Aarhus School of Architecture’s Drawing of the Year 2020

For the last seven 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 and offers prizes from €1,000 to €5,000 (1st prize).

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.

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.

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 entries only, celebrating the art and skill of traditional representation methods. we would like to encourage mastering of hand drawing, and emphasize the relevancy of communicating ideas through hand drawing.

From initial year’s themes like 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.

We claim that sketches and drawings are the bones of any architectural design, the DNA of architecture, expressing and mixing the interaction between the architect’s mind, hands and eyes. additionally , drawing has always been a practice that differentiated architecture from other disciplines. Eventually, it’s an inventive discipline, what unique drawings by many great architects show. Every architect has his/her own style, that can’t be taught or copied, only developed and raffined through practice. within the spirit of the 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 worldwide 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 planet 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 among the purest sorts of architectural drawing, and will be an easy design concept, or many details concerning a way bigger composition. The project drawing holds all the reflections, trials and errors of the method , where the definitive drawing is an elaborated drawing, on the brink of reality. The drawing must describe the unique process or moments that a computer is unable to make .

All quite drawing tools – like pens, watercolour, paint, ink, led – are often used.

Entries are going to be judged on originality and artistic expression, architectural composition, technical skill, and success in communicating a thought . The drawing must be followed by a brief 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 2020
Submission: NOV 1st 2020
Announcement of winners: NOV 27th 2020
Exhibition: NOV 27th – DEC 18th 2020


  • Tatiana Bilbao
  • Thomas Bossel
  • Torben Nielsen


  • 1st Prize: 5000€
  • 2nd Prize: 2000€
  • 3rd Prize: 1000€

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