 2.0
Student: Kade Brandon
Faculty: Pasquale De Paola and Kevin Singh
Louisiana Tech University

Honorable Mention: Incremental Architecture
Students: Megan Gotsch and Philip Riazzi
Faculty: David Franco, Daniel Harding, and Dustin Albright
Clemson University


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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