The First Annual ArchVoices Essay Competition was intended to encourage, promote, and reward critical thinking and writing--two traditionally under-emphasized areas of architectural education and training. Interns, non-registered architects, architecture school graduates, and students graduating in 2003, are eligible to participate.

The structure and theme of the competition were developed entirely by a diverse group of interns who participated in the 2002 National Summit on Architectural Internship. The competition was made possible by the generous financial support of RTKL Associates, AIA Educator/Practitioner Network (EPN), Einhorn Yaffee Prescott, Gordon H Chong + Partners, and Architectural Record. The author of the first place essay received a cash prize of $981, equal to the cost of taking the Architect Registration Exam (ARE). The author of the second place essay received an Apple iPod, complements of Architosh. Four Honorable Mentions received a copy of The Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice, complements of Wiley. All semifinalists also received a copy of The Almanac of Architecture & Design, complements of Greenway Consulting

For Stage One, young professionals were invited to submit a 500-word essay proposal reflecting on their career aspirations and values between February 14 and March 14, 2003. 29 selected semifinalists were then invited to develop a 2,500-word essay further exploring the ideas from their first submittal, and 26 individuals took on that challenge.

Finalist essays were reviewed by a distinguished jury composed of Betsey Olenick Dougherty, FAIA, partner of the firm Dougherty + Dougherty in Newport Beach, Calif.; Kristen Richards, editor-in-chief of and OCULUS, the journal of AIA New York; Kate Schwennsen, FAIA, 2003 AIA National Vice President and Associate Dean of the Iowa State University College of Design; and Alex Briseno, editor of 306090: A Journal of Emergent Architecture + Design.


First Prize

$981 Cash Award
equivalent to the cost of the ARE--once

Second Prize

Apple iPod
complements of Architosh

Honorable Mentions

The Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice
complements of Wiley

    Semifinalists Prize

    The Almanac of Architecture & Design
    complements of Greenway Consulting



    January 31 ArchVoices Essay Competition Announced
    February 14 Stage One 500-word Essays Accepted Online
    March 14 Stage One Closes at 9PM (PST)
    April 4 Stage One Semi-finalists Announced
    April 11 Stage Two 2,500-word Essays Accepted Online
    May 2 Stage Two Closes at 9PM (PST)
    May 30 Finalists Announced


The ArchVoices Essay Competition is inspired by the ongoing work of the Berkeley Prize Competition, which encourages, recognizes, and rewards writing by undergraduate architecture students worldwide.

"The ability to speak and write with clarity is essential if architects are to assume leadership in the social, political, and economic arenas where key decisions about the built environment are being made."
--Ernest Boyer & Lee Mitgang, Building Community, p.80