Design Awards

The 2024 AIA California Design Awards are open!

We strive to promote, recognize, publicize, and celebrate the value exceptional design has on the fabric of society. Whether it is a large, multi-residential affordable housing project, or a small public work, submit the work.

Each project is recognized for design excellence, as defined by the American Institute of Architects’ Framework for Design Excellence principles, leading to a zero-carbon, equitable, resilient, and healthy built environment.

Recipients are recognized at three different levels (from highest): Honor Awards, Merit Awards, and Citations.

All registrants, early bird and normal, have until the April 19th deadline to submit their documents. 


Jim Burnett, FASLA
President and Partner | OJB Landscape Architecture
Jim Burnett, FASLA President and Partner | OJB Landscape Architecture

Jim Burnett, FASLA is a leading voice in contemporary landscape practice through his writing, advocacy, and dedication to creating meaningful spaces that challenge the conventional boundaries of landscape architecture. After earning his Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University, Jim founded the Office of James Burnett in 1989 and has continued to lead the firm for more than 30 years. To date, OJB has garnered over 100 state and national design awards. Throughout his work, there has been a particularly strong focus on responsible place-making and the healing properties of landscape. Most recently, the work has focused on the transformation of American cities through the creation of active public spaces. Jim is a Registered Landscape Architect in 26 US states and Canada. In 2004, Jim was elected to ASLA’s Council of Fellows, and in 2016 Jim was honored as the recipient of the prestigious ASLA Design Medal, its highest honor. Jim and the OJB practice are the 2020 National Design award recipients for Landscape Architecture from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian National Design Museum.

Jim Burnett, FASLA

Michael Hsu, FAIA, IIDA, NOMA
Founder and Principal of Michael Hsu Office of Architecture (MHOA)
Michael Hsu, FAIA

Michael Hsu, FAIA, IIDA, NOMA is the founder and principal of Michael Hsu Office of Architecture (MHOA), a fully integrated architecture and interior design firm providing furniture selection services, as well as art direction and branding. MHOA was founded in 2005 and employs 75 team members across studios in Austin and Houston, as well as staff in Dallas, Denver, Nashville, Louisville, and Boston. The work of MHOA is rooted in hospitality and covers a range of expertise such as large mixed-use developments, adaptive reuse projects, public realm design, single family homes, hotels, restaurants, retail spaces, workspaces, bespoke furniture design and branding and visual identity.

Michael Hsu, FAIA

Alison Mears, AIA, LEED AP
Architect, Associate Professor of Architecture, and Director and Co-Founder of Parson Healthy Materials Lab (HML), NY
Alison Mears, AIA, LEED AP

Alison Mears, AIA, LEED AP is an architect, Associate Professor of Architecture, and Director and Co-Founder of Parson Healthy Materials Lab (HML), NY. Alison focuses her research on design strategies that disrupt the building supply chain to incorporate human health as criteria for evaluating building products. She holds a B. Arch from the University of Canberra, Australia, and a Master of Architecture degree from Columbia University GSAPP.

Alison Mears was awarded the 2022 Women in Architecture Innovation Award from Architectural Record with HML Codirector Jonsara Ruth and they coedited the seminal 2023 publication “Material Health: Design Frontiers”.

Alison Mears, AIA

Margaret Montgomery, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP
LFA Principal
Margaret Montgomery, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP, LFA Principal

In her 30+ year career as an architect, Margaret has been passionate about creating healthy places that reunite people with nature. She is a Principal and global sustainable practice leader for NBBJ, a global design firm, where she leads initiatives and projects with far-reaching impact, improving building performance and ecosystem vitality now and into a changing future. Deeply committed to a low-energy, high-performance built environment, she believes that design at all scales - buildings, infrastructure, neighborhoods and cities – is instrumental to creating that future in a way that achieves human needs and desires within the framework of a thriving ecosystem.

Margaret Montgomery, FAIA

Jim Zack, AIA
Founding principal of Zack/de Vito Architecture + Construction
Jim Zack, AIA

Jim Zack, AIA is the founding principal of Zack/de Vito Architecture + Construction, he was trained as a builder and educated as an architect, and leads a diverse practice based in San Francisco specializing in the design and making of buildings, interiors and custom furniture.  A California native, he completed his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley,  receiving numerous honors and design awards.

Jim is philosophically and aesthetically a modernist, he has the hands on experience of a builder, the craft sensibility of a furniture maker, and the rational, thoughtful approach of an architect- his projects have an obsessive, expressive attention to spatial clarity, detail and craft.

Jim Zack, AIA

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