Architect 50 Official Site

Rules and Regulations

All firms participating in the ARCHITECT 50 will be required to complete a survey, submit a portfolio of projects, and pay an entry fee for the portfolio submission. 


The ARCHITECT 50 is open to:

  • Firms that offer any combination of architecture services, including landscape architecture, interior design, planning, and engineering
  • Firms with an office based in the United States

Sole proprietorships are not eligible for the program.

Firms that meet these basic requirements need to fill out a complete survey and submit all necessary materials and fees to be included in the program.


Firms that qualify for the program will receive an invitation linking to a web-based survey. The survey will also include instructions for how firms can submit their portfolios. More details will be included with the ARCHITECT 50 invitation when it is sent out.


The web-based survey covers a firm's business information, sustainable design work, and other information. Worksheets will be available to help firms assemble the necessary information for the survey. Each year the questions on the survey are updated to reflect changes and trends in the profession.  

Design Portfolio

The ARCHITECT 50 includes the submission of a design portfolio. The portfolio is designed to capture a quick snapshot of the breadth and the quality of your firm’s work. A small firm with a series of community-based projects can perform just as well as a global firm with an international portfolio.

A panel of judges chosen by ARCHITECT magazine will anonymously score each entry. The portfolio score will be used along with other factors to determine how your firm ranks in the design category. 

Number of projects: Your portfolio may consist of up to five projects. These may include built and unbuilt work, exhibitions, master plans, product developments, or any other projects you see fit to submit. For each project, you may submit whatever combination of photographs, renderings, drawings, or other supporting visuals you choose.

Requirements: Your firm must have worked on, or completed, each project in calendar year 2018. Projects can be based anywhere in the world.

Please note: Your portfolio must include at least two projects that have been completed and that have been photographed in their finished state.

We will not publish any images without prior consent. Projects you submit will remain confidential.

PDF specifications: Projects will be submitted via PDF, with each page a standard size of 8.5 by 11 inches. Each project may take up no more than two pages. A submission with 5 projects may not exceed 10 pages, with no one project taking up more than two pages. A submission with three projects may not exceed six pages, with no one project taking up more than two pages, etc. Your PDF may not exceed 30 megabytes.

Each project must include the following information:

Scope (new construction, renovation/remodel, adaptive use, addition/expansion, preservation/restoration, etc.)
Completion date
Cost per square foot
Project description (No more than three sentences please.)
Please do not include your firm name anywhere in the PDF or in the file name, to ensure that judging is anonymous.

Cost: There will be a fee to enter your design portfolio, to cover judging and other costs. We are using a tiered system based on firm size:

1-49 employees: $99
50-249 employees: $199
250+ employees: $299


Data from the survey and portfolio scores will be used to develop the ranking. All data provided is subject to validation. Data processing will be supervised by Karlin Research, an independent, third-party research firm.

Privacy and Confidentiality

All data not in the public domain will be treated as confidential and only used in connection with this project by members of the project team

To participate, please register your firm.



2019 Architect 50

Release Information

Survey period starts:
June 10, 2019

Survey period ends:
July 18, 2019



The survey is live. The first wave of survey invitations has gone out. Invitations may take up to 24-hours for newly registered firms.



Revised 6/10/2019