Keystone Award Overview

Selected and presented by the American Architectural Foundation’s Board of Regents, the Keystone Award is an annual national award that honors an individual or organization from outside the industry for exemplary leadership that has increased the value of architecture and design in our culture. The winner of the Keystone Award reflects AAF’s vision of a society in which architecture enriches lives and transforms communities.

Past honorees include the Chicago Architecture Foundation; the U.S. Green Building Council; Amanda M. Burden, Chair of the New York City Planning Commission and Director of the Department of City Planning; Manny Diaz, former Mayor of Miami; the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA); Save America’s Treasures; the Pritzker Family of Chicago; former Mayor Jeremy Harris of Honolulu; the Office of the Commissioner of the Public Buildings Service, U.S. General Services Administration; Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. of Charleston, SC; Rick Lowe, Founding Director of Project Row Houses in Houston, TX; and Mayor Richard M. Daley of Chicago.

The objective of the Keystone Award is to recognize and encourage individual leadership in architecture and design by all members of society and to reflect the increasingly important role that design plays in our lives and communities.

Eligibility Requirements and Nominations

The Keystone Award honors an individual or organization from outside the field of architecture for exemplary leadership that has increased the value of architecture and design in our culture. The recipient’s contributions to the advancement of design in our culture should be significant and innovative. Efforts to improve his or her community’s future through design should give evidence of a personal commitment beyond financial assistance. Patrons could qualify for this award, as might other individuals such as (but not limited to) advocates, critics, activists, clients, representatives of government, or education leaders.

Presentation of the Award

The Keystone Award is presented at the annual Accent on Architecture Gala in Washington, D.C.


Lynn Osmond, Hon. AIA and President and CEO of Chicago Architecture Foundation, receives the Keystone Award on behalf of the organization. Featured image courtesy of  Jeff Malet Photography

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