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Have your say: 2023 RIBAJ/Future Architects writing competition now closed

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Chris Foges

If you have something to tell the profession about, this is your chance to reach your audience. Make your name as a communicator – and win a prize

Are you a future architect – a student or early-career professional working towards qualification? And do you have strong views about the profession as it is, or as it might be? About the state of our built environment, and how it’s made? About how design could address social injustice or environmental collapse? You might be exasperated by the mechanics of development, or enthralled by the possibilities of digitally-augmented design. Do you know of places – or people – that demonstrate exciting new thinking, or offer fresh perspectives on the practice of architecture?  

If so, the RIBA Journal is giving you the chance to have your say, with a writing competition run in collaboration with RIBA Future Architects – a community established to inform and inspire emerging architects.

The competition is open internationally to architecture students and early career professionals (part 1, part 2 or studying for part 3), and aims to showcase the voice of the next generation.

We are looking for bright, original articles of 800-1,000 words that give an insight into the processes, ideas, strategies and contexts that go into making architecture. Entries should be aligned with the three main sections of the RIBA Journal -– Buildings, Intelligence or Culture.

  • Buildings: A study of a building – new or refurbished – or place, which exemplifies wider issues in contemporary architecture
  • Intelligence: An informative piece on an industry innovation or hot topic for architects, from new technology and the conditions of practice to design ethics
  • Culture: A profile of a person or practice connected with architecture, in the UK or internationally

Past winners have considered arguments for reuse in buildings with a dark history, examined the film Parasite for lessons in multigenerational living, and asked deep questions about the possibility of anti-racism in architecture as a profession and beyond. See other previous winners here


Criteria and evaluation panel

An expert jury will be looking for a current topic, and clear, lively and engaging writing.

Nana Biamah-Ofosu
Architect, director of YAA Projects, educator and writer for numerous architecture journals and publications

Lucy Watson
Commissioning editor, House & Home at the Financial Times

Jane Hall
Founder member of Assemble and author of Breaking Ground: Architecture by Women, and Woman Made

Chair: Chris Foges
Contributing editor, RIBA Journal

Our competition deadline is Monday 3 April 2023 and the winning article(s) will be featured on The editors may choose to also publish them in the print edition of the RIBAJ, at their discretion. There is a prize of £400 for the winning article and £100 for commended entries.

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1. Competition promoter

The competition is being run by the RIBA Journal in conjunction with the RIBA Future Architects.

2. Eligibility

The competition is open internationally to architecture students and early career professionals (part 1, part 2 or studying for part 3).

No member or employee of the promoting body, the evaluation panel, or any partner, close associate or employee of them is eligible to compete or assist a competitor.

3. Competition format

This is a single stage competition.

4. Judges’ decision

The judges’ decision as to winners and commendations is final. Judges are looking for three category winners and an overall winner and may also award commendations to pieces. Judges reserve the right to declare no winners if entries are of insufficient quality.

5. Evaluation panel

The evaluation panel is expected to be: 


Nana Biamah-Ofosu

Architect, teacher and writer

Chris Foges

Contributing editor, RIBA Journal, chair of the panel 

Jane Hall

Co-founder, Assemble, and writer

Lucy Watson

Commissioning editor, Financial Times

In the event of an evaluation panel member being unable to continue to act through illness or any other cause, the RIBA reserves the right to appoint an alternative panel member.

6. Competition timetable

The anticipated programme, which may be subject to variation, is as follows:

Competition launch 

Wednesday 22 February 2023

Submission deadline 

Monday 3 April 2023

14.00 UK time

Evaluation of designs with panel and winners agreed 

Wednesday 26 April 2023 

Email notification to winners 

Friday 12 May 2023 

Result announced on

Friday 19 May 2023


7. Disqualification

Submissions shall be excluded from the competition:

  • If an entrant improperly attempts to influence the decision
  • If received after the latest time stated under the Submission method (below)
  • If, in the opinion of the Evaluation Panel, it does not fulfil the requirements of the competition brief
  • If any of the mandatory requirements of the brief and conditions are disregarded.

8. Submission requirements

There are two elements to the submission:

  • Article
  • Image with caption and credit

9. Evaluation criteria

  • High quality writing
  • Engagement
  • Clarity
  • Currency of choice of subject

10. Notification of result / publication and publicity

Entrants must not release their articles for publication to any third parties until after the result has been officially announced and permission has been granted from the RIBA. Entrants should note that by entering the competition they are expected to honour the request for confidentiality.

The RIBA reserves the right to publicise the competition, any article, and the result in any promotional activity, including all social media channels.

You and your collaborators grant to the Royal Institute of British Architects permission to reproduce the material supplied in all formats, in all media and on all platforms in perpetuity, in whole or in part without payment.

11. Copyright

The ownership of copyright will be in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 – ie copyright rests with the author of the submitted text and images.

12. Post competition

Winning articles will be published on and may also be published in the print edition of the RIBA Journal. Commended articles may be published. The winner will receive £400, commended entrants £150.

13. Enquiries

All enquiries relating to the competition should be directed to:

14. Data

Data will be held by RIBA for the purposes of recording participation in the Future Architects writing competition. The data will be kept throughout the duration of the competition for the purpose of contacting entrants with updates for the competition. This information will not be shared with any third party without the express and prior consent of the author. Read the RIBA’s privacy policy.



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