Virtual Exhibitions

  • Date

    Monday, December 14 2020-Saturday, December 31 2022

  • Time

    Multi-day event.

Capital Curiosities

The District of Columbia and surrounding region is a bubble of curiosities. With this juried photography exhibition, we asked professional, non-professional, and student photographers to rediscover the city’s past and present with an inquisitive eye, seeking out the majestic, surprising, and unfamiliar for their submissions. We encouraged them to stimulate the imagination and paint pictures on the wonders of architecture in the National Capital Region.

Of the 93 submissions, juror Austin Graff selected 21 photographs for exhibition, judging them without knowing any information about the photographers. Graff also identified Best in Show, Runner Up, and Honorable Mention photographs. These are indicated in the exhibition and will be featured in the fall edition of ArchitectureDC, AIA|DC’s quarterly magazine.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the contest and congrats to the photographers featured in the show: Perla Antoniak; Mila Baler; Douglas Davies; Kendall Dorman; Laura Fleischer; Jeremy Limerick; Kayla Mahood; Mark Edward Mentzer; Donna Merz; David Metzger, FAIA, FCSI; Roland Michelman; Frank Mobilio, AIA, LEED AP BD+C; Manuel Javier Sanchez; Kenneth M. Wyner; Marwane Zouaidi


Juror Austin Graff

Austin Graff is a social media consultant, writer, travel guide and founder of Curiosity & Connection, a consultancy based in Washington, DC. Graff is currently a contributing writer with The Washington Post, the Post’s By The Way local guide to Washington, D.C., and one of the co-leaders of IGDC, the city’s first Instagram community. Previously, Austin led social media and influencer marketing for International Justice Mission, the world’s largest anti-trafficking organization, and Honest Tea, America’s #1 organic iced tea company. After growing up in Tatarstan and Germany, Austin proudly lives in Southeast DC with his wife, daughter, and housemate.

Exhibition Credits

Capital Curiosities is organized by AIA|DC for the Suman Sorg Gallery.

Executive Director Mary Fitch, AICP, Hon. AIA

Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs Scott Clowney, Assoc. AIA

Art Handler Hank Griffith

Supported by Sustaining Firm Affiliate Members

Print Production BluEdge

Catastrophic Collapse: Lessons Learned, After the Fall

Building collapses are rare but can happen for a host of reasons: earthquakes, extreme weather, human error, or a combination of factors. Fortunately, the lessons we learn from building failures make us all safer. These lessons often lead to refinements in construction codes and maintenance protocols, and can even bring about critical retrofits of existing buildings.

We have chosen eight well documented structural failure case studies, highlighting how building safety has been improved in their wake. The exhibition concludes with some speculation as to what we may learn from the recent collapse of a condominium building in Surfside, Florida, in 2021.

The exhibition features some of our nation’s most catastrophic structural disasters—from the South Fork Dam and Tacoma Narrows Bridge to the Northridge Meadows Apartments and the World Trade Center. Each catastrophic collapse offers a story with lessons learned that improved the way we design buildings today.

1889……… South Fork Dam / Johnstown, PA
1922……… Knickerbocker Theatre / Washington, DC
1940……… Tacoma Narrows Bridge / Tacoma, WA
1981……… Hyatt Regency Hotel / Kansas City, MO
1994……… Northridge Meadows Apartments / Los Angeles, CA
2001……… World Trade Center / New York, NY
2005……… New Orleans Levees/Floodwalls / New Orleans, LA
2021……… Champlain Towers South / Surfside, FL
2021……… Western Kentucky Tornado


Catastrophic Collapse: Lessons Learned, After the Fall is organized by AIA|DC for the SIGAL Gallery.

Sponsored by:
National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB)
District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA)

Supported by:
Sustaining Firm Affiliate Members

Curatorial Team:
Mary Fitch, AICP, Hon. AIA / Executive Director, AIA|DC (script writing)
Scott Clowney, Assoc. AIA / Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs, AIA|DC (script writing; proofreading; image collection)
G. Martin Moeller, Jr., Assoc. AIA, Independent Curator (interpretive consultation; editing)
Rupa M. Patel, P.E., LEED AP BD+C / Senior Associate, Thornton Tomasetti (research assistance)
Dara Naderi, PE / Associate, Thornton Tomasetti (research assistance)

Exhibition & Graphic Design:
Rina Alfonso, RGD / Founder & Creative Director, Studio Aorta
Danielle Coates, RGD / Senior Design Associate, Studio Aorta
Arianno Ho / Studio Assistant | Design Associate, Studio Aorta

Print Production:
Print Exhibit Partners, LLC

Special Thanks to these Image Contributors:
California State University Northridge; Dave Eames, Illustrator/Graphic Designer; District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs; Fine Homebuilding magazine; Johnstown Flood Museum Archives, Johnstown Area Heritage Association; New School of Architecture and Design; Perkins Eastman DC; University of Washington Libraries

Health and Safety Guidelines*

Please note the following COVID-19 safety measures:

  • Proof of vaccination is not required
  • Masks are not required
  • Social distancing is encouraged during your visit
  • Stay home if you are sick, suspect exposure to or have COVID-19

By visiting the District Architecture Center, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19, acknowledge that such matters are beyond the control of AIA|DC and the Washington Architectural Foundation, and agree to abide by our health and safety guidelines.

*subject to change pending updated guidance

Presidential Houses

The District Architecture Center is proud to present its first in-person exhibition since early 2020. Join us in celebration of reopening to the public.

Since our nation’s first chief executive, the birthplaces, childhood homes, and private residences of U.S. presidents have fascinated American society. These dwellings—modest cottages and farmhouses to fashionable townhomes and mansions—illustrate over 230 years of American architecture. From George Washington to Joseph R. Biden Jr., this exhibition highlights some of the familiar and surprising landmark houses they called home.


Presidential Houses is organized by AIA|DC for the SIGAL Gallery.

District Architecture Center Team:
Mary Fitch, AICP, Hon. AIA, Executive Director
Sinclaire Erdwien, Deputy Director
Scott Clowney, Assoc. AIA, Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs

Exhibition Support:
Design made possible by ArchiCAD19, courtesy of Graphisoft
Printing provided by BluEdge
Exhibitions supported, in part, by our Sustaining Firm Affiliate Members

Health and Safety Guidelines*

The safety and wellbeing of our visitors and staff is important to us. Please note the following COVID-19 safety measures:

  • Schedule visits in advance to reduce visitor capacity
  • Proof of vaccination is required to enter the Center; bring your vaccination card with you to show at the door
  • Masks must be worn for the entirety of the visit; gaiter-style masks and masks with exhalation valves are not permitted
  • Practice social distancing while visiting
  • Stay home and reschedule visits if feeling unwell, have tested positive to COVID-19, or suspect exposure to COVID-19 within the last 14 days

By visiting the District Architecture Center, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19, acknowledge that such matters are beyond the control of AIA|DC and the Washington Architectural Foundation, and agree to abide by our health and safety guidelines.

*subject to change pending updated guidance


  • Date

    Sunday, November 21 2021-Monday, November 29 2021

  • Time

    Multi-day event.

  • Location

    National Building Museum

Visit the National Building Museum to see this year's CANstruction sculptures! The theme is Children's Books and each structure will highlight a different book. 

The display is in the main hall of the museum. See the NBM website for visiting hours. 

Canstruction is a nationwide program that aims to raise awareness about hunger. In DC, Canstruction is organized by the Washington Architectural Foundation as a creative design-build competition that benefits the Capital Area Food Bank through donations of canned goods. Teams from architecture and design firms from Washington, DC use their skills to build sculptures out of cans of food. The nutritious shelf-stable food is donated to the CAFB for distribution to those in need after the event.

Questions? Contact Sinclaire Erdwien at

This program is supported by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

Excellence in Structural Engineering – Awards Exhibition

  • Date

    Thursday, June 24 2021-Friday, June 25 2021

  • Time

    Multi-day event.

  • Location

    District Architecture Center

For the past 14 years, the Structural Engineers Association of Metropolitan Washington (SEA-MW) has hosted a premier gala-style dinner event to celebrate the structural engineering profession, through recognizing outstanding achievements by local firms and individuals.  This year, we are making our awards event open to the public through our professionally curated Awards Exhibition.  The Exhibition will showcase some of the best work performed by Washington DC-area structural engineers in recent years.  

To qualify for the Exhibition, firms throughout the region have submitted projects to our panel of nine judges, who are independent, out-of-market professionals in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction industry.  Our judges have selected up two project finalists in each category, and these projects are exhibited throughout the week on professionally and thoughtfully designed displays.  At the end of the Exhibition, each of the project finalists will be awarded either the Outstanding Achievement Award (1st place) or the Merit Award (2nd place).

We hope you will join us to celebrate and admire the great work performed by our local structural engineering community!

Visit the exhibition in person at the District Architecture Center June 19-25. No reservations necessary. Masks required.

Exhibition Hours:

  • June 19: 12pm-4pm
  • June 20: 12pm-4pm
  • June 21: 4pm-7pm
  • June 22: 4pm-7pm
  • June 23: 4pm-7pm
  • June 24: 4pm-7pm
  • June 25: 4pm-7pm

About SEA-MW

The Structural Engineers Association of Metropolitan Washington (SEA-MW) is a not-for-profit professional organization dedicated to the advancement of the structural engineering profession.  Founded in 1988, the original members focused on improving the local community to enhance the business of structural engineering.  SEA-MW is currently comprised of over 70 member firms across Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

 Over the past 33 years, SEA-MW’s mission has grown to include: developing continuing education seminars for structural engineers, identifying volunteer opportunities in the local community, training second responders for natural disasters, organizing events for recent graduates, and creating forums for students to connect with potential employers.  For the past 14 years, SEA-MW’s premier event has been celebrating the structural engineering profession through recognizing outstanding achievements by structural engineering firms and individuals in the local region.

Sponsorship Images
Structural Engineering Associates

CANstruction 2021

  • Date

    Monday, January 25 2021-Monday, February 01 2021

  • Time

    Multi-day event.

What is CANstruction?

CANstruction is an international competition where teams build sculptures out of canned food. All the food is then donated to the local food bank. Architecture and design firms comprise the teams that create and build the structures. 

This is the 22nd annual competition held in DC. Over the years, the competition has donated
450 tons of food to the Capital Area Food Bank. That’s the same weight as about five-and-a-half Space Shuttles!

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we can’t build the structures in person as we have in previous years, but that hasn’t stopped our teams from working hard to design and fundraise for their creations! This year’s theme was Children’s Books. Explore the virtual exhibition by clicking on a title to the right!

How you can join the effort

Vote for your favorite design by donating to the Capital Area Food Bank here! One dollar equals one vote. We’ll announce the voters’ favorite on February 1. 


This year, the teams have raised funds for 18,610 cans. That’s 22,000 meals! 

2020 Awards Show

  • Date

    Tuesday, November 24 2020-Sunday, February 28 2021

  • Time

    Multi-day event.

The 2020 Awards Show combines award-winning projects from two of AIA|DC’s largest competitions:

Each year, our competitions recognize practitioners who demonstrate excellence in design. Projects are selected by distinguished juries of design professionals based outside of the Washington metropolitan region.

Congratulations to all the 2020 winners!

On Architecture

  • Date

    Thursday, October 01 2020-Monday, December 14 2020

  • Time

    Multi-day event.

Next Generation Architects: 7th Annual Thesis Showcase

  • Date

    Tuesday, September 01 2020-Monday, December 14 2020

  • Time

    Multi-day event.