Architecture Photo Competition for Students by Aarhus School of Architecture

Architecture Photo Competition for Students by Aarhus School of Architecture

Deadline: September 1, 2020
Entry Fee: Free
Prizes: €1,000, €2,000, €5,000

Aarhus School of Architecture proudly announces the second edition of the international competition, Photo Of The Year, which is a joint collaboration with Dreyers Foundation and Dinesen. Architecture students from all over the world are invited to participate in the international competition that celebrates architectural photography. Like architectural drawing, architectural photography is a special discipline closely related to the development of architecture. Architecture photographers are characterized with their ability to think photography as architecture, presenting architectural matters in both documentary and artistic ways.

We live in a world of images, images so to speak shape our image of the world, and the speed at which images pass by on social media makes us immune to what we see. That is why the potential of architectural photography – also as an artistic discipline – is more relevant than ever to discuss and develop within an academic, architectural context. The making of 3D models and renderings of buildings are easier than ever to produce and are widely used to convince entrepreneurs and investors, but they can´t document reality:

‘Something very important occurs in the field between the 3D models and a photograph – the building is born. The photographer’s work no longer refers to a design proposal of what the building is supposed to be like, but instead through the camera shows what the building ended up becoming. The camera has its limitations but it also has a certain poetic strength.’

– Hélène Binet, architectural photographer, Jury Member 2019.

Our intention with the competition is to sharpen and raise the level of architectural photography as an architectural as well as an artistic discipline. That is the reason why we invite students from all over the world to participate in the international architecture photo competition, which is a companion piece to the School’s well-known Drawing Of The Year Competition, that has run for 8 years.

Social Distancing/Proximity

No wonder, this year’s theme takes its inspiration from the global Corona Crisis, which with the beat of a butterfly´s wing has united – and separated – the whole world in fear, isolation and eventually – death. The virus has left public spaces like stations, stadions, schools, and streets empty and dramatically influenced the way we live, work and die. The question is, how do we take back common urban space, and how do we reinvent social life after the pandemic? Will temporary Social Distancing affect architecture in the future? Is it possible to go from developing architecture that encourages social proximity, to architecture that obstructs human relations? What is the role of architecture in this challenging situation?

This year’s theme is Social Distancing/Proximity, and the jury calls for photos that describe the unaccostumed phenomenon of Social Distancing or photos that show alternatives and hope for social proximity and production of shared space.

All photographic media is welcome, analogue or digital, colour or black/white, zoom or panorama, post-processed or raw, as long as the photography interprets architecture, allowing the audience to include their own spatial experiences, relations and memories.


One submission only, consisting of a series of 5 photos uploaded as JPG, maximum 20 MB per file.


  • First Prize – €5,000
  • Second Prize – €2,000
  • Third Prize – €1,000


Submissions will be judged by a professional and international jury consisting of:

  • Hilary Sample, Achitect, Partner, MOS (US)
  • Louise Wolthers, PhD, Head of Research and Curator at Hasselblad Foundation (S)
  • Torben Nielsen, Rector, Aarhus School of Architecture (DK)


  • Announcement of the competition – May 1st, 2020
  • Deadline for submission – September 1st, 2020, noon (CET)
  • Announcement of winners and opening of exhibition – October 5th, 2020 (International Architecture Day)
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