I don't want to be interesting. I want to be good.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Public Good Program

Awards Programs

The Washington Architectural Foundation develops design-related programs that educate the public about issues in their communities. Through events such as competitions and neighborhood charrettes, the Public Good program calls attention to issues ranging from the problem of hunger in the Washington area to pivotal local planning decisions. Public Good programs reach a broad spectrum of DC residents, business owners, government officials, students, and others.

EYP 2012


Teams of architects create structures out of canned and packaged foods during this annual design/build competition. A week-long exhibit of these clever structures shows the design community's ingenuity and helps underscore the need to fight hunger in the Washington area. At the end of the week, the structures are "de-CANstructed" and donated to the Capital Area Food Bank. CANSTRUCTION has donated more than 250 tons of food since 1998. 

Annual Student Design Competition

Since 1998, the Foundation has collaborated with the four area schools of architecture and three local AIA Chapters to challenge architecture students with a given program over one grueling weekend. The program changes every year. Entries are judged and prizes given at the National Building Museum during Architecture Week in the Fall.

Columbia Heights Neighborhood Plan

A community design exercise in 1998 and 1999 for several publicly-owned sites surrounding the Columbia Heights Metro Station. Several community sessions led to a community-supported plan.

Circling the Wagons

City Planning and Design in an Age of Risk
A 2-day conference in 1997 considered the design and implications of increased security in Washington, DC.

Critical Choices for Planning Washington

A series of three forums in 1997 allowed local and international speakers to discuss the crisis of planning in Washington.