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Honorary Fellowship

The AIA Honorary Fellowship program was developed as the international counterpart to the Fellowship program. Election to honorary fellowship not only recognizes the achievements of the foreign architect as an individual, but also elevates before the global public and the profession a model architect who has made a significant contribution to architecture and society on an international level.




An architect of esteemed character and distinguished achievements who is neither a U.S. citizen nor a resident of the United States and who does not primarily practice architecture within the domain of the Institute may be admitted to honorary fellowship.

2016 Deadline & Entry Fee

The deadline for 2016 submissions has passed. Please check back in the Spring of 2016 for information on the 2017 program.

2016 Jury


George Miller, FAIA
Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects, LLP
New York City

Diane Legge Kemp, FAIA
RTKL Asia Ltd.
Hong Kong

Steve Crane, FAIA
Salt Lake City

Marleen Kay Davis, FAIA
University of Tennessee

Diane Georgopulos, FAIA
Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Mary Katherine (Mary Kay) Lanzillotta, FAIA
Hartman Cox Architects
Washington, DC

David Messersmith, FAIA
University of Texas, Arlington
Arlington, Texas

Karen V. Nichols, FAIA
Michael Graves & Associates
Princeton, New Jersey

Donald T. Yoshino, FAIA
Yoshino Architecture, PA
Boca Raton, Florida

Submission Preview

Carefully review the 2016 Honorary Fellowship Submission Preview before beginning your submission. You can go back and edit your submission until the deadline.

Submission Criteria

Sponsor Responsibilities

Any member of the Institute may act as a sponsor and nominate a qualified individual for honorary fellowship.

The sponsor is responsible for preparing the nomination from materials furnished by the candidate, and submitting the information in a .PDF file not to exceed 10 MB using the general format below as a guideline for the submission.

The sponsor:

• Verifies that candidate is an architect (by standards of candidate's country) and determines whether candidate is a member of an affiliated International organization (e.g., Federation of Colleges of Architects of the Republic of Mexico, Royal Institute of British Architects, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, etc.)

• Provides guidance to and assists with developing a succinct theme or focus throughout the submittal
• Assists the candidate in writing the one page summary

• Assists the candidate in preparing the nomination
• Is expected to contact the candidate's references and to make sure a one-page reference letter is written on company letterhead, signed, and received in time for inclusion in the submission

• Writes a one page nomination letter on behalf of the candidate

General Format

Candidates nominated from the same firm in the same and consecutive years should ensure that their individual portfolios are unique and specific to each candidate.

It is important to note that failure to comply with the rules and instructions may result in the disqualification of the submission. This includes the completion of all biographical data as requested in this application. There may be no further communications with any candidate regarding verification of the information contained in the submittal; therefore, accuracy is essential. The submission must be completed in English.

Jury recommendations for the 2016 Program:

• Do not use anything smaller than a 10 point font.

• Do not use light type face.

• Add page numbers.

• Submission should be no more than 50 pages including exhibits.

Section 1: Summary

This section provides a brief biographical resume of the candidate.

The Jury of Honorary Fellows requests that the sponsor base the nomination on the candidate's single most outstanding category of achievement within one of the five Objects of the Institute.

The sponsor is requested to confirm that the candidate is registered to practice architecture in his/her own country.

The sponsor, in consultation with the candidate, must write a digest of the candidate's notable and outstanding achievements. This should summarize, in brief narrative form, the candidate's accomplishments within the Object of the Institute in which the nomination is made. This digest is limited to one page .

Section 2: Accomplishments

Section 2 is divided into three parts and must focus on the achievements of the candidate cited in the category of nomination. It is important to include such information as leadership roles and quantifiable results, awards received (including jurors' names that could add further accreditation), related lectures and presentations, jury service, exhibitions of work, civic and community involvement, published work, and/or succinct details of results achieved from the candidate's involvement in listed activities. Please keep the descriptions precise and concise. This section must not be used for additional exhibits, although 1'x1' margin images are permitted but only if they add clarity or support for the listed achievements.

2.1 Describe the significant work of the candidate in the areas relating to the category of nomination (include such information as projects undertaken, research completed, positions held, academic involvement, jury experience, presentations made, etc.). Always describe the achievements that relate directly to the category of nomination first.

For example: For positions held, including voluntary ones, include the title and organization name, the duties involved, results achieved, and dates the candidate held the position.

For design or construction projects, include the location and the year of completion and candidate's specific role or achievement for the project.

2.2 Describe significant awards, honors, and recognition accorded to the candidate. Highlight the most significant awards relative to the category of nomination first. List awards from the Institute, other professional associations, government, civic associations, etc. For clarity, group similar awards together 'e.g., AIA awards (indicate whether they were national, regional, or local), government honors, education awards, etc. Include the years in which awards were received.

2.3 List the books or articles written by or about the candidate that support the category of nomination, if applicable. If the title of the book or article is not sufficient to add clarity to the jury review, candidates may add a brief description of the contents or importance of the written material.

Section 3: Exhibits

Exhibits must support the category of nomination and should state the problem presented, the candidate’s particular role, and the resolution emphasizing results. Every submission must include photographic exhibits of the candidate's architectural work or that of the candidate's firm or others' work in whose creation and production the candidate has played a significant role. For candidates whose practice has not involved construction, there must be either photographs or literary exhibits. Work of the last 10 years has special significance and is encouraged. Any literary exhibit in a language other than English must have an English synopsis. If the candidate has been involved in other aspects of the profession, literary or visual exhibits should be submitted.

Exhibit List - A list of exhibits in the order in which they are presented must be included in the submittal.

Descriptive Data - Each project must include identification of the architecture firm of record and a one-paragraph synopsis. The synopsis should be descriptive enough to indicate the scope of the project. In the synopsis, list any awards or publications associated with the project. The declaration of responsibility must be completed as detailed on the descriptive data form, and must be signed by someone other than the candidate. The accuracy of the statement describing the candidate's relationship to the design is of major importance. (Sample Descriptive Data Sheet)

Note: For candidates who are nominated within the first Object for design, urban design, or preservation achievements, ONLY those projects for which the candidate is 'largely responsible for design' will be considered for submittal in this category.

Rules for Submitting Photographic Exhibits
- All candidates should include quality photographs and/or exhibits of current work. Nominations in Object 1 must be supported by photographic exhibits. It is extremely helpful if the exhibits are oriented similarly. They must illustrate completed work, except in urban design as explained below, and may be in color or in black and white.

Number of Photographs Allowed

Exhibit Pages:

For all objects of nomination, 30 exhibit pages is the maximum allowed with a maximum of 15 photographs or photographic composition pages. Photographs and/or exhibits should be selected that best illustrate the candidate's work in the category of submission. For example, those submitting in Object 2 with a focus on firm management should show charts and exhibits that best illustrate the growth of the firm, innovations in firm organization, or the like. This will assist the jury in understanding the candidate's achievements. Candidates must show how their achievements have benefited the profession beyond their own firm or community involvement such as participation in committees, related organizations, presentations, etc.

All candidates are expected to show some project work, whether their own, their firm’s or in the case of educators who do not practice, their students’ work. However, the important thing to remember is that most of the exhibits for categories 2-5 should be relevant to the category of nomination and provide supportive documentation of the candidate’s achievements as it relates to the category of nomination. All exhibits should substantiate the results that have been claimed in the sponsor letter or in the candidate’s Section 1 Summary Statement.

Object 1: For design, urban design, or historic preservation achievements:

For all categories of design, no fewer than five completed projects for which the nominee is 'largely responsible for design'. Each project must contain a descriptive data sheet. One photograph per project should illustrate the project in the context of its surroundings. One plan may be substituted for one photograph only if the project is unusually complicated.

For urban design achievements, sketches and other evidence illustrating commissioned and adopted projects may be submitted if photographs are not possible. Exhibit 'before and after' photographs, if possible. For historic preservation achievements, at least one 'before' photograph of each project must be included with the photographs of the completed work.

Objects 2 – 5: A minimum of 7 and a maximum of 10 exhibits with images and/or composition pages plus a descriptive data sheet required for each exhibit.

Object 2: No fewer than 7 and no more than 10 exhibits (5 of which must be completed projects) must be submitted for Object 2.

For education achievements under Object 2, photographs exhibiting the work of the candidate's students as well as the candidate's own built work, if applicable, should be included, as well as any educational tools developed.

For Object 3 through 5: A minimum of 7 and a maximum of 10 exhibits where it is important to include quality photographs of one or two of the candidate's best projects in addition to other exhibits that best support the nomination category.

For Objects 4 and 5: A minimum of 7 and a maximum of 10 exhibits with photographs and/or exhibits that best illustrate the particular contribution of the candidate should be included. In the case of candidates who are government employees and who act as the client to other designers, the work of those designers may be included with clear attribution assigned and the role of the candidate clearly identified.

Section 4: Reference Letters

Reference letters exceeding one page will not be reviewed by the jury.

Five reference letters should be solicited in support of each nomination. References should be individuals who know the candidate well and are able to verify and attest to the accomplishments cited in the digest. All references who are architects should be identified as such. References should be explicit in their recommendation and reason(s) for support. Reference letters should be addressed to the Jury of Honorary Fellows but sent to the sponsor for inclusion in the one PDF file for the submission. The sponsor writes a one-page letter on behalf of his or her candidate. This letter is not a reference letter.

For design achievements include references from design colleagues and peers. For candidates nominated for education achievements, include references from deans, former students, etc. Sponsors are responsible for soliciting reference letters and may use the sample letter supplied. However, please instruct reference writers to create an original letter specific to the candidate and not parrot back language already provided in the candidate's Section 1 Summary page.

All Honorary Fellowship candidates and their sponsors will be notified by e-mail of the jury’s decisions on or before Friday, February 5, 2015. The national AIA Board of Directors, College of Fellows Executive Committee, College of Fellows Regional Representatives, and component executives will be notified after the candidates and sponsors have been contacted.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do I have to start and finish my submission in one session?

No. You can start your submission and come back to finish it before the deadline date of 5:00 pm Eastern Time.

What if I want to make changes to my entry after I have completed my submission?
You can enter the system at any time to edit or update your submission before the deadline date prior to 5:00 pm, Eastern Time.

How will I know my submission has been received?
Upon submitting your entry, you will receive a confirmation e-mail message containing your submission details.

What should I do if I did not receive a confirmation e-mail containing my submission details?

First, check your junk mail folder – the most likely problem is that your spam filter sent the e-mail from to your junk mail. You should change your account settings to accept future e-mail from us. If it did not go into your junk mail folder, please contact for assistance.

Begin Your Submission

Begin your submission.

The deadline is October 16, 2015 before 5:00 Eastern time.

Questions may be directed to

Past Recipients

2015 Recipients

2014 Recipients

2013 Recipients

2012 Recipients

2011 Recipients


Kathleen L. Daileda, Hon. AIA
Director, AIA Awards
1735 New York Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20006


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