Interschool Design Competition

For over two decades, the three Washington area chapters of the American Institute of Architects and the National Building Museum have collaborated to organize the annual Interschool Design Competition (ISDC). These competitions have helped open doors for students to the various local architectural curriculums and the architectural profession.

Sponsors are needed to make the program a success - download sponsorship information here, or contact Kristina Crenshaw, AIA, who represents AIA Potomac Valley on the planning committee, for more details about how to get involved.


Participants in this design competition are students at all levels enrolled in the area’s university architecture programs, including the following accredited universities:

  • Catholic University of America
  • Howard University
  • Morgan State University
  • Virginia Tech Washington-Alexandria Architectural Center (WAAC)
  • University of Maryland
  • University of the District of Columbia (UDC)

Each school selects 8 students to participate in the program. The students are organized into teams with having one student from each school for a total of 8 teams. At the kick-off event the students will meet their fellow teammates and will be told limited information about the program and be provided the site location. Teams are encouraged to visit the site and start planning strategies for the day of the competition. Teams are not provided the full program until the morning of the competition, when they will have 9 hours to develop their entry. The entries are then judged by a panel of design professionals, winners are selected and prizes awarded at the Awards Ceremony which is followed by the Spotlight on Design Lecture at the National Building Museum.

2018 Schedule

  • Kick-Off Reception Thursday, Sept. 13 or Friday Sept. 14 time TBD
  • Competition Day @ National Building Museum – Sunday, Sept. 16 from 9am-5pm
  • Jury Luncheon & Review @ National Building Museum – Monday, Sept. 17, time TBD
  • Awards Ceremony @ National Building Museum – Sept. 17 from 4-6:30pm
  • Spotlight on Design Lecture after the awards ceremony, Speaker TBD