Judging Process & Criteria

Judging Criteria

The Jury will evaluate these projects based on the following criteria:

  • Aesthetics
  • Innovation
  • Impact
  • Versatility
  • Mission

Aesthetics encompass the visual language of a firm’s work. The jury will consider how a firm’s portfolio of projects manifests their stated intent through innovative materiality, form, spatial organization and detailing. Each project’s aesthetics should be driven by its relationship to its context, its users and the public at large. It isn’t enough to be beautiful – the best projects will display aesthetics that respond to the unique nature of each site and their respective users, and their visual qualities should be both intentional and well executed.

Architecture is a relentlessly forward-looking field that must embrace new technologies and shifting social and demographic trends with curiosity and eagerness. The jury will reward pioneering firms that are forging new paths in their industry, whether it be through material innovation, formal experimentation and/or explorative construction processes. Firms that are rethinking typologies and testing new design concepts to address contemporary challenges of our world will score highly in this area.

In the face of unprecedented global challenges, the impact of the built environment is more crucial than ever. Firms whose work prioritizes the health and wellbeing of people and the wider environment are considered most impactful. Impact can be measured in a multitude of ways, including environmental, material, social, and professional, and high scores will be given to firms that place emphasis on designing for positive change. Both short-term, immediate impact and long-term, potential impact will be taken into consideration.

Critical to an architecture firm’s success is the ability for its designers to adapt to the unique circumstances of each brief. No two projects or clients are the same, and firms that demonstrate how they can respond successfully to a range of different varying project scales, typologies, geographies, social considerations and/or budgets will score highly in this area. Versatility goes beyond aesthetic variation; firms may have a characteristic style, while also illustrating the adaptable nature of their work through material selection, spatial design, performance and functionality.

A firm’s mission encapsulates their overarching goals, and how their approach contributes to achieving those goals.  Firms will be scored on how well their body of work represents their company's principles, philosophy and/or their unique vision for improving the built environment and/or the industry itself through their creative processes. A firm’s mission can be related to their past work and future goals, and speak to their collaborations with others in the field.


  • 1st Annual A+Firm Awards Opens – September 15, 2020
  • Early Entry Deadline – October 9, 2020
  • Regular Entry Deadline – November 20, 2020
  • Final Entry Deadline- December 11, 2020
  • Jury Voting – December 2020 to January 2021
  • Winners Announced – January / February 2021