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ACSA-AISC Steel Design Student Competition 2018-2019

Steel Design Student Competition 2018-2019

Steel Design Student Competition Brief

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) is pleased to announce the 19th Annual Steel Design Student Competition for the 2018-2019 academic year. Administered by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), the program is intended to challenge students, working individually or in teams, to explore a variety of design issues related to the use of steel in design and construction. Steel must be used as the primary structural material and contain at least one space that requires long-span steel structure, with special emphasis placed on innovation in steel design.

The 2018-2019 Steel Design Student Competition will offer architecture students the opportunity to compete in two separate categories:

The Opportunities

Challenges architecture students to design an intermodal transportation center that proposes a cohesive transit system that includes components such as international, regional, and local train stations, bus terminals, ports, airports and spaceports in a major urban location.

Category II OPEN
Offers architecture students the opportunity to select a site and building program using steel as the primary material. This competition category permits the greatest amount of flexibility for any building type.

Students may not enter both categories of the competition.

Advantages of Steel

Structural steel offers a number of benefits in building design including the capacity to bear great loads in tension and compression, high resiliency and performance under harsh and difficult conditions, (e.g., earthquakes and hurricanes) and the ability to span great distances with minimal material. Steel can be shaped by many processes, ranging from standard rolled sections to custom castings and digitally generated components. It can be prefabricated and delivered for site assembly, and it can be erected quickly under almost any weather condition to meet tight construction schedules. Similarly, steel’s wide use for building cladding highlights its durability, technical capabilities and aesthetic versatility.

Steel Des
Image Credit: Students: Xiao Wang, Hanwei Fan & Yifeng Guo, Iowa State University (

Steel can be easily modified during the life cycle of a building to accommodate changing occupant requirements. As the most recycled material in the world, steel is an environmentally sound building material choice. Today, structural steel is 97% recycled with the primary source being automobiles. Architects praise the natural beauty of steel and are excited about exposing it in the design of their structures to emphasize grace, slenderness and strength, and in their building envelopes to enhance environmental performance and aesthetic character.

Curved steel is an art, providing endless possibilities for architectural expression. It enhances the visibility of any building project – from the largest monumental project to that building down your street. Curved steel is a unique way to increase the design creativity of your next building project. And most importantly, curved steel is readily available nationally from a number of qualified AISC Associate Member Bender-Rollers. AISC information on curved steel:


Because the support of AISC is largely derived from steel companies whose markets are mainly in the U.S., the competition is open to students from ACSA Full and Candidate Member Schools from the U.S. and Canada, as well as ACSA Affiliate Members Schools from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico only.

The competition is open to upper level students (third year or above, including graduate students). All student entrants are required to work under the direction of a faculty sponsor. Entries will be accepted for individuals as well as teams. Teams must be limited to a maximum of five students. Submissions should be principally the product of work in a design studio or related class.


The design jury will meet in Summer 2019 to select winning projects and honorable mentions. Winners and their faculty sponsors will be notified of the competition results directly. A list of winning projects will be posted on the ACSA web site at www.acsa‑ and the AISC web site at

Winning students and their faculty sponsors will receive cash prizes totaling $14,000 with distribution as follows:

          Category I TRANSPORTATION CENTER          Category II OPEN 
First Prize  First Prize 
Student                       $2,500  Student                       $2,500 
Faculty Sponsor          $1,000  Faculty Sponsor          $1,000 
Second Prize  Second Prize 
Student                       $1,500  Student                       $1,500 
Faculty Sponsor          $750  Faculty Sponsor          $750 
Third Prize  Third Prize 
Student                       $750  Student                       $750 
Faculty Sponsor          $500  Faculty Sponsor          $500 

A limited number of honorable mentions may also be awarded at the jury’s discretion. Prize‑winning submissions will be exhibited at the 2020 ACSA Annual Meeting and the 2020 AIA National Convention as well as published in a competition summary publication.


Registration Deadline : 03 April, 2019

Submission Deadline : 22 May, 2019

Announcement of Winners : Summer 2019

Publication of Summary Book : Fall 2019

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