Physical Description: 5 boxes; display boards; loose photographic materials
Series Scope and Content Summary
The first design award documents in the collection are from 1967 for the "Community and Architectural Design Awards Program."
Honor, Merit and Commendation Awards were given in the categories of "Public, Municipal, Single Family Housing, Multiple Family
Religious, Civic Buildings, and Office Building." As part of this competition, the town of Los Gatos submitted an extensive
which includes examples of each category. In 1971 the awards were for "Community Design." Lists of "Design Award" winners
for 1974 and 1979 are included without categories. Next, the Mar/Apr 1980 issue of Santa Clara County Business proclaims that
1975 has the Santa Clara Valley Chapter…conducted a countywide design awards program to honor and publicize examples of architectural
excellence…Awards were made on the basis of merit without regard to types of projects." The article goes on to list jury members
and award recipients,
with several small photographs. (The larger versions of these photographs are included in the photographic collection).
As part of Architecture Week in 1980, the Chapter also initiated a publicly-nominated design award "Orchids & Onions," to
seek "pleasing and displeasing man-made additions to our environment." From these nominations, a jury composed of representatives
from industry, government, education and professions related to architecture awarded Orchids, Special Commendations and Honorable
Mentions in the categories of Environmental Design, Planning Solutions, Buildings, Historic Preservation, Energy Management,
Ecological Progress, Landscaping, and Graphic Design. All of the nominations in detail are included in the collection as well
as full list of winners, and planning documents for the event and jury selection.
The 1981 "Orchids for Energy" Design Awards again commended man-made contributions to the environment. The awards presentation
took place at the San Jose Hyatt on 30th September 1981, with speaker Peter Schwartz, futurologist from SRI International.
The awards are broken into two folders. The first folder contains the Awards presentation Program; Press Release (handwritten
draft and final); Background Information on the winning projects (draft with notes, and final); nomination/entry forms; finance
report; copy of award to the City of San Jose, Computer-Based Load Management System; correspondence to city managers and
mayors, solar distributors and community conservation and solar energy groups (including distribution lists). In 1982 the
Design Awards returned as "Great Places Design Awards" and awarded Honor, Merit and Commendations without regard to the type
of project. A brief list of winners is included.
The purpose of the 1985 Design awards was "to recognize, honor and encourage high quality design in the built environment
constructed in the Santa Clara Valley or designed by Santa Clara Valley Architects; and to provide a stimulus for architects
and owners to keep aesthetics as an overriding concern in the design of the built environment." Documents include a list of
companies registered in the awards (number of entries, payments, category, registration number), and completed registration
forms for the Industrial, Commercial, Public and Community categories, many of which also include a detailed description of
The 1988 Design Awards Program's objective was "to stimulate and encourage excellence in the profession of architecture by
publicly recognizing and honoring the truly exemplary achievement of the architect, his client and contractor...Careful consideration
will be given to submittals which exhibit excellence in function, economy, environmental harmony, distinguished execution
of the program, energy saving functions, and creative aspects in total design." Included are Call for Entries brochure; Awards
presentation invitations; planning and correspondence for the awards presentation; list of competition winners; correspondence
with the winners; recommendations from the Design Awards Committee dated June 5, 1987 recommending standardization of the
design awards; Design Awards Committee roster and minutes; juror background; and completed registration forms.
The Call for Entries for the 1991 Design Awards seeks entries that reflect excellence in the profession of architecture and
exemplary achievement. After 1988 a fourth category of historic preservation/adaptive use was added in addition to the existing
categories of buildings, additions and remodels/renovations, interiors of buildings, and People in Architecture. The Awards
presentation was held on November 15 at the San Jose Athletic Club. Included are planning documents, news clippings, press
releases, transcript of juror's comments, correspondence with jurors, award certificates, invitations, completed registration
forms (with detailed descriptions of the projects). Black and white photographs of design entries are cataloged in the photographic
collection. The Chapter began displaying design award winners in its office lobby in 1991 and the exhibit boards for 1991
and 1993 are included in the collection.
From 1993 until 2001, the design awards were standardized and held every two years (2000/2001 an exception when it was held
both years), honoring submissions that "exhibit excellence in function, economy, environmental harmony, distinguished execution
of the program, energy saving functions and creative aspects in total design" For each year, the collection generally includes
completed registration forms, lists of award winners, event planning documents, and invitations. The 2001 Design Awards were
a slight departure. The theme was "Visions of the Valley" and its intent was to be a "celebration of good design." In addition
to the awards reception held at the San Jose Museum of Art on October 25, 2001, the awards committee made an effort to publicize
the work in San Jose Magazine and created a traveling show of entry boards for public display. In response to criticism about
too few awards, they increased the number of categories and tailored those categories to match types of projects common to
The partnership with San Jose Magazine continued with the 2002 and 2004 "Visions of the Valley" awards. The 2004 awards are
the last in the collection and were held at the Community School of Music and Arts Finn Center, Mountain View, on October
21, 2004. These later awards documents include correspondence with event sites and San Jose Magazine; planning memoranda;
Call for Entries; invitations; juror announcement; San Jose Magazine issues featuring the winners; and lists of winners.
This series is arranged chronologically.