Orchids & Onions
It’s your town, San Diego. Let us know what you think about
San Diego’s spaces and places.

Vote. Comment. Share.

Join us October 4th to Celebrate Orchids & Onions Winners!
Buy Tickets Now! At the door prices are higher. 

Thank you to all who voted for the People’s Choice Awards! The polls are now closed.
Come to the Awards Ceremony to find out who won.

Don’t Miss the Awards Festivities on Oct 4th

It is just around the corner. Join us for a fun-filled, thought-provoking night of commentary and discussion about San Diego’s built environment as we award the orchids and onions for 2018. Attendees include design enthusiasts, industry professionals and city leaders who all bring their energy and insights. This year’s awards ceremony is set for Thursday, October 4th at the US Grant Hotel, a past orchid winner.

VIP Pre-event, Reception & Ceremony: 5:30 to 7:00
Members: $110/Non-members: $145
Meet the jury, the SDAF board of directors, our special MC, and other leaders in the design and build profession. Appetizers and drinks will be served.

Reception & Ceremony: 7:00-10:00
Members: $90/Non-members: $125
The fun continues with drinks, appetizers and the most interesting design community in world.

Ceremony Only: 8:30-10:00 (entry at 8:15)
Tickets: $30.00

To learn more about activities, ticket prices and to purchase your tickets go to…

Step Up to Sponsorship

When you become a sponsor for this vital and vibrant program, you not only support its continued and future success, you also make your organization visible to a unique audience of professionals and fellow citizens committed to inspired place making. Your support will be recognized throughout the season, from opening of the nominations through to the exciting awards ceremony. Click here to learn more about sponsor benefits, levels of sponsorship and how to become a sponsor.

Orchid or Onion? You Help Decide.

Ever ask yourself why a place becomes a favorite spot that people return to time and again to make memories that last a lifetime? Or what makes San Diego “San Diego”? Why is our city so special, and could it be even more special? And what about the future of our downtown, the waterfront, the parks, the neighborhoods we call home?

To answer these questions, we turn to you—yes you! SDAF’s Orchids & Onions program brings San Diegans together to decide which parts of the built environment—be it building, park or plaza—make our city a better place to live. Each year brings in a whole new crop of projects, spaces and places to consider, nominate, comment on and vote into fame or infamy. Get involved and make your voice heard!

Be Part of the Process: How It Works
It all begins with you—proud San Diegans who share a vision to make our city all it can be. Starting June 2nd, visit the Orchids & Onions nominations page and nominate your favorite projects. Categories include architecture, interior design, urban planning, landscape architecture, historic preservation and “miscellaneous”-anything not covered by other categories. This can range from public art and environmental graphics to sustainable and technological innovation in design. Be sure to get your nominations in before the period closes on July 6th.

After nominations close, a multidisciplinary jury convenes to cull the nominations for this year’s harvest for best and worst. Made up of design professionals, plus one student and one member from the general public, the jury tours the cream of the crop, traveling to each project for firsthand evaluation. Jurors then deliberate on which entries earn a spot at the winner’s table (our orchids) versus those that need to be composted (the onions).

Cast Your Vote for People’s Choice
With a diverse collection of eye-catching projects to choose from, you, the San Diego community, vote online for the People’s Choice orchid and onion. Make sure to cast your vote come September, then come see which projects win top picks at the awards event.

View Past Winners
See a list of 2017 winners

  • The only way forward, if we are going to improve the quality of the environment, is to get everybody involved.

    Richard Rogers
    British Architect
    Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Meet our dedicated volunteer committee

Upcoming Events

8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
2018 San Diego Green Building Conference
Learn More

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San Diego Architectural Foundation



P.O. Box 122228
San Diego, CA 92112-2228
Federal Tax ID: 95-3513927

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San Diego Architectural Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to education and promotion of outstanding architecture, planning and urban design throughout the San Diego region.

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