Call for Entries: Summer Model Exhibition

  • Date

    Tuesday, May 09 2023-Thursday, June 01 2023

  • Time

    Multi-day event.

Submission Deadline: Thursday, June 1, 2023 / 11:59 p.m. EST

Submission Fee: Free of charge

Exhibition Dates: June 27 – August 30, 2023



More than loose freehand sketches, intricate technical drawings, or sleek computer renderings, the maquette or scale model serves as an excellent representation that bridges the gap between spatial idea and spatial construct. Simply stated, scale models are unique to the culture of design as small informative objects with big exciting ideas.

Scale models are communicative tools in three-dimension that give designers the power to experiment, solve problems, and help clients imagine a design. Despite advances in computer modelling software, which renders the scale model outdated for some designers, the traditional—physical—scale model remains a tested instrument in the design process. This summer, the District Architecture Center will spotlight these informative objects in an upcoming exhibition.


Exhibition Goals

The goals of this exhibition are to:

  • Celebrate the traditional—physical—scale model as a tested instrument in the design process that remains an important communicative tool for designers despite advances in computer modelling software.
  • Encourage local designers and design students to share their recent spatial visions with a diverse audience interested in the building arts.
  • Engage visitors with a unique form of craft in the design culture that both educates and excites.



This Call for Entry is open to:

  • AIA|DC-affiliated members and design practices.
  • Allied professionals in design disciplines other than architecture who reside in the Washington statistical metropolitan area, including locations in DC, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.
  • Recent graduates or active students in a design program in or near the Washington metropolitan area, including but not limited to architecture, exhibition design, interior architecture and design, and landscape architecture.


Submission Requirements

Applicants should propose study (working) models and/or presentation (finished) models. Models may represent working projects, completed projects, or theoretical projects. A variety of model types will demonstrate the unique progression that design processes entail. To illustrate a range of contemporary production methods, DAC seeks models that are both hand-built and digitally fabricated, and models made with traditional and non-traditional materials and techniques. Applicants should propose models of any reasonable scale, but models should be no larger than 24 in. x 48 in. Applicants may propose models of any project type, including but not limited to housing, landscape design, museum spaces, and theater sets. Applicants may submit up to three (3) entries for consideration (one entry per application form).

The application must include the following:

Personal Information –

  • Applicant Name and Contact
  • Design Practice Name
  • Student’s Degree of Study and University Name (if applicable)

Project Information –

  • Project Title, Location, and Year (if applicable)
  • Description (75 – 100 words)
  • Model Maker Name(s) for Credit

Model Specifications –

  • Model Type (Study or Presentation)
  • Model Scale
  • Model Materials
  • Dimensions (H x W x D)

Questions –

  1. Does the model include a base? (Yes or No) If no, the model will be displayed on pedestals or tables chosen by DAC.
  2. Does the model include a vitrine? (Yes or No) If no, the model will be displayed without a vitrine.
  3. Does the model require special lighting? (Yes or No) If yes, the selected applicant must provide the lighting equipment. Note: lighting must be uncomplicated; hazardous lighting and unsightly cord configurations will not be acceptable. General gallery lighting will be managed by DAC.

Visual Materials –

  • 3 to 5 reference images of the model showing top, front, side, aerial, and/or detail. Label images with their respective views such as top, front, side, etc. Note any special features, etc.


Criteria for Exhibition

Submissions will be reviewed in accordance with:

  1. Relevance to the goals of the exhibition
  2. Perceived craftsmanship, creative use of materials, and/or visual appeal of the individual model
  3. Collective feasibility with other models to form a possible composition or grouping

Since review of physical models will not be possible, review will be based on information and reference images provided by the applicant for submission. Images should be clear with high quality resolution and offer multiple views to fully convey the model.

All decisions by the Review Committee are final and non-negotiable.


Exhibition Requirements

The exhibition will be located at the District Architecture Center, 421 7th Street NW Washington DC 20004, in the Sorg Gallery and open to the public during regular visiting hours:

  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 11am–4pm
  • Select Saturdays during Saturday hours

Applicants whose models have been selected for exhibition agree to the following:

  1. Sign and submit a Hold Harmless Agreement before the model(s) can be displayed for the purpose of exhibition. No exceptions; agreement provided by DAC upon notification of acceptance.
  2. Models must be transported by the applicant at the applicant’s expense. Models should be delivered to and picked up from the District Architecture Center at times to be determined.
  3. Models must remain on view for the duration of the exhibition, approximately two (2) months in duration from June 27 to August 30, 2023.
  4. Visitors to the gallery can photograph the model(s) and exhibition for personal use. Visitors will not be allowed to touch models.


Submission Format & Process

Format application form and visual materials into one (1) multi-page PDF at 8.5” x 11” size. Visual materials should include one page with labelled thumbnail images and one page each per reference image thereafter. Label the final submission file as follows:

  • Ex) 2023-Model-Exhibit_Applicant-Name

Using WeTransfer or your preferred file sharing system, send submission requirements via email to Scott Clowney at no later than Thursday, June 1, 2023 / 11:59 p.m. EST.



Please contact Scott Clowney at or (202) 347-9403 x 2007.