how to win one drawing challenge

How to Win the One Drawing Challenge: 3 Key Ingredients to Consider

These factors will help make your architectural drawing stand out among your competitors.

Paul Keskeys Paul Keskeys

The biggest architectural ideas competition is heading toward an exciting climax! The 4th Annual One Drawing Challenge is accepting entries, and we invite anyone with an eye for architectural drawing to get involved. The Main Entry Deadline of Friday October 21st, 2022 is fast approaching.

The brief is a simple one: Tell a powerful story about architecture with a single drawing.

Enter the One Drawing Challenge

Entrants are challenged to create one drawing that powerfully communicates your architectural proposal and the experience of those that would inhabit it. It can be located anywhere in the world and be at any scale. It can take the form of a plan, section, elevation, perspective or sketch. As long as it portrays part or all of a building or group of buildings, it is eligible. This should be accompanied by a short description of your proposal, no more than 150 words.

Now you know the task at hand, the next question is likely to be — how do I win? The answers lies in the criteria by which the Finalist drawings will be judged by our expert panel of architects and influencers.

how to win one drawing challenge

Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre by OMA / REX

The judging process for the One Drawing Challenge is designed to reflect the multi-faceted qualities of architectural drawings. Our outstanding cast of jurors will be asked to select winning entries based on their communicative and aesthetic qualities, as well as their impact and ability to “go viral” on social media. Entries that stand out in one or more of the following categories stand a great chance of being a Winner.

The Jury will evaluate drawings based on the following criteria:


Unlike a piece of pure 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.


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.


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.

how to win one drawing challenge

Architectural drawings via Horia Creanga on Behance

So, there you have it: The 3 key ingredients to a winning entry in the One Drawing Challenge. Now, it’s your time to shine: Submit your best architectural drawing(s) and show us what you can do.

Check out the FAQ section for common questions about the competition. If you don’t find the answer to your question there, please email us at and we’ll be glad to help.

We can’t wait to see your drawing and read your story. Good luck from the whole team at Architizer!

Enter the One Drawing Challenge

Article updated by Hannah Feniak, October 2022.

Paul Keskeys Author: Paul Keskeys
Paul Keskeys is Editor in Chief at Architizer. An architect-trained editor, writer and content creator, Paul graduated from UCL and the University of Edinburgh, gaining an MArch in Architectural Design with distinction. Paul has spoken about the art of architecture and storytelling at many national industry events, including AIANY, NeoCon, KBIS, the Future NOW Symposium, the Young Architect Conference and NYCxDesign. As well as hundreds of editorial publications on Architizer, Paul has also had features published in Architectural Digest, PIN—UP Magazine, Archinect, Aesthetica Magazine and PUBLIC Journal.
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