The Annual Architectural Design Competition for High School Students


Annual AFSF High School Design Competition

The Architectural Foundation of San Francisco announces
the 55th Annual AFSF High School Design Competition!

All High School students in both public & private schools in the greater San Francisco Bay Area and globally are encouraged to participate.

Samples of student work submitted to the AFSF High School Design Competition

For the 2024 challenge, participants will design a Community Resilience Center for a small town rebuilding after a devastating wildfire.

Click here for the 2024 HSDC design brief

Greenville, CA is an unincorporated community in Plumas County, California, 150 miles north of Sacramento, the state’s capital.  Surrounded by rugged mountains, it is the largest community in Indian Valley, and totals 8 square miles (21km²) of land area with a population of 785 as of the 2020 census.

About 75% of Greenville’s buildings were destroyed in 2021 by the Dixie Fire, including its fire department, library and most downtown homes.

While the town rebuilds and heals from the traumatic 2021 wildfire season, a number of special community spaces have popped up. Frequented by community members, these have become places for residents to naturally gather, talk, eat, socialize and celebrate.

The proposed Community Resilience Center will incorporate three types of programming: daily life, emergency events, and communal recovery

Proposed by community members, spaces within the Center should emphasize youth activities, community-building, and gathering. As part of Greenville’s Town Center Site Plan, the Center should be a primary anchor that both supports and celebrates the community, ushering Greenville into its bright new future.

The competition will have an online submission process with three options:

1)   Individual Entry

2)   Group Entry

3)   Design Process Entry (as either an individual or as a group)

All deliverables (drawings, model, and design description) must be captured in a Google Slides deck for presentation. To explain your thinking to the judges, we also require the submission a brief video describing the project (2 minutes maximum). In previous years, what many entrants have enjoyed most about the challenge is this opportunity to talk about the overall goals and aspirations for their design and their design process.

Find the complete design brief for the 2024 High School Design Competition here.
Feel free to copy or share the brief as needed.

Teachers, note that the brief PDF includes live links to resources and contacts, so distributing a digital copy to your students will likely benefit them.

Final entries must be submitted on FRIDAY, May 17th, by 6:00pm PST.

The awards presentation reception will take place SUNDAY, May 19th.

Details for the virtual Awards Ceremony will be communicated closer to the event date.

E-mail to be added to the list for program updates.

This year we are awarding prizes in 3 categories:

1)   Best Design (single entrant),

2)   Best Group entry, and

3)   Best Digital entry.

Note that the option you choose to enter will determine which awards you are eligible for.

In addition to the standard prizes, the first place winner in the overall superiority category will receive a four-week Summer Pre-college Scholarship at the California College of the Arts.

Ryan Lee of Woods Bagot is once again the Competition Chair and Author. He is available to discuss the program with students and teachers.

Contact him directly with questions or to arrange a classroom visit at 415-277-3041

Thank you for your interest in the HSDC.  We eagerly anticipate your creative solution to help design a physical focus for Greenville’s rise from the ashes.

Four more samples of student work submitted to the Architectural Foundation of San Francisco's High School Design Competition

Highlights from the 2023 ~ 54th Annual AFSF High School Design Competition

Special congratulations to the 2023 HSDC winners! 

The 54th installment of the AFSF High School Design Competition challenged students to design a Park Space and a PDR Collective next to existing wetlands along Islais Creek in San Francisco. ‘PDR’ stands for Production, Distribution and Repair. The PDR Collective will be an opportunity to grow the local business presence and provide space for artists, makers, nonprofits, and other bedrocks of the community. The location of this new space will increase public access to the waterfront and create a new gathering space for the community. 

Students from 21 high schools in 3 US States and 8 countries (US, China, Germany, India, Pakistan, Romania, South Korea, and Taiwan) submitted a total of 71 entries. 


Best Individual Design, Overall Superiority

  1. “Pier 94 Ecocentre” – Feronia Liang – Taipei American School

  2. . “WAVEFORM” – Griffin Reese – Burlingame High School

  3.  “The Terrace, Pier 94” – Devin Chang Taipei American School

Honorable Mentions

“The CORE Museum” – JongHyun Yang – Korea International School
“Seascape Haven” – Royden Zhao – Temple City High School
” Mossy Rock” – Ian Primer – Flower Mound High School
” EMBRACE” – Divit GargInternational School Bangalore

Best Group Presentation

  1. “The Nest” – Amelie Maltz, Bruno Kai Ong Lick Wilmerding High School
  2. “The Preserve at Islais Creek” – Nandor Leszko, Sydney Peer, Liam ShieldsWestlake High School
  3. “Nexum” – Enoch Lee, Lee Porter, Nicholas ZinnHenry M. Gunn High School

Honorable Mentions

“Bridge to the Bay” – Purev-Chang Ariunbold, Huang Anthony, Deniz RodiBurlingame High School

“Panoramic Park” – Olivia Medina, Anya Malhotra, Izabella Karanov – Burlingame High School

“The Nougat Creek Center” – Yue Chen, Ziqi Lin – Vanke Meisha Academy, Shenzhen Middle School

“PIER 94” – Eric Sretavan, Ryan IpRedwood High School

Best Design Process Presentation

  1. Avian Harmony” – Mandy ZhongRiverside STEM Academy High School
    1. “Jazz” – Hung-Hsun Huang, Edward Shuoyen Chao, Bryan LinKang Chiao International School (Taiwan)


    3. ” Wawe” – Jenesse LoTaipei American School (Taiwan)

Honorable Mention

“Flower Stream” – Rebaz SinjaryBurlingame High School

“Aartii Park” – Yuxin He, Shuqi ZhangShenzhen College of International Education

“The Wave” – Krishna Nagarajan, Alexander Winter, Maxwell DiLaura – Burlingame High School

Thank you again to all our participants, their families, and our jurors and sponsors!

Highlights from prior years of the AFSF High School Design Competition