Margolese National Design for Living Prize

Celebrating a Canadian citizen who has made a significant contribution to the built environment and the people within it.

Learn more about the prize

The Margolese National Design for Living Prize, offered through the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) School of Architecture + Landscape Architecture (SALA), awards $50,000 to a Canadian citizen who has made a significant and positive impact on the built environment through design. One of the highest and richest honours in the Canadian design community, this annual prize was created through an estate gift to UBC by the late Leonard Herbert Margolese.

The prize was awarded six times between 2012 and 2017. After pausing to reconsider its terms and relevance, SALA is now relaunching the annual award with the hope of raising its recognition and attracting nominations from a broader range of professional disciplines and geographical communities. We welcome you to join us by spreading the word about the prize, and nominating yourself or a deserving candidate. 

SALA is educating the next generation of architects, landscape architects, and urban designers to become creative leaders, effective collaborators, and progressive agents of change. The Margolese Prize amplifies and extends SALA’s mission by uniting Canadian design students, educators and professionals in an exercise to highlight and honour individuals who are addressing the pressing human and environmental challenges of our time through design. 






Landscape Architects




& Practitioners in Allied Fields

The Margolese National Design for Living Prize is open to any Canadian citizen who is doing outstanding work in a field related to the built environment. Suitable candidates might come from, but are not to be limited to the above disciplines.


Addressing rapidly changing social, ecological, and cultural challenges, Margolese Prize candidates might be contributing to the built environment in areas such as:

  • Affordable housing and social infrastructure
  • Community design and public space
  • Ecological design and biodiversity
  • Climate change and resilience
  • Human health and well-being
  • Food security and water quality
  • Social equity and environmental justice
  • Mobility and transportation
  • Disaster and pandemic relief
  • Universal design and accessibility

Their contributions will have:

  • Demonstrated tangible and far-reaching impact and benefit
  • Reflected the power of design to enhance social, cultural or environmental well-being
  • Inspired others or led to replicate similar initiatives

Letter from SALA Director
Ronald Kellett

Design is everywhere, and it matters, now more than ever. Society faces urgent, interconnected, global emergencies — of urbanization, climate change, natural environment, social equity and, human health and well-being. Design can enable creative solutions integrative of the diverse expertise necessary to meet these challenges. Design can inspire and empower people to safer, more independent, accessible and meaningful lives every day, at every scale, from the things we touch to the places we inhabit to the communities and infrastructure we share.

SALA is honoured to offer the Margolese National Design for Living Prize — a distinction that speaks directly to the values and vision that have shaped the school since its inception in 2006. SALA is one of North America’s leading schools of architecture and landscape architecture.

Our academic programs integrate design, technical, theoretical and historical knowledge to enable a built environment supportive of civil and sustainable patterns of living. Our academic culture cultivates intellectual and creative leaders, articulate spokespersons and progressive agents of change. Through the Margolese Prize we aim to inspire students everywhere, by highlighting Canadians who are shaping their professions and the future of the built environment.

The Margolese Prize celebrates an individual whose contributions to the built environment advance their practice while visibly improving the quality of life for others. Please help us find, recognize and reward that person. Nominations are open annually from February through March 2021.




Nominations close



Shortlisted candidates notified and asked to submit applications



Applications are due and jury deliberations commence



Winner to be announced in September



Winner announced



Award ceremony and presentation event live stream





Nominations open


Meet the Selection Committee

Aaron Betsky

Director of the School of Architecture and Design, Virginia Tech

Critic of art, architecture, and design

Claude Cormier

Founding Principal, Claude Cormier + Associés

Ema Peter

Principal, Ema Peter Photography

Mari Fujita

Associate Professor and Chair, Environmental Design

UBC School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture

Tudor Radulescu

Partner and Co-founder, KANVA