2023 BLTa Student Design Competition


BLT Architects – a Perkins Eastman Studio, (BLTa) is pleased to announce its 12th Annual Student Design Competition. This year we will host a virtual competition happening on Saturday, March 25th and Sunday, March 26th. Structured as a hackathon-style partner challenge, the competition is open to students enrolled in an architectural program graduating in 2024 or after at a qualifying school. Refer to eligibility below for further guidelines.

Potential interns enter the Student Design Competition as a team. A maximum of twenty teams will be accepted. The competition will be hosted through Microsoft Teams and/or other digital communication applications.

Each two-person team will be assigned a coach from BLTa to provide guidance and support.

For more information, check out the FAQs below.


Both members of the winning team will be awarded $1,000 and a paid internship with BLT Architects for the summer of 2023.


An email containing a more detailed competition prompt and a list of materials to bring will be released a week before the competition date on March 18, 2023.


  • Participants must be pursuing a Masters in Architecture degree, a Masters in Interior Design degree, or be third or fourth-year students (or second year Drexel students) pursuing a five-year Bachelors of Architecture degree.
  • Participants must be eligible to work in the United States and over the age of 18.
  • Participants must have an anticipated graduation date of 2024 or later.
  • Participants must be currently enrolled in an architectural program at the following NAAB and accredited schools during the 2022-2023 academic year:
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Catholic University
  • Columbia University
  • Community College of Philadelphia
  • Cornell University
  • Drexel University
  • Jefferson University
  • Howard University
  • Morgan State University
  • NJIT
  • New School / Parsons School of Design
  • Northeastern University
  • Penn State University
  • Pratt University
  • Princeton University
  • Syracuse University
  • Temple University
  • University of Buffalo
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Virginia Tech


  • Teams must have exactly two individuals. Each team member must register separately and identify their teammate when registering.
  • All participants must provide a scanned copy of their student ID and proof of major upon registration.
  • Winners must provide resumes and references.

Teams will receive an acceptance email confirming registration once both members have registered and eligibility is confirmed. Participation is predicated on acceptance of these regulations. Entrants who do not adhere to any competition rules may be immediately disqualified.


Teams will be judged on the following criteria:

Creative Approach:
• The design response is innovative and inspirational
• The design addresses any critical issues

Response to Site:
• The design responds to the physical aspects
• The design responds to site context

• The design considers the environmental impact and energy use
• The design considers social sustainability, occupant lifestyle, and well-being

• Planning and building organization is clear and appropriate
• There is a clear structural, technical, and constructional rationale

Coaches are not involved in the judging process.


Please upload a photo of your student ID
Please upload your proof of major


Q: Do I have to be a student in the United States?

A: Yes. The competition is only open to students enrolled in approved architectural programs. Additionally, students must be already eligible to work in the United States.

Q: Are graduate students eligible?

A: The competition is open to both graduate and undergraduate students graduating in 2024 or later.

Q: How many people are allowed per team?

A: Each team will have exactly two individuals, both of whom must meet eligibility requirements.

Q: Do I have to be in the same school as my partner?

A: No, however both partners must be attending an eligible school.

Q: If I don’t have a partner, can BLTa assign one to me?

A: Unfortunately, BLTa cannot assign partners.

Q: What is an employee coach?

A: Each team will be paired with a current BLTa professional to respond to questions, provide strategic guidance, and appropriate time checks. Under no circumstance will a BLTa professional provide design directions.

Q: What is the grand prize this year?

A: The grand prize consists of a paid internship at BLTa for the summer of 2023, as well as a $1,000 per individual. The winning entry will be posted on the BLTa website.

Q: I’m a student in an accredited architecture program, but I don’t see my school on the list. Am I still eligible to enter?

A: For questions of eligibility and exceptions, email [email protected]

Q: How much does registration cost?

A: Participation in the Student Design Competition is free of charge.

Q: When is the deadline for registration?

A: Registration closes on March 18, 2023, at 11:59 pm ET or when twenty teams are reached. After twenty teams are registered, we will maintain a waitlist of applicants.

Q: Are there any requirements on what I have to submit as a registrant?

A: Entrants must submit a scanned copy of student ID as a JPEG or PNG (maximum size of 10 MB). Proof of major must be provided (i.e., copy of class registration). Both partners must provide all materials at the time of registration.

Q: Where do I sign up to get the design prompt?

A: All those who register will automatically receive notices, including the design prompt via email.

Q: What do I need?

A: One week before the competition, all registered competitors will receive an email outlining required and prohibited items. Competitors will work with their own hardware, software, and other materials, BLTa will not be providing any materials for the competition.

Q: What is the timeline for the competition?

A: The competition will begin on Saturday, March 25, 2023, at 9:00 am. Participants will be given the full design prompt and expectations. The following morning, Sunday, March 26, each team will give a 2-minute presentation of their submission, and after deliberation, the Judges will announce the winners.