Submit Your Best Architectural Plans, Sections and Elevations for a Shot at $2,500!

The One Drawing Challenge tasks entrants with telling a story using one of architecture’s many visual mediums.

Paul Keskeys Paul Keskeys

This year’s One Drawing Challenge is now underway, and architecture’s biggest drawing competition poses the same, provocative question: Can you tell a powerful story about architecture and those that inhabit it with a single drawing? Submit your drawings, new and old, before the Late Entry Deadline on August 20th for a shot at $2,500 and global publication:

Submit a Drawing

Note: We have updated our system and you must now use your Architizer login credentials to access your One Drawing Challenge account. Click the button above to sign in through Architizer or create a new account.

While visual storytelling remains the main driving force behind the program, the 2021 edition of the competition has been expanded to include a range of new publication opportunities: A Special Commendation for every drawing type will be selected for recognition in their own editorial feature, in addition to inclusion in the highly anticipated Finalists’ announcement.

This means one of each drawing type — plan, section, elevation, perspective, axonometric, sketch, detail and abstract — will be awarded a Special Commendation, selected for the originality with which their submitters use their chosen format to communicate a visual story about our built environment in 2021.

Plan: “Hemp Tech Garden” by Umar Mahmood, Finalist in the 2020 One Drawing Challenge.

These drawings will differ from those selected as the 2 Top Winners and 10 Runners Up, taking the total number of specially recognized drawings to 20 — so there are more opportunities than ever before to get published!

Remember, the brief is simple: Create one drawing that communicates a new architectural proposal or existing piece of architecture, and the experience of those that would inhabit it. It can be located anywhere in the world and be at any scale. Your drawing may depict a real or imagined space, place, building or group of buildings. As long as it portrays architecture in some manner, it is eligible, and it may take any of the following forms:

  • Plan
  • Section
  • Elevation
  • Perspective (1 or 2 point)
  • Parallel Projection (axonometric, isometric etc.)
  • Sketch
  • Detail
  • Abstract

Your drawing should be accompanied by a short, 150-word description of your proposal, which comprises your “story”. Your story should help explain what your drawing depicts, which could include: The type of architecture portrayed, where it might be located, who might inhabit it, what atmosphere it conjures, the essence it captures, and what makes it special.

Your drawing should be a minimum of 2000 pixels wide, with a maximum file size of 15MB. All the competition guidelines can be found here.

Enter the One Drawing Challenge

Note: We have updated our system and you must now use your Architizer login credentials to access your One Drawing Challenge account. Click the button above to sign in through Architizer or create a new account.

Elevation: “GENETICS” by Giangtien Nguyen, Afreen Ali, Aziz Alshayeb and Aminul Karim Masum, Finalist in the 2020 One Drawing Challenge.

For some inspiring examples of each drawing type, explore last year’s stunning finalists. As you consider which of your drawings to submit, it’s worth bearing in mind the three key judging criteria that the One Drawing Challenge jury will use to determine which submissions they score most highly:

Communication

Unlike a piece of art, the most important quality of an architectural drawing is its ability to communicate the design intent behind an architectural proposal. Further to this, a good drawing can tell the story of a building and those that might inhabit it in a single snapshot. The image can communicate many different things and focus on one or more of the following aspects: Spatial layout, technical details, materials, connections between architectural elements, relationship to context, the transition between spaces, and more.

Aesthetics

A beautiful drawing is undeniably appealing, but at their best, the aesthetics of a drawing are about more than just beauty. They convey the essence of the architecture they are portraying, and the atmosphere of a space. A well considered drawing can portray a specific architectural language that speaks to the author’s wider design philosophy. Aesthetics may also concern the portrayal of an untidy, chaotic or even “ugly” brand of architecture to paint a powerful picture of certain environments.

Impact

When communication and aesthetics are perfectly combined, they can produce an impactful image that is eagerly shared among a huge design-oriented community. Virality is not an exact science, but Instagram experts understand the bold qualities that make an image memorable and shareable. The ingredients of an impactful architectural drawing include but are not limited to: Bold geometry, unusual angles, rich color combinations, sharp contrasts, rhythmic patterns and strong legibility.

Section: “Cloud City” by Luka Rados Aleksandar Borisov, Finalist in the 2020 One Drawing Challenge.

What story might you tell about architecture and people in 2021? We want to see the most imaginative plans, sections, elevations and more for this year’s competition, whether it’s a thesis drawing you spent weeks on or a sketch you conjured up in the dead of night! Everyone is eligible to enter (you don’t have to be an architect), and students get a special discount — all they have to do is provide a valid university email address.

Without further ado, hit the blue button below to sign up and start your submission — we can’t wait to see your drawings and share them with the world!

Submit a Drawing

Note: We have updated our system and you must now use your Architizer login credentials to access your One Drawing Challenge account. Click the button above to sign in through Architizer or create a new account.

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