Categories & Guidelines

Click on a category below to view information.

General Design Category & Guidelines

To enter the General Design category, the official entrant must be a Student, Student Affiliate, or first-year Associate member, or eligible to join ASLA in one of those categories.

Recognizes: Site-specific works of landscape architecture. Student entries are not required to be built.

Typical entries include: Single-site public, institutional, or private landscapes of all kinds (except entries qualifying for urban design or residential design categories); projects that include historic preservation, reclamation, or conservation; green roofs, stormwater management, sustainable design; design for transportation or infrastructure; landscape art or installation; interior landscape design; and more.

Criteria: The jury will consider the quality of design; design context; environmental sensitivity and sustainability; hazard mitigation, climate adaptations, and resilience strategies; and design value to the client, community, and to other designers.

Submission: Materials in the submission must not reveal the names of the entrant and/or landscape architects, firms, other designers, students, schools, or photographer.

Project Title (Name): A submission must have a short, specific presentation title (containing no abbreviations) that indicates the nature of the presentation.

Project Statement: In 175 words or less, describe the project and why it’s award-worthy. This statement may be used in promotional materials if the project is selected for an award. NOTE: failure to submit this statement will lead to disqualification of entry.

Project Narrative: Addressing the criteria for the General Design category, describe in 1300 words or less the project location, scope and size, site and context investigation, design program, design intent, materials and installation methods, environmental impact and concerns, collaboration with the client and other designers, and other significant issues.

Images*: A maximum of 16 images may be submitted with each entry having no less than 5 images uploaded. Images must include at least (1) site plan. Image files should be formatted as: 1900 pixels wide by 927 pixels tall and a minimum of 72 dpi. For examples of acceptable images, see the following link: Click here for image examples

NOTE: failure to submit images will lead to disqualification of an entry.

Winners will be required to submit the original untouched raw image for each photograph or drawing submitted, 300 dpi or higher.

You will be prompted to enter an image title and caption for each uploaded image. Image captions should be no more than 40 words. Photography credit must also be listed for each image, and will be concealed from the jury.

*Entrants are responsible for clearing photographs with photographers for publication and reproduction by ASLA. ASLA will provide proper photography and other project credits when using photos, but will not assume responsibility for any copyrights or photography fees. ASLA retains the right to publish photos submitted in winning entries in Landscape Architecture Magazine, on the ASLA website, in promoting the awards program, and in other products in conjunction with promoting landscape architecture.

Recognition: The Student Awards Jury may select one Award of Excellence and any number of Honor Awards in this category.


Residential Design Category & Guidelines

To enter the Residential Design category, the official entrant must be a Student, Student Affiliate, or first-year Associate member, or eligible to join ASLA in one of those categories.

Recognizes: site-specific works of landscape architecture for residential use. Student entries in this category are not required to be built.

Typical entries include: single or multifamily residential projects; activity areas for cooking, entertaining, recreation, or relaxation; sustainable landscape applications; new construction or renovation projects; historic preservation; affordable landscape concepts and innovations; and more.

Criteria: The jury will consider the quality of design; context; environmental sensitivity and sustainability; and design value to the client and to other designers.

Submission: Materials in the submission must not reveal the names of the entrant and/or landscape architects, firms, other designers, students, schools, or photographer.

Project Title (Name): A submission must have a short, specific presentation title (containing no abbreviations) that indicates the nature of the presentation.

Project Statement: In 175 words or less, described the project and why it’s award-worthy. This statement may be used in promotional materials if the project is selected for an award. NOTE: failure to submit this statement will lead to disqualification of entry.

Project Narrative: Addressing the criteria for the Residential Design category describe in 1300 words or less the project location, scope and size, site and context investigation, design program, design intent, materials and installation methods, environmental impact and concerns, collaboration with the client and other designers, and other significant issues.

Images*: A maximum of 16 images may be submitted with each entry having no less than 5 images uploaded. Images must include at least (1) site plan. Image files should be formatted as: 1900 pixels wide by 927 pixels tall and a minimum of 72 dpi. For examples of acceptable images, see the following link: Click here for image examples

NOTE: failure to submit images will lead to disqualification of an entry.

Winners will be required to submit the original untouched raw image for each photograph or drawing submitted, 300 dpi or higher.

You will be prompted to enter an image title and caption for each uploaded image. Image captions should be no more than 40 words. Photography credit must also be listed for each image, and will be concealed from the jury.

*Entrants are responsible for clearing photographs with photographers for publication and reproduction by ASLA. ASLA will provide proper photography and other project credits when using photos, but will not assume responsibility for any copyrights or photography fees. ASLA retains the right to publish photos submitted in winning entries in Landscape Architecture Magazine, on the ASLA website, in promoting the awards program, and in other products in conjunction with promoting landscape architecture.

Recognition: The Student Awards Jury may select one Award of Excellence and any number of Honor Awards in this category.


Urban Design Category & Guidelines

To enter the Urban Design category, the official entrant must be a Student, Student Affiliate, or first-year Associate member, or eligible to join ASLA in one of those categories.

Recognizes: projects that activate networks of spaces that mediate between social equity, economic viability, infrastructure, environmental stewardship, and beautiful place-making in the public and private realm. Entries in this category are not required to be built or implemented.

Urban Design projects that are unbuilt should be submitted to the Analysis and Planning category for consideration.

Typical entries include: conceptualized urban projects spatially greater than one block in the realm of public, institutional, or private landscapes; streetscapes, waterfronts, mixed-use developments, neighborhoods, districts, cities, placemaking interventions and civic improvements that may include elements of reclamation, stormwater management, transportation or infrastructure studies, art, and more.

Criteria: The jury will consider the quality of design and execution; urban design context; planning context; contribution of project to a broader urban landscape; environmental sensitivity and sustainability; and attention to social justice, equity, and inclusion.

Submission: Materials in the submission must not reveal the names of the entrant and/or landscape architects, firms, other designers, or photographer.

Project Title (Name): A submission must have a short, specific presentation title (containing no abbreviations) that indicates the nature of the presentation.

Project Statement: In 175 words or less, describe the project and why it’s award-worthy. This statement may be used in promotional materials if the project is selected for an award. NOTE: failure to submit this statement will lead to disqualification of entry.

Project Narrative: Addressing the criteria for the Urban Design category, describe in 1300 words or less the project location, scope and size, site and context investigation, design program, social equity, economic viability, place-making, environmental stewardship, design intent, environmental impact and concerns, and collaboration with the client and other designers.

Images*: A maximum of 16 images may be submitted with each entry having no less than 5 images uploaded. Images must include at least (1) site plan. Image files should be formatted as: 1900 pixels wide by 927 pixels tall and a minimum of 72 dpi. For examples of acceptable images, see the following link: Click here for image examples

NOTE: failure to submit images will lead to disqualification of an entry.

Winners will be required to submit the original untouched raw image for each photograph or drawing submitted, 300 dpi or higher.

You will be prompted to enter an image title and caption for each uploaded image. Image captions should be no more than 40 words. Photography credit must also be listed for each image, and will be concealed from the jury.

*Entrants are responsible for clearing photographs with photographers for publication and reproduction by ASLA. ASLA will provide proper photography and other project credits when using photos, but will not assume responsibility for any copyrights or photography fees. ASLA retains the right to publish photos submitted in winning entries in Landscape Architecture Magazine, on the ASLA website, in promoting the awards program, and in other products in conjunction with promoting landscape architecture.

Recognition: The Professional Awards Jury may select one Award of Excellence and any number of Honor Awards in this category.


Analysis and Planning Category & Guidelines

To enter the Analysis and Planning category, the official entrant must be a Student, Student Affiliate, or first-year Associate member, or eligible to join ASLA in one of those categories.

Recognizes: the wide variety of professional activities that lead to, guide, and evaluate landscape architecture design. Entries in this category are not required to be built or implemented.

Typical entries include: urban, suburban, rural, or regional planning efforts; development guidelines; transportation, town, or campus planning; plans for reclamation of brownfield sites; environmental planning in relation to legislative or policy initiatives or regulatory controls; cultural resource reports; natural resources protection; historic preservation planning; and more.

Criteria: The jury will consider the quality of the analysis and planning effort; context; environmental sensitivity and sustainability; likelihood of successful implementation; and value to the client, the public, and other designers.

Submission: Materials in the submission must not reveal the names of the entrant and/or landscape architects, firms, other designers, students, schools, or photographer.

Project Title (Name): A submission must have a short, specific presentation title (containing no abbreviations) that indicates the nature of the presentation.

Project Statement: In 175 words or less, described the project and why it’s award-worthy. This statement may be used in promotional materials if the project is selected for an award. NOTE: failure to submit this statement will lead to disqualification of entry.

Project Narrative: Addressing the criteria for the Analysis and Planning category, describe in 1300 words or less the project’s goals and objectives, what kinds of environmental and social data were collected and analyzed, methods of analysis, how options were considered, how interested parties were involved in the project, how design was used in the process, how the project was or would be implemented, and how project is or will be administered and/or monitored, and other significant issues.

Images*: A maximum of 16 images may be submitted with each entry having no less than 5 images uploaded. Images must include at least (1) site plan. Image files should be formatted as: 1900 pixels wide by 927 pixels tall and a minimum of 72 dpi. For examples of acceptable images, see the following link: Click here for image examples

NOTE: failure to submit images will lead to disqualification of an entry.

Winners will be required to submit the original untouched raw image for each photograph or drawing submitted, 300 dpi or higher.

You will be prompted to enter an image title and caption for each uploaded image. Image captions should be no more than 40 words. Photography credit must also be listed for each image, and will be concealed from the jury.

*Entrants are responsible for clearing photographs with photographers for publication and reproduction by ASLA. ASLA will provide proper photography and other project credits when using photos, but will not assume responsibility for any copyrights or photography fees. ASLA retains the right to publish photos submitted in winning entries in Landscape Architecture Magazine, on the ASLA website, in promoting the awards program, and in other products in conjunction with promoting landscape architecture.

Recognition: The Student Awards Jury may select one Award of Excellence and any number of Honor Awards in this category.


Communications Category & Guidelines

To enter the Communications category, the official entrant must be a Student, Student Affiliate, or first-year Associate member, or eligible to join ASLA in one of those categories.

Recognizes: achievements in communicating landscape architecture works, techniques, technologies, history, or theory, and the lesson value to an intended audience.

Typical entries include: print media, film, video, audio, CD, or DVD formats; online communications; interpretive design; exhibition design; and more. Supplemental materials are strongly encouraged and may be submitted directly to ASLA Awards Program, 636 Eye Street NW, Washington, DC 20001. Label each item with the project’s submission ID number.

Criteria: The jury will consider the effectiveness of message presentation, the innovation in approach or delivery, and the value to the intended audience.

Submission: Materials in the submission can reveal the names of the entrant and/or students, schools, etc.

Project Title (Name): A submission must have a short, specific presentation title (containing no abbreviations) that indicates the nature of the presentation.

Project Statement: In 175 words or less, described the project and why it’s award-worthy. This statement may be used in promotional materials if the project is selected for an award. NOTE: failure to submit this statement will lead to disqualification of entry.

Project Narrative: Addressing the criteria for the Communications category, describe in 1275 words or less the intended purpose, audience, message(s), impact and effectiveness, distribution method (commercial bookstores, Internet, etc.), circulation/distribution (number), and other issues as appropriate.

Images*: A maximum of 16 images may be submitted with each entry having no less than 5 images uploaded. A site plan is excluded from the Communications category. Image files should be formatted as: 1900 pixels wide by 927 pixels tall and a minimum of 72 dpi. For examples of acceptable images, see the following link: Click here for image examples

NOTE: failure to submit images will lead to disqualification of an entry.

Winners will be required to submit the original untouched raw image for each photograph or drawing submitted, 300 dpi or higher.

You will be prompted to enter an image title and caption for each uploaded image. Image captions should be no more than 40 words. Photography credit must also be listed for each image, and will be concealed from the jury.

*Entrants are responsible for clearing photographs with photographers for publication and reproduction by ASLA. ASLA will provide proper photography and other project credits when using photos, but will not assume responsibility for any copyrights or photography fees. ASLA retains the right to publish photos submitted in winning entries in Landscape Architecture Magazine, on the ASLA website, in promoting the awards program, and in other products in conjunction with promoting landscape architecture.

Recognition: The Student Awards Jury may each select one Award of Excellence and any number of Honor Awards in this category.


Research Category & Guidelines

To enter the Research category, the official entrant must be a Student, Student Affiliate, or first-year Associate member, or eligible to join ASLA in one of those categories.

Recognizes: research that identifies and investigates challenges posed in landscape architecture, providing results that advance the body of knowledge for the profession.

Typical entries include: investigations into methods, techniques, or materials related to landscape architecture practice; studies of relationships of landscape architecture to law, education, public health and safety, or public policy; and more.

Criteria: The jury will consider clarity and importance of research question, hypotheses, or goals; significance of historical data, where relevant, and links to current knowledge; appropriate research design and use of rigorous methods of inquiry; the clarity of presentation of outcome; potential applications to practice; and the value to the field at large.

Submission: Materials in the submission must not reveal the names of the entrant and/or landscape architects, firms, other designers, or photographer.

Project Title (Name): A submission must have a short, specific presentation title (containing no abbreviations) that indicates the nature of the presentation.

Project Statement: In 175 words or less, described the project and why it’s award-worthy. This statement may be used in promotional materials if the project is selected for an award. NOTE: failure to submit this statement will lead to disqualification of entry.

Project Narrative: Addressing the criteria for the Research category, describe in 1300 words or less the problem researched, relationships investigated, method of inquiry used, results of research (which may refer to statistical or other analysis that can be included under “Images”), conclusions concerning the significance of the results, comparisons with past research, applicability to landscape architecture practice, the need for new or further research, and other significant issues.

Images*: A maximum of 16 images may be submitted with each entry having no less than 5 images uploaded. A site plan is excluded from the Research category. Image files should be formatted as: 1900 pixels wide by 927 pixels tall and a minimum of 72 dpi. For examples of acceptable images, see the following link: Click here for image examples

NOTE: failure to submit images will lead to disqualification of an entry.

Winners will be required to submit the original untouched raw image for each photograph or drawing submitted, 300 dpi or higher.

You will be prompted to enter an image title and caption for each uploaded image. Image captions should be no more than 40 words. Photography credit must also be listed for each image, and will be concealed from the jury.

*Entrants are responsible for clearing photographs with photographers for publication and reproduction by ASLA. ASLA will provide proper photography and other project credits when using photos, but will not assume responsibility for any copyrights or photography fees. ASLA retains the right to publish photos submitted in winning entries in Landscape Architecture Magazine, on the ASLA website, in promoting the awards program, and in other products in conjunction with promoting landscape architecture.

Recognition: The Professional Awards Jury may select one Award of Excellence and any number of Honor Awards in this category.


The Student Community Service Award & Guidelines

Recognizes: pro bono community service by students demonstrating sound principles and values of landscape architecture.

Typical entries include: individual students, student teams, or student organizations providing pro bono community-based advocacy or public service.

Criteria: The jury will consider the effectiveness related to the service and the demonstration value to other communities, students, and professionals.

Submission: Materials in the submission must not reveal the names of the entrant and/or landscape architects, firms, other designers, students, schools, or photographer.

Project Title (Name): A submission must have a short, specific presentation title (containing no abbreviations) that indicates the nature of the presentation.

Project Statement: In 175 words or less, described the project and why it’s award-worthy. This statement may be used in promotional materials if the project is selected for an award. NOTE: failure to submit this statement will lead to disqualification of entry.

Project Narrative: Addressing the criteria for the Student Community Service category, describe in 1300 words or less the project’s goals and objectives, what kinds of environmental and social data were collected and analyzed, methods of analysis, how options were considered, how interested parties were involved in the project, how design was used in the process, how the project was or would be implemented, and how project is or will be administered and/or monitored, and other significant issues.

Images*: A maximum of 16 images may be submitted with each entry having no less than 5 images uploaded. Images must include at least (1) site plan. Image files should be formatted as: 1900 pixels wide by 927 pixels tall and a minimum of 72 dpi. For examples of acceptable images, see the following link: Click here for image examples

NOTE: failure to submit images will lead to disqualification of an entry.

Winners will be required to submit the original untouched raw image for each photograph or drawing submitted, 300 dpi or higher.

You will be prompted to enter an image title and caption for each uploaded image. Image captions should be no more than 40 words. Photography credit must also be listed for each image, and will be concealed from the jury.

*Entrants are responsible for clearing photographs with photographers for publication and reproduction by ASLA. ASLA will provide proper photography and other project credits when using photos, but will not assume responsibility for any copyrights or photography fees. ASLA retains the right to publish photos submitted in winning entries in Landscape Architecture Magazine, on the ASLA website, in promoting the awards program, and in other products in conjunction with promoting landscape architecture.

Recognition: The Student Awards Jury may select one Award of Excellence and any number of Honor Awards in this category.


Student Collaboration Category & Guidelines

Recognizes: collaborative work by landscape architecture students with students from allied or complementary disciplines, including those in other design fields, business, and the natural and social sciences, for example. Entries are not required to be built.

Typical entries include: landscape architecture projects that meet the criteria within the categories of General Design, Residential Design, Analysis and Planning, Urban Design, Research, Communications, and Community Service brought about through collaborative effort among students from landscape architecture programs and allied and/or complementary disciplines.

Select a category in addition to Student Collaboration. For example, Student Collaboration/General Design).

Criteria: Projects submitted in this category must be team projects, and each team must include at least one landscape architecture student and one non-landscape architecture student. The jury will evaluate the project under the criteria outlined in the appropriate category and will also consider the demonstration of collaboration among the disciplines represented on each team.

Submission: Materials in the submission must not reveal the names of the entrant and landscape architects, firms, other designers, students, schools, or photographer. For student team entries, all team members who are landscape architecture students must be eligible to join as Student, Student Affiliate, or first-year Associate ASLA members.

Project Title (Name): A submission must have a short, specific presentation title (containing no abbreviations) that indicates the nature of the presentation.

Project Statement: In 175 words or less, described the project and why it’s award-worthy. This statement may be used in promotional materials if the project is selected for an award. NOTE: failure to submit this statement will lead to disqualification of entry.

Project Narrative: Describe in 1300 words or less the criteria for the subcategory most closely fitting the entry using the General Design, Residential Design, Analysis and Planning, Urban Design, Research, Communications, and Community Service guidelines. (You will select Student Collaboration as your primary category, and note the second category using its criteria and narrative requirements.) Also, provide a team description—without identifying the team members by name, identify each team member by field of study, level of education program (undergraduate or graduate), and what responsibilities they had for the project. Describe the project and the collaboration among team members. Pay particular attention to describing the role of the landscape architecture student(s), how landscape architecture contributed to the success of the project, what the landscape architecture student(s) learned from the other field(s) of study, and vice versa.

Images*: A maximum of 16 images may be submitted with each entry having no less than 5 images uploaded. Images must include at least (1) site plan. Image files should be formatted as: 1900 pixels wide by 927 pixels tall and a minimum of 72 dpi. For examples of acceptable images, see the following link: Click here for image examples

NOTE: failure to submit images will lead to disqualification of an entry.

Winners will be required to submit the original untouched raw image for each photograph or drawing submitted, 300 dpi or higher.

You will be prompted to enter an image title and caption for each uploaded image. Image captions should be no more than 40 words. Photography credit must also be listed for each image, and will be concealed from the jury.

*Entrants are responsible for clearing photographs with photographers for publication and reproduction by ASLA. ASLA will provide proper photography and other project credits when using photos, but will not assume responsibility for any copyrights or photography fees. ASLA retains the right to publish photos submitted in winning entries in Landscape Architecture Magazine, on the ASLA website, in promoting the awards program, and in other products in conjunction with promoting landscape architecture.

Recognition: The Student Awards Jury may select one Award of Excellence and any number of Honor Awards in this category.