I probably shouldn’t say this out loud, but there are times that I have my doubts about the need for awards in architecture. If one were to take a most sceptical view, the results of any scheme might be reduced in understanding as the opinions of five or six people on one given day of the year. Indeed, it is this jury dynamic – the ebb and flow of differing critiques, the winding discourse throughout proceedings, and the eventual negotiation and agreement – which is so crucial in defining both the initial outcomes and continuing relevance of any awards process.
An appropriate panel of adjudicators is therefore key. And with that in mind, what might we claim the purpose any awards scheme is for? To acknowledge and celebrate great work is one aspect, and one with which we are all most familiar. But more than that, a well considered jury can provide a much more public and functional service – that of assessing the entries submitted and recommending them to their colleagues as exemplars in their field through a process of peer review.
Indeed, it is perhaps relatively rare in this regard for architects to be given an opportunity to collectively critique and remark on a range of products and services relevant to professional practice, and to highlight those which may be of potential interest to their fellow designers and specifiers. It is due to this uncommon chance for peer review assessment that the Architects’ Choice Award, at Architecture and Building Expo 2019, stands out as a vital and relevant awards scheme for the profession.
Chosen by a select committee of RIAI-registered architects, the Architects’ Choice Award underlines those products and services which have demonstrated particular usefulness, innovation, and value across the following range of categories: Best Interior Product; Best Exterior Product; Best Interior Design Product; Best Lighting Product; and Best Renewable Product. The assessment itself is a rigorous process, with the relevant literature reviewed, physical samples inspected, and supplier representatives quizzed; thereby guaranteeing that only the most exceptional entries are selected.