World Architecture Festival Goes Virtual in December, Returning as Live Event in June 2021

Image: Ben van Berkel of UNStudio and Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang

We are delighted to announce the launch of WAFVirtual from 30 November – 4 December 2020, where the worldwide architectural community can engage in a week of live content, special prizes, talks, panel discussions and networking opportunities with peers and our WAF partners. Registration will be free for architects and design professionals.Headline speakers will include Sir Peter Cook, Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang and Ben van Berkel of UNStudio. A series of talks will discuss pressing international topics including living with pandemics and winning new business in a post-Covid world, as well as looking at the very latest developments in product design, technical innovation, and emerging architects.

There will also be coverage of special prizes including the WAF/ PechaKucha ‘Isolation Transformed’ competition, The Architecture Drawing Prize, and the GROHE Water Research Prize, entry details below.

In addition, the first edition of WAF China will take place at the end of November, including online awards judging, talks, and a live ceremony in Chengdu. More details soon to be announced.

Due to the global impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, World Architecture Festival and INSIDE World Festival of Interiors will now take place from 23 to 25 June 2021, remaining at the FIL exhibition centre in Lisbon. The festival will continue to include live judging, keynote talks, fringe events, exhibitions, and award presentations.

The WAF awards entry deadline will be extended to 8 January 2021; all completed buildings up to that date may be entered, as well as future projects, interiors, and landscape designs.

Commenting on the updated programme, WAF and INSIDE Programme Director Paul Finch commented: ‘We have been closely monitoring the ongoing pandemic situation, and, with safety being our number one priority, have concluded that postponement of the physical festival from the original December date is the best course of action for all concerned. We are turning the challenge of postponement into opportunities to provide additional online content and to expand the WAF brand in China. We look forward to being able to meet in happier and safer circumstances next June, and thank our partners, supporters, award entrants, speakers and judges for their ongoing support.’

For more details on World Architecture Festival 2021 or to register free for WAFVirtual in December 2020 please visit or @worldarchfest #WAF2021 #WAFVirtual

About World Architecture Festival (WAF)

World Architecture Festival and INSIDE World Festival of Interiors will take place at the FIL exhibition centre, Lisbon on the 23-25 June 2021.

WAF is where the world architecture community meets to celebrate, learn, exchange and be inspired.

WAF is the world’s largest annual, international, live architectural event. It includes the biggest international architectural awards programme in the world, dedicated to celebrating excellence via live presentations to an audience of high-profile delegates and international juries. The 2021 World Architecture Festival (WAF) comprises:

– A thematic conference programme (based on the theme ‘Greening the City’)

– Electronic gallery of all Award entries

– Exhibition area- Live judging of finalists ‘projects

– Networking and social events including partner fringe events

– Winners Dinner

INSIDE World Festival of Interiors runs alongside WAF, with its own awards and conference programme. Delegates have access to both events. Awards entries for WAF and INSIDE 2021 will close on 8th January 2021

About WAFVirtual

WAFVirtual is a brand-new online event taking place on the 30 November – 4 December 2020. Registration is free for architects and design professionals. WAFVirtual will consist of:

  • Keynote talks
  • Panel discussions
  • Special prizes – including Isolation Competition and The Architecture Drawing Prize
  • Partner events including round tables and workshops
  • Online networking opportunities

Learn more and register at

WAF’s Special Prizes

The Architecture Drawing Prize

The Architecture Drawing Prize is an international competition that celebrates the art and skill of architectural drawing. The prize is curated by Make Architects, Sir John Soane’s Museum and the World Architecture Festival. Winners will be displayed at WAFVirtual and WAF 2021.Learn more and enter now:

Isolation Transformed Competition

World Architecture Festival and storytelling platform PechaKucha have joined forces to launch a competition for designers thinking about future post-virus environments.The competition is free-to-enter and open to all architects, designers and engineers. Winners will be displayed at WAFVirtual and WAF 2021.Learn more and enter now:

The Water Research Prize – supported by GROHE

Universities or other research institutions investigating the architectural implications of water in respect of buildings or the built environment are invited to enter for free. The research can be current or proposed with the winner receiving a £10,000 funding prize. Winners will be displayed at WAFVirtual and WAF 2021.Learn more and enter now:

WAF and INSIDE are organised by EMAP, publishers of The Architectural Review and The Architects’ Journal.

Sponsors: WAF is proud to work with all our valued partners including Founder Partner, GROHE, and headline partners ABB and Miele.