2017 Design Awards: Call for Entries

The AIA East Bay Design Awards program recognizes design excellence in architecture, residential architecture, interior architecture, restoration/renovation, and urban design. Criteria to be used by the jury include quality of design, resolution of the program idea, sustainable responsibility, innovation, thoughtfulness, and technique.

Click here to register.

2017 Design Award Guidelines


  • Projects must be designed and submitted by an architect.
  • Projects must have been completed after January 1, 2010.
  • AIA East Bay members may submit projects from anywhere.
  • Non-member architects may submit projects located in the chapter’s four counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Napa and Solano.

Project Types

Projects of all types will be viewed, including, but not limited to:

  • Commercial, office, and mixed-use
  • Industrial, laboratories, and hospitals
  • Transportation and parking structures
  • Places of worship
  • Libraries, schools, and other institutions
  • Historic preservation, adaptive reuse, renovation and restoration
  • Single & multi-residential, dormitories, affordable & temporary housing

Registration per project: $200 AIA Members / $300 Non-members
Click here to register.

Registration AND Submittal Deadline: Noon, Monday, October 30, 2017 -extended deadline!
Awards Reception & Presentation: Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Click here to purchase reception tickets.

Please note, all submittals will be made via Dropbox. Please attend the pre-submittal meeting (9/27) if you have not used Dropbox and have technical questions. Missed the meeting? See Frequently Asked Questions, below.

The 2017 Design Awards jurors:

Karen Fiene, FAIA, LEED AP
Mills College
Oakland, California

Karen Fiene leads campus design and environmental stewardship for Mills College, a private women’s college in East Oakland. Mills’ mission to provide education for young women to become future leaders in a complex global economy compliments Karen’s interest in the design of places that foster creative learning. Since joining the campus in 2006, she has overseen the largest expansion in the College’s history and has engaged high profile design firms with a commitment to sustainability and design excellence. Karen was co-designer of the first LEED platinum building in Oakland, one of two LEED projects on the campus. As co-chair of the Sustainability Committee, she is leading efforts to meet the net zero goals of the President’s Climate Commitment and Campus Climate Action Plan. Karen was instrumental in receiving a Getty Heritage Grant and was a collaborator on the resulting publication; Celebrating the Cultural Landscape Heritage of Mills College, 2008. Current projects include the renovation of Lisser Hall, a 116 year-old performing arts theater designed by Willis Polk.

Formerly with EHDD, Karen gained diverse experience with academic and exhibit related projects with zoos, museums and aquariums. Karen served as President of EHDD for the last three of her 13 years there leading the firm through a critical transition period. She founded Karen Fiene Architects in 1999 focusing on the design and planning of dynamic learning environments prior to joining Mills College.


Craig Steely, AIA
Craig Steely Architecture
San Francisco, California

Craig Steely is a California and Hawaii based architect whose buildings have been described as true and unique hybrids of these two environments.  They embrace the realities of the environment and our connection/separation to it over the subjugation of it, all the while focusing on developing a singular architecture rooted in its context.  Active projects include work on the Big Island of Hawaii, as well as several along the coast of California—from Sea Ranch to San Francisco to Big Sur.

He received his architecture degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. He has lectured at the University of Hawaii, University of California at Berkeley, Cal Poly and at many conferences including the Monterey Design Conference.  His work has been awarded recognition by the American Institute of Architects and published widely in books and periodicals. In 2009 he was selected as an “Emerging Talent” by the AIA California Council. His office was chosen top firm in the 2013 Residential Architect Magazine leadership awards.


Marc L’Italien, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C
San Francisco, California

Marc is a Principal with HGA in San Francisco, where he leads the Arts/Community/Education practice. He is an innovative thinker with a creative voice in the design of major public projects. Many of his projects have broken new ground in high-performance design. Marc has been involved in higher education, museum, science center, aquarium, and zoological park projects. He has deep a passion for—and expertise in—the symbiotic relationships between landscape, architecture, and exhibits.

Prior to joining HGA, he led the design of the new Exploratorium at Pier 15 in San Francisco, which is a LEED Platinum Certified adaptive reuse project, expected to become the largest net zero energy museum in the United States. Other noteworthy accomplishments include the headquarters for the David and Lucile Packard Foundation in Los Altos, CA, a Certified Net Zero Energy Building with the International Living Future Institute; Valparaiso University’s Arts and Sciences Building, which is adjacent to his award-winning 2004 Christopher Center for Library and Information Resources in Indiana; and Factor 10 House, an affordable case-study house completed for the City of Chicago’s Departments of Housing and the Environment. The Exploratorium, Packard Foundation and Factor 10 House projects are all AIA COTE Top Ten Awards recipients.

Marc is currently leading the design of the Westwood Hills Nature Center outside Minneapolis and working with SWA on a Campus Master Plan for SF State University in San Francisco. He holds degrees from the University of Michigan and Yale University.


  1. Can I submit an un-built project? No, all entries must be completed since January 1, 2010.
  2. Does the person submitting need to be an architect? Yes, the person submitting the project must be licensed in California.
  3. What are the categories and how many are awarded in each category? Each entry is judged based on its own merit, and not in a group. The portion of the award submission that asks for a category is so that the jury understands what they are about to see (eg. interior renovation, historic preservation, affordable housing, etc.)
  4. What is the Performance Data Worksheet (PDW) and is it mandatory? It is the sustainability portion of the submission. The only mandatory form is the photo release form; it is to your benefit to complete all portions of the submission fully.
  5. In the California-based projects PDW there is a section 8 that show a variety of building types and T24 compliant and Exemplar EUI’s. What do you want the applicants to do with that section? It is for information so people can understand what their EUI should be for project types. Can also be the baseline for assessing where they stand on AIA 2030 challenge; it is purely informational.
  6. Where do I get all the forms? They will be emailed to you once you register, as will your entry number.


Ideate, Inc

Dealey Renton & Associates

Dolan’s Lumber



Pacific Coast Building Products

2015 East Bay Design Award Winner: East Oakland Sports, ELS Architecture and Urban Design
Photo Credit: David Wakely Photography

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