Register February 11, 2019 | Submit February 11, 2019 | Free Student Architecture Competitions



The BDA Prize



The BDA Prize, an annual design and ideas competition, is established to generate forward-looking ideas to better our community through design and dialogue. The 2019 theme, INVISIBLE C’VILLE, calls for imaginative and provocative works on paper that distill an invisible quality, system, or story that defines Charlottesville.

In the novel Invisible Cities, we think Marco Polo is describing fifty-five amazing cities he encountered in his travels – until we realize he is describing a single city, his hometown, Venice, in fifty-five different ways.

As Calvino’s Marco Polo does for Venice, the BDA Prize asks you to dissect, identify, amplify, distill, and describe a generally overlooked but essential quality, system, spatial practice, experience or story that characterizes Charlottesville.

What is your take on the ethos of our town?
What would your personal x-ray of our town reveal?
What stories are untold?
What narratives are unresolved?
What is holding us back?
What is great and will propel us into the future?
Is this a city proud of its “History” or one that would rather not talk about its multiple, contested histories?
Whose voices are broadcast, discussed, and allowed to make a difference?

Your competition entry will be a single original image on paper 20” x 30” (76.2 x 50.8 cm) coupled with a short companion text of 1000 characters or less.

The goal of INVISIBLE C’VILLE is to create a kaleidoscopic view of our community. “Real” Charlottesville emerges from individual truths overlaid, overlapped, uncovered, and expressed. We are looking for imaginative, compelling, beautiful, and provocative work executed with clarity and conviction.

Out of many, one.



February 11, 2019
Deadline for Entries
Entries must be received by 5pm EST

February 26, 2019
Exhibition of all Entries at The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center

March 1, 2019
First Fridays formal opening reception at The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center
5pm – 7pm

April 10, 2019
Announcement of winners and panel discussion co-hosted by Tom Tom Founders Festival
Doors open at 5pm

May 3, 2019
Exhibition of all entries closes

May 13 – 24
Entries available for pick up at Bushman Dreyfus Architects
Entries not picked up will be discarded



A jury will award 8 unranked prizes of $1,000 each.

All entries will be exhibited at The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center.

The winning entries will also be displayed outdoors at locations to be determined in the spring.






Jury Announcement coming soon.







For more information about this competition, please contact us.