About the Competition

The competition is named in honor or our late friend and colleague Phil Freelon. Phil was a lifelong champion of beautiful, democratic design—of architecture that honors humanity. He was one of the most influential architects in recent history, and one of North America’s most beloved. He passed away in July 2019.

Over his 42-year-long career, Phil broke down socioeconomic and cultural barriers by designing places that express the spirit of community, promote cultural equity, and spur positive social change. He stood for everything our annual design competition stands for. And every year, he was an active and enthusiastic reviewer of the competition’s entries. Phil’s contributions helped make our annual tradition even stronger, our firmwide design culture even more robust.

Today, the Phil Freelon Design Competition reminds us of our shared values, and ensures that Phil’s influence on our firm, our culture, and our work will live on. We encourage you to take advantage of this unique opportunity, and look forward to seeing what you design.

Lasting Legacy

We believe in the power of great design. In its extraordinary ability to enhance lives. In its unique potential to solve some of society’s greatest challenges. As designers, we have an awesome responsibility to use that power wisely—to make the world a better, more beautiful place.

That’s why, every year, we ask our staff to participate a time-honored Perkins and Will tradition. Our annual internal design competition, now in its 19th year, provides the chance to collaborate with colleagues near and far in pursuit of design excellence. United toward a common purpose, multidisciplinary teams from around the firm innovate design solutions to some of society’s most pressing problems. The process stretches our creative and design thinking skills to their limits, and gives all of us the invaluable opportunity to learn from each other. And time after time, the results are contagiously inspirational.