Celebrating DISCOVERY and advancement of architectural education to graduates and practitioners through foreign/domestic travel-study

2022 Competition

The Minnesota Architectural Foundation (MAF) has sponsored the Ralph Rapson Traveling Study Competition since the first competition held in 1989. Its purpose is to provide recent graduates and young architects an opportunity to advance their education in architecture by pursuing foreign or domestic travel-study. The 2022 recipient will be awarded a $16,000 grant  and will be selected on the basis of a weekend, juried design competition. Please read the following requirements carefully.


Eligibility for this competition is extended to AIA members or AIA Associate members, 40 years of age or younger on January 1, 2022. Additionally, candidates must meet one of the following two eligibility requirements:

  1. Received a professional degree from a Minnesota NAAB accredited school of architecture (University of Minnesota or Dunwoody College of Technology); or
  2. Received a degree from any NAAB accredited school of architecture, are currently living in Minnesota, and have been employed for at least one year at a Minnesota architectural firm.

Past competition recipients are not eligible.

Application Deadline: March 4, 2022

All individuals wishing to participate in the competition must submit a completed application, and $30.00 application fee by 4:00 pm, CST, Friday, March 4, 2022.

Competition Dates: March 10-15, 2022

The competition will begin at 12:00 noon CST on Thursday, March 10, 2022 and run through 12:00 noon CST the following Tuesday, March 15, 2022. Programs will be emailed to the address you provide on your application at 12:00 noon CST on Thursday, March 10 to all participants.

Submittal Deadline: March 15, 2022, 12:00 noon CST

In 2022, competitors will submit digital submissions only. Given the challenges that still exist around COVID-19 and the unpredictable timing for gatherings, this year’s jury process will be virtual. Digital submission requirements will be modified to accommodate a virtual jury process and will be shared along with the program brief. The final submission file type will be universally accepted. 

Jury Process

The two-part jury process will occur in late March through early April with dates subject to change.

Initial Jury: Friday, March 25, 2022 (date subject to change) 

During the initial jury, all entries will be juried down to a limited number of finalists (likely 5 or less). Finalists will be notified immediately following the initial jury. All competitors will be emailed the names of the finalists after the initial jury. The jury will be determined by the Ralph Rapson committee and could include architects, Foundation Board Members, College of Design faculty, and other associated design professionals.

Final Jury: Friday, April 8, 2022 (date subject to change)

All finalists are required to participate in the final jury. Finalists will participate in a full and open discussion (with the jury only) of their design ideas and project concept. Additionally, they will be asked about their general travel-study plans and what they believe can be accomplished through this opportunity. Final travel-study plans and itineraries are not required at this time but a theme or intent is. The winner of the competition will be announced at a virtual gathering of all competitors following the final jury. 

About Submissions

Submission digital format requirements will be included in the program brief. Submissions will be in digital format only. You may work on this competition anywhere you’d like, your office, your home, on a sailboat, etc! All work must be your own; it’s not a team project!


The Rapson Traveling Study Competition is an endowed fund administered by the Minnesota Architectural Foundation. Current funding provides for the competition on an annual basis. The competitions typically had 50-60 applicants and 40-45  competitors making submissions. The first winner, in 1989, was Brian Larson, AIA, a Colorado graduate practicing in Minnesota. His travel-study focused on Scandinavia. Recent winners include Nancy Blankfard, AIA (1997), Yinsze Lam (1998), Bill Blanski, AIA (1999), Dan Nepp, AIA (2000), Nick Woodard, AIA (2001), Michael Kennedy, AIA (2002), Matt Kreilich, AIA (2003), Eric Amel, AIA (2005), Creed Kampa, AIA (2006), Nicholas Potts, AIA (2007), Stephen James, Assoc. AIA (2008) Laura Cayere-King, Assoc. AIA (2010), M. Michael McElderry, Assoc. AIA (2011), Andrew Weyenberg, AIA (2012), Douglas Gerlach, AIA (2013), Mark Stankey, AIA (2014), Nat Madson, AIA (2015), David Johansson, Assoc. AIA (2016), Hans-Christian Karlberg, Assoc. AIA (2017), Shida Du, AIA (2018), Michael Hara, AIA (2019), Matthew Tierney, AIA (2020) and David Wilson, AIA (2021).

If you have any questions, please contact Amber Allardyce, Hon. AIAMN, MAF Rapson Competition Administrator, at 612-767-1748 or allardyce@aia-mn.org. You are encouraged to share this notice with anyone whom you believe to be eligible for this competition.

The application period has expired.