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Competition closed: RIBA Journal/Future Architects writing competition 2024

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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 cash prize

Are you a future architect – a student or early-career professional working towards qualification? And do you have strong views about the state of the built environment, whether that’s how it is or what it could be? If so, the RIBA Journal is giving you the chance to have your say, with our writing competition run in collaboration with RIBA Future Architects,  a community established to inform and inspire emerging architects.

The annual competition is open internationally to entrants studying for Part 1, Part 2 or Part 3, and aims to showcase the voice of the next generation.

This year you are invited to write an article about any building, place or project that shapes the spaces we live in. What does it say about the processes and ideas that go into making architecture, or the contexts in which architects work? We are looking for bright, original pieces of 800-1,000 words that shine a light on topical issues, and could be published in the RIBA Journal.

You could tell us about an architectural experience that has changed the way you think, or work that we could all learn from. Do you know of projects that demonstrate exciting new approaches, or offer fresh perspectives on the practice of architecture? Where does design contribute to tackling the problems we face, from social injustice to climate emergency? What do you value in buildings? Should we revere the exquisite detail or, in a world of constraints and compromise, celebrate ordinary buildings that have their priorities straight and succeed despite the odds? What’s your take on co-design, place-making or attempts to codify beauty in buildings?

Choose any building, place or design project that allows reflection on current themes in architecture, and bring it to life in words.

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

Hiba Alobaydi
Content editor at the Society of Architectural Historians, former managing editor at Archello and assistant editor at Foster & Partners

Chair: Chris Foges
Contributing editor, RIBA Journal

Our competition deadline is Friday 29 March 2024 and the winning article(s) will be featured on The editors may also choose to publish them in the print edition of the RIBAJ, at their discretion. There is a prize of £400 for the winning article, £150 for runners-up 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, director of YAA Projects, educator and writer for numerous architecture journals and publications

Lucy Watson

Commissioning editor, House & Home at the Financial Times

Hiba Alobaydi

Content editor at the Society of Architectural Historians, former managing editor at Archello and assistant editor at Foster & Partner

Chair: Chris Foges

Contributing editor, RIBA Journal

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: 01 February 2024
Submission deadline: 29 March 2024 14:00 UK time
Evaluation of designs with panel and winners agreed: 19 April 2024
Result announced on 15 May 2024

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, runners-up £150, and commended entrants £100.

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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