Sep 16th 2020

Architecture Student Daniel Allen Wins National Photo Competition

For more than 30 years, the American Institute of Architects St. Louis Chapter has held a photo competition for the AIA’s members nationwide including college students in their respective school’s American Institute of Architecture Students chapter. For the 2020 iteration of the awards, College of Architecture student Daniel Allen (B.ARCH. 4th Year) took home the first-place prize for his submission “Shadow Collage,” which depicts an individual backlit by a black and white projection.

“It was kind of a chance photo,” says Allen. “When I was abroad I came across this light show in a museum in Germany. Somebody walked in front of the light and the shadow came out so crisp, I asked if they could just stand-pose, and I took the photo.”

As the first-place recipient, Allen will receive a cash prize, and the photo will be featured at an AIA conference and published in the AIA’s photo book for 2020. For Allen the win is a reflection of his keen eye for visual storytelling, a crucial skill to possess in both photography and architecture.

“Photography is something that I've practiced the most since coming to Illinois Institute of Technology,” says Allen. “Architects represent information in a lot of different ways; they’re trying to tell a story, and photography does that. It’s like making a drawing or composing a scene; you're trying to capture something. Photography is a tool we use a lot to tell those stories and to study space.”

Allen’s photo can be viewed on the AIA St. Louis website, along with other photos from the competition.

Photo: "Shadow Collage" by Daniel Allen.