drawing of the year 2020

Drawing of the Year 2020

Submission: November 01, 2020
Registration: November 01, 2020
Language: English
Location: Concept
Prizes: Please see details below
Type: Open


For the last 7 years Aarhus School of Architecture has celebrated architectural drawing through the international drawing competition for architecture students, DRAWING OF THE YEAR. The competition is a joint collaboration with Schmidt, Hammer, Lassen Architects, Vola, and The Danish Arts Foundation. Every year the number of participants has increased, and so has the quality and the level of the drawings. Internationally acknowledged architects from all over the world have taken part of the jurys and thereby contributed to the high standard and professionalism in the organization of the competition.

The aim of the competition is to celebrate the architect’s oldest and most important tool, and to continuously explore new tendencies in architecture through architectural drawing. The drawing process eventually leads to new thinking and to development of ideas for the one who draws. Furthermore, it is a valuable medium that disseminates thoughts and ideas to colleagues, clients, and a broader audience. The drawing enables the architect to communicate, seduce, convince, and initiate a dialogue. That´s why drawing is so important, and why we continue to encourage students all over the world to participate in the annual competition, because, as former jury member Jenny Osuldsen from Snøhetta says, ‘the one who holds the pen, has the power.’

We strongly emphasize that the competition is run, judged and completed professionally, and that the winners are recognized with decent prices. Further, the competition is followed up by an exhibition, and for three years in a row we have documented the 100 best annual drawings in a publication.

From initial year´s themes such as Engaging Through Architecture (2013), Transformation (2014), Habitation (2015) and Sustainability (2016) to recent year´s more theoretically and societally engaged themes like Everyday Utopia (2017), Shaping New Realities (2018), and Post-Human Metamorphosis (2019), the competition has persistently addressed current architectural issues.

This year’s theme: Hand Me A Drawing

After years of focusing exclusively on digital drawing and mixed media, this year´s competition treasures handmade entriesonly, celebrating the art and skill of traditional representation methods. We want to encourage mastering of hand drawing, and emphasize the relevancy of communicating ideas through hand drawing.

We claim, that sketches and drawings are the bones of any architectural design, the DNA of architecture, expressing and combining the interaction between the architect’s mind, hands and eyes. In addition, drawing has always been a practice that differentiated architecture from other disciplines. Eventually, it is an artistic discipline, what unique drawings by many great architects show. Every architect has his/her own style, that cannot be taught or copied, only developed and raffined through practice. In the spirit of many great architects of the past, from Palladio and John Soanes, Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier, to contemporary architects like Lebbeus Woods, late Zaha Hadid, Tatiana Bilbao, Jeanne Gang, and Eva Prats, architectural hand drawing has evolved into a platform of reflection and exploration of how artistic drawing continues to advance and qualify the art of architecture today.

In the light of the global Corona crisis, we encourage architecture students worldwide to submit proposals that not only revives the hand drawing but also proposals that contribute to knowledge on how the world moves on from here.

What to submit

The drawing can either be an initial sketch (dream), a project drawing (process), or a definitive drawing (reality).

An initial sketch is one of the purest forms of architectural drawing, and could be a simple design concept, or lots of details concerning a much bigger composition. The project drawing holds all the reflections, trials and errors of the process, where the definitive drawing is an elaborated drawing, close to reality. The drawing must describe the unique process or moments that a computer is unable to create.

All kind of drawing tools – such as pens, watercolour, paint, ink, led – can be used.

Entries will be judged on originality and artistic expression, architectural composition, technical skill, and success in communicating an idea. The drawing must be followed by a short text and a title.

The drawing must be scanned in high quality, 300 DPI, and uploaded as PDF, maximum 100 MB.

Announcement of Competition: SEP 1st
Submission: NOV 1st
Announcement of winners: NOV 27th
Exhibition: NOV 27th  – DEC 18th

Participation requirements

The competition is open for students of architecture worldwide, including graduates from spring 2020.


Tatiana Bilbao
Thomas Bossel
Torben Nielsen


1st PRIZE 5000€
2nd PRIZE 2000€
3rd PRIZE 1000€


>>> Go to the competition’s website <<<