The Design Excellence Award Returns

October 17, 2019 | By: Arch. Elise Sophia Sumera Francisco, UAP

It’s officially back! The Design Excellence Award (DEA) – arguably the most prestigious national award for architectural masterpieces in the Philippines – is set to be relaunched this November 2019 by the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP). The best of the best of architecture is called for from the most outstanding Filipino architects of our time, from different generations, in a chance to define excellence in the built-landscape of the country.

Akin to the likes of the SIA’s Architectural Design Awards in Singapore and the AIA Gold Medal in the United States, DEA is UAP’s way of giving due honor to built structures exhibiting exceptional design caliber. The call for entries is open to all Filipino architects whose submitted projects shall have a golden opportunity to be awarded under one of four categories, namely, Residential, Commercial & Industrial, Institutional, and Complex-type Architecture, or as the People’s Choice based on public voting during the online publication of all short-listed entries.

The comeback of DEA from its initial conception in 1995, is a renewed challenge to all architects in the country today to show the world how architecture uplifts quality of life, economic opportunity, environmental preservation, sustainability, and cultural identity in ways that are truly befitting of the Filipino people. In this sense, submissions encompassing a broad translation of design excellence and demonstrating exemplary skills and creativity, are highly anticipated. Built design entries from all over the country shall undergo random investigation by the UAP-DEA Committee to meticulously ascertain qualification and consistency with the submitted documentation.  

To immortalize its repute, each winning architectural masterpiece shall be inscribed with a finely-crafted building marker as well as published in the UAP website and in several magazines and publications. Likewise, the winning architect for each category shall be laureled with a much-coveted glass sculptural work made by the internationally acclaimed architect-sculptor and PIA Gold Medal awardee, Arch. Ramon Orlina. The announcement and awarding of winners will be held on March 2020 during the Design Excellence Awards Celebration when the UAP celebrates its 45th founding anniversary.

UAP accords the whole judging process to an unparalleled jury composed of no less than three LIKHA awardees, one guest foreign architect for the year, and one non-architect representative from the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) or the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

In this most ambitious revival, DEA enjoins all Filipino architects to submit entries that showcase the full potential of architecture in the service of public good as placed in the varied communities that make up the Philippine archipelago and beyond. Without any limit in square area, architectural works of varying scope and size that withstand the challenges in their own unique environments are eligible for entry by architects of all ages, experience, and expertise.

Stay tuned for the release of the full mechanics and guidelines for submission as the UAP-DEA Committee formally opens the Design Excellence Award website during the launching on November 15, 2019, marking the official acceptance of entries. More than the accolades at stake, now is a chance, once more, for every Filipino architect to show beyond doubt to the community the special niche that architecture inhabits in society.