The Omrania l CSBE Student Award for Excellence in Architectural Design

2012 Fifth Cycle Announcement


Omrania and Associates (O&A) and the Center for the Study of the Built Environment (CSBE) are happy to announce the fifth cycle The Omrania l CSBE Student Award for Excellence in Architectural Design.

The Award is intended to honor distinguished architectural graduation projects by students from universities throughout the Arab World.


Students who have completed their Bachelor's degree in architecture or architectural engineering during the 2011 – 2012 academic year from universities in countries belonging to the Arab League are eligible to submit their architectural graduation projects for the Award.


This year, the Award’s total prize money will amount to USD 10,000. It will be at the discretion of the Award jury to decide on the number of winners and on the distribution of the prize money among them. For the 2011 Award cycle, the jury selected a first prize winner, two second prize winners, and two third prize winners.



Submissions must consist of the student’s submission for the final year graduation project. No additional work may be done to the project except for re-formatting it to match the following required specifications. 

Submissions must consist of:


Abstract of no more than 300 words

All participants must provide a statement of no more than 300 words describing their project, and must submit it in Word or PDF format.

The statement may be adapted from a text already developed for the graduation project.


One digital portrait sheet (file format: JPG; sheet Size: A0 (841x 1189 mm); file resolution: 150 dpi; file size: under 10MB)

No additional sheets will be accepted.

Two copies of the sheet must be submitted. One of the copies must be anonymous and shall not display the name of the participant, the participant’s university, or any other identifying marks. The other copy must include the name of the participant and the participant’s university according to the format below:

Since the participants will not be able to present their work in person to the jury members, it is permitted – though not required – to add some narrative onto the boards to explain significant aspects of the design.


-  Submission form

All participants shall complete and sign a Submission Form. The Submission Form will be made available on July 1, 2012 on the Award's new web site at


Formal certificate

All participants shall provide a copy of a formal document that certifies their completion of a Bachelor’s degree in architecture or architectural engineering during the 2011 – 2012 academic year. The certificate must be submitted along with the abstract paragraph, two copies of the drawing sheet, and the Submission Form. The certificate may be any university-issued formal document that verifies the participant’s graduation. It must be sent in JPG format.


All submissions must be uploaded to the Award web site between July 1, 2012 and August 21, 2012.

We will send you a confirmation email upon the successful receipt of your submission material.

The names of the participants, as well as any other identifying details, will remain hidden from the jury members until after the jury has made its final decision.


All the submission items mentioned above may be provided in either Arabic or English.



CSBE fully reserves the right to disqualify participants for any reason it sees fit. For example, if: i) participants do not meet the eligibility criteria for participation in the competition; ii) participants communicate with the competition organizers or jurors in an attempt to influence the judgment of competition entries; iii) entries do not satisfy any of the above-mentioned requirements for submission.



An independent three-member jury will review the entries and select the winners. The jury consists of the following:

Khaled Omar Azzam is the Director of The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts in London. He is an architect by training and maintains his practice through offices in Cairo and Jeddah. He has built houses, schools, mosques, offices, and commercial buildings.

In 1999, he became the Director of The Visual Islamic and Traditional Arts (VITA) Program at The Prince’s Foundation in London. At VITA, he was involved in developing the postgraduate MA and PhD program and carrying out an outreach program that included projects with schools such as the National College of Arts in Lahore, The Arab Academy in Cairo, and the College of Traditional Islamic Arts at Al Balqah University in Amman, Jordan.

In 2003, HRH The Prince of Wales established The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts and asked Dr. Azzam to become its first Director. Through this initiative, he facilitated the enlargement of the VITA educational program and also integrated the School’s education program with the need for awakening the social, spiritual, and economic lifelines of communities through an Outreach Education Program. These initiatives have reached communities in locations as diverse as Rose Town, Jamaica, Kano, Nigeria, Abu Dhabi, and Beijing.

In 2009, Her Majesty the Queen awarded Dr Azzam the title of Lieutenant of the Victoria Order.  In 2010, he was privileged to address His Holiness Pope Benedict VI on behalf of the Muslim community at a gathering of London’s Faith communities.


Farrokh Derakhshani is Director of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. He has been associated with the Award since 1982, where his work has brought him into contact with architects, builders, and planners throughout the world.  He travels extensively in Muslim countries, and has organised and participated in numerous international seminars and colloquia dealing with contemporary built environments. He has collaborated on a large variety of publications and exhibitions on architecture, and has been involved in organising professional workshops and international architectural competitions. He lectures widely and has served as a jury member at schools of architecture in Europe, Africa and Asia. Mr. Derakhshani’s main field of specialisation is the contemporary architecture of Muslim societies, and his professional work has included the design and construction management of large-scale public works and infrastructure projects in Iran, as well as architectural design in Paris and Geneva. He is trained as an architect at the National University of Iran and later continued his studies at the School of Architecture in Paris (UP1). 

Ahmad Humeid is a designer/design advocate, blogger and web entrepreneur, and the CEO of SYNTAX, a brand, design and innovation firm. He started his first design studio in 1991 while studying architecture at the University of Jordan. In the 1990s he led design and technology efforts at various pioneering publishing, consulting and web ventures in the Arab region, including BYTE Middle East Magazine and, the region's first web portal.

In 2005 he cofounded TootCorp, a web venture lab that launched the pioneering Arab video portal and other web ventures. Soon after, he cofounded Spring, a web and mobile technology development company that focuses on serving the emerging technology startup scene in the region.

In 2011 he launched the design advocacy initiative ReDesign Arabia, which aims at elevating the social role of design and designers as agents of positive change and human-centered innovation in the Arab region.

Living on the web since the advent of the commercial internet in 1994, he has been a regular blogger on his blog, one of Jordan's first blogs, focusing on design, technology, media and urban culture in the region. Nowadays he can be more often read on twitter @humeid and on Facebook.

Ahmad is a member of Diwan al Mimar, an architectural forum that meets regularly in Amman. He also spoke in various regional and global conference and forums on design, media and technology.


The jury will evaluate the submissions on their stand-alone merit. In doing so, clarity of presentation, purpose, creativity, design competence, etc. will be taken into account. While the different universities may have different criteria for their projects, the jury will evaluate each submission on its own merit, without reference to external criteria.

The participation of Mr. Derakhshani in the Award jury is made possible by the kind support of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.

The jury’s decision will be final, and the jury has the right to decide on the number of winners and on the distribution of the prize money among them.


Award and Exhibition

The winning projects will be declared at an Award ceremony. The location and date of the ceremony will be announced later this year. The winning projects and a selection of submissions will be exhibited during the Award ceremony and for a few days following it. The winning projects will also be published on the Award web site. The Award will cover travel and accommodation expenses of winners from outside the country where the ceremony will be held. Should any of the winning projects be the product of a group effort, the Award will cover the expenses of one representative from the group. The Award ceremonies so far have been held in Amman, Manama, and Beirut.


Inquiries and Updates

For additional inquiries, please call CSBE at (962) (6) 461-5297 or send an email to  All developments regarding the Award will be posted on the Award web site and on the Award’s Facebook page ( If you wish to be informed of any updates on the Award, please provide us with your email address.


Note:  Detailed information on the Award’s previous four cycles (including winning projects, biographies of jury members, and jury reports) are available on the CSBE web site ( All submitted projects for the 2010 and 2011 Awards may be viewed on the Award's Facebook page.