Winners will be Announced

August 27, 2020

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Grand Prize: $1,000


Being a successful architect is very hard. While this is no secret to anyone who has lead a team or studied the profession; the less obvious thing is what to do about it. 

Architects stereotypically lean on the purity of their ideas over their practicality and application. Schools rarely teach about business and firms are subject to the swings of both the client and the economy. These cracks in the business model of architecture are constantly debated but industry-wide action seems non-existent.

At DesignClass we've been asking ourselves; can architects responded to these challenges by developing their own projects? How would this work and how could we help students & professionals expand their thinking of what architecture and business could be?

We went into this question knowing that there is a perceived conflict between architects and the businessmen who develop real-estate. After some consideration, we believe this perception is outdated and detrimental to the architectural profession. We believe that if architecture students & professionals were adept at the entire process of creating buildings we could build stronger firms that literally invest in their communities.

This brings us to the Architects as Developers Design Competition.

This is your challenge, design a piece of architecture that can be a potential development for you or your firm in the future. To showcase your design, you'll be creating a Listing Sheet that can be taken to a potential investor and used as a starting point for a future development.

The first step is to find a property that could be the site for a potential development. This can be a vacant site or a site that will need demolition. The point is to identify a piece of land that is underperforming and has opportunity.

Next, think about and analyze what type of development would serve that land well. Could it be a simple duplex? Perhaps a luxury private home or a mixed-use structure? It will all depend on the land you choose, what the context calls for, and what type of architecture you're passionate about.

Next, design a building that could be a potential development for that piece of land. How will you balance scale, aesthetics, and design with the practicalities of the building's role in the community?

Award Criteria

Your submission will be to create a Listing Sheet showing the piece of land and what you'd like to build there. A Listing Sheet is a simple, 2-page document that can be taken to a potential investor showing the development potential for a property.

Tip: We will provide a detailed template once you register.

Submissions will be rated on the following criteria.

Architectural Design
Very High
Perceived Appeal to Investors.
High 0-10
Written Description
High 0-10
Layout & Clarity of the Listing Sheet Low 0-5

Submission Guidelines

You must submit a Listing Sheet showing a potential development that you've designed. 

What goes in a Listing Sheet?

A Listing Sheet is a 2-page document that outlines the development potential for a specific piece of land. It demonstrates to potential investors that you have thought about what kind of project may work and that you have the vision to create a design that maximizes the land's potential.

You can think of a Listing Sheet similar to a movie trailer. It provides the highlights and gets the viewer excited to view the entire proposal. It does not need to go into extreme detail; its purpose is to be interesting and get attention.

Requirements: Your Listing Sheet must contain all the required components: Banner Image, Site Image, Property Name, Designer Name, and Development Description; everything else is up to you.

Format: PDF
Size: US Letter (8.5x11") or A4 (210 × 297 millimeters)

Tip: We will provide a detailed template once you register.


Submission deadline: August 3, 2020 (11:59 PM PST)

Winners announced by: August 27, 2020 (11:59 PM PST)


  • All text must be in English
  • Must be an original work, created by the submitter
  • You may work as an individual or in a group or team
  • DesignClass reserves the right to suspend the competition and refund entry fees.
  • Participants retain all rights to their submissions.
  • Participants grant DesignClass license to publish submissions online and in print.
  • Open to anyone from anywhere

Want to learn about becoming an architect as developer?

Learn from M-RAD Founder, Matthew Rosenberg as he delves deep into how he created one of the most dynamic architecture & development firms in Los Angeles.

You'll learn about design, real estate development, partnerships, hiring, and how to find your voice in a stressful and competitive industry. His lessons are practical and based on real experience with clients, employees, and projects.

Each lesson features exclusive videos and hands-on guides to help you learn how M-Rad sources new opportunities and develops their own projects.

Learn More


  • When is the submission deadline?

    August 3, 2020 (11:59 PM PST)

  • When is the winner announced?

    August 27, 2020 (11:59 PM PST)

  • Can I participate as a team?

    Yes, the competition is open to individuals and teams of all ages and locations.

  • What is the maximum size of a team?

    No limit on the number of team members. In our experience, large teams do not have an advantage over a driven individual.

  • What is the entry fee?

    $34.99 for professionals and professional teams. $14.99 for students and student teams. $99.99 if you join the Competition & DesignClass bundle.

  • Can I register with a mixed team of students and professionals?

    Yes, however you must register using the Professional Team option of $34.99

  • Why should I join the Competition & DesignClass bundle?

    In the DesignClass you'll learn from M-RAD Founder, Matthew Rosenberg about design, real estate development, partnerships, hiring, and how to find your voice in a stressful and competitive industry. All important topics as you consider your competition entry.

  • Will the Competition & DesignClass bundle give me an advantage?

    Competition judging will not give preferential treatment to bundle purchasers. However, the lessons you learn in the Architects as Developers with Matthew Rosenberg DesignClass may help you create a better submission.

  • Will I receive a Certificate?

    Yes, all participants who submit to this competition will receive a completion certificate.

Join this competition and we plant a tree! 
DesignClass is a climate positive company. 

We offset our carbon footprint via Ecologi