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

Here’s how to make your architectural rendering stand out among your competitors.

Architizer Editors Architizer Editors

It’s this winter’s biggest architectural ideas competition, and it’s back for 2022! The 3rd Annual One Rendering Challenge is inviting entries with an Early Bird Deadline of February 4th, and we encourage anyone with an eye for architectural visualization to get involved. There is $2,500 in it for the top student and non-student winner, as well as professional rendering software!

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

Submit a Rendering

Entrants are challenged to create one rendering 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 perspective, section, elevation, plan 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 stellar panel of visualization experts and influencers.

Circle of Life by Vicky Chan of Avoid Obvious Architects, Finalist in the 1st Annual One Rendering Challenge

The judging process for the One Rendering Challenge is designed to reflect the multi-faceted qualities of architectural renderings. 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 art, the most important quality of an architectural rendering is its ability to communicate the design intent behind an architectural proposal. Further to this, a good rendering 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 rendering is undeniably appealing, but at their best, the aesthetics of a rendering are about more than just beauty. They convey the essence of the architecture they are portraying, the atmosphere or emotional power of a space, and a strong sense of place. A well considered rendering 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 compelling 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 rendering include but are not limited to: Bold geometry, unusual angles, rich color combinations, sharp contrasts, rhythmic patterns and strong legibility.

Get Started

“Friend or Foe?” by Phil Hunter, Finalist in the 1st Annual One Rendering Challenge

So, there you have it: The 3 key ingredients to a winning entry in the One Rendering Challenge. Now, it’s your time to shine: Submit your best architectural renderings 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 rendering and read your story. Good luck from the whole team at Architizer!

Enter the One Rendering Challenge

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