The Excellence Factory: Why Architects Care About the A+Product Awards

Architects Primo Orpilla, Serena Losonczy and Peter Gluck reflected on the profound value of knowledge building provided by the A+Product Awards.

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When we think about industry awards, it’s easy to view them as professional echo chambers, a closed forum in which peers pat each other on the back without making a real impression on the people who matter most — clients. What good is winning an award if the only people you impress are your competitors?

Now open for entries, the A+Product Awards seeks to break the building product industry out of this proverbial echo chamber, and has proven hugely successful in connecting the dots between building product brands and their most valuable target audience — namely, specifying architects.

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The program does this in two key ways: Firstly, its jury is made up of practicing architects from some of the world’s most renowned firms. Secondly, Winners of the awards are celebrated across Architizer, reaching a global audience that includes thousands of design professionals from all over the world.

In this way, the winners of the A+Product Awards are chosen by architects, for architects — and it’s this differentiator that makes the program an essential part of many brands’ marketing plans each season.

Left: McDonald’s Headquarters by Studio O+A; right: Primo Orpilla; images courtesy Studio O+A

Reflecting on our recent A+Product Award winners, renowned architectural thought leaders from GLUCK+, PBDW Architects and Studio O+A highlighted the immense power that awards programs have in bringing together architects, building product manufacturers and leaders from the wider construction industry.

“Programs like the A+Product Awards help identify those brands that are thinking holistically about how design helps us in our daily lives,” said Primo Orpilla, Principal and CoFounder of San Francisco-based practice Studio O+A. “They showcase the latest thinking, and they group products together so architects can see the many different approaches to common problems.”

Left: Serena Losonczy; right: Cooke School & Institute by PBDW Architects; images courtesy PBDW Architects

Moments like this also serve to enhance the symbiotic relationship between brands and designers, a relationship that is essential in the production of good architecture in future. “For manufacturers, the A+Product Awards provides both recognition for design and motivation to excel against the competition,” reflected Serena Losonczy, Associate Partner at PBDW Architects. “For architects, it brings to our attention many innovative products that we otherwise may not have known about. Together, these result in better product design and better architecture.”

Meanwhile, Peter Gluck, Founding Principal at GLUCK+, emphasized the importance of the program in reframing the specification process in the mind of architects and their clients, encouraging them to prioritize the long term benefits of high quality products and materials over short term wins. “Award programs like this encourage the effort to seek the best rather than the urgent,” said Gluck.

Left: Tower Residence by GLUCK+; right: Peter Gluck; images courtesy GLUCK+

While recent years have come with unprecedented challenges for the building product industry, some things don’t change — Well thought-out designs, robust detailing and timeless materials are as crucial as ever to the creation of great architecture and interiors. Architects are increasingly aware that their best hope for a successful project stems from collaboration with the makers of high quality building products, those that have an intimate knowledge of materials and the fabrication processes behind them.

For this reason, Architizer’s A+Product Awards program acts as a creative benchmark for the industry. Each winning product earns a professional stamp of quality, and provides the world’s most innovative brands with the recognition their hard work deserves. Ultimately, architects know these are products and brands they can trust — and the class of 2024 will provide further inspiration to help them create better, more resilient buildings for generations to come.

If you are part of the team that creates, makes, designs or manufacturers building products, architectural materials, lighting or furniture, there’s still time to enter this year’s program. Submit your products for the A+Product Awards for a shot at global recognition, and a marketing package for your brand worth $20,000.

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Pictured: A Brazilian Modernism-Infused Facade System by BELT • Metal Art+Design Studio, A+Product Awards Winner in the Architectural Design category.

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