2020 AISC Vision in Steel for Architectural Excellence and Speed

The Forge Prize recognizes innovation in the use of steel and how it can be used to reduce design and construction time. Established by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), the prize invites emerging architects to submit proposals for visionary designs that embrace steel as the primary structural component to increase project speed. The Forge Prize is intended to engage emerging architects in developing imaginative solutions that bolster steel as the 21st century building material of choice through a two-stage design challenge, culminating in a public announcement of the winner in Spring 2020.

Whether solving a logistical constraint or social issue through your proposed vision, channel your inner Mies Van Der Rohe or Philip Johnson by leveraging the inherent characteristics of designing with structural steel. The Forge Prize provides a wonderful platform for conceptual design in which designers are not limited to the scope or complexity of their submissions.

The competition is open to designers based in the United States. There is no entry fee. Enter by January 31, 2020.

The Schedule

Announced Summer 2019

Register & Submit August 2019 - January 2020

Stage One Submission Deadline January 31, 2020

Stage One Finalists Announced February 2020

Stage Two Submission Deadline May 2020

Final Winner Announcement & Event Spring 2020

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Entrants for the 2020 Forge Prize must meet the following criteria:

  • Participants must be emerging architects currently pursuing licensure or licensed 10 years or less in the year 2020.
  • Participants must be working professionals in any of the following firm types:
      • Architecture Firm
      • A/E Firm, but submitting as an emerging architect
      • Design-Build Firm, but submitting as an emerging architect
  • The competition is only open to designers based in the United States.

*Interested parties not fitting the above may still qualify for entry pending review of circumstance. Please email theforgeprize@aisc.org for further clarification.

Participants may submit as an individual or as part of a team. If submitting as a team, one person shall be designated as the team representative for the required public presentation to judges.

Stage One

During Stage One, a jury of experts will convene to identify up to three conceptual submissions that will be awarded a $10,000 stipend to continue onto Stage Two. To the extent possible, AISC will pair the three projects with a steel fabricator to provide recommendations to help continue design development. Participants may think of this as design development with active collaboration between steel fabricators and the designers intended to result in more enhanced and robust submissions for Stage Two.

Stage Two

Stage Two contestants will prepare a final submission and present to the jury in May of 2020. The contestants and jurors will participate in a public event, where each of the three finalists will present their designs, and the jury will provide critical commentary on all three finalist submissions and announce the 2020 Forge Prize winner.

Grand Prize

The 2020 Forge Prize winner will receive an additional $10,000 award, for a grand total of $20,000.

Get Updates

Sign up here to receive the latest news and updates about The Forge Prize. We’ll provide news on submission deadlines, guidelines to follow, and works of inspiration to fuel your design thinking.


Contact us at theforgeprize@aisc.org.