Delawie K5 Audeo Charter School. Courtesy photo

The San Diego Architectural Foundation recently announced the five finalists for its annual Orchids & Onions People’s Choice Awards.

The three shortlisted Orchids are The Children’s Workshop (interior design), Audeo K-5 Charter Homeschool (interior design) and The Jackson (architecture). The two shortlisted Onions are The Lofts on Laurel (architecture) and BLVD North Park Apartments (architecture). Projects were shortlisted based on those receiving the most comments, likes and shares across SDAF’s social media channels and nominations pages.

For the first time ever, attendees of the virtual award gala will be able to vote on the final Orchid and Onion People’s Choice winners during the live event. The Orchids and Onions gala is a longstanding San Diego tradition and celebrates great design across the region. By allowing the public to nominate and vote for the best (Orchids) and worst (Onions) in architectural design, form, and function, it gives San Diegans a voice in shaping our built environment.

“As the clock ticks down we can’t wait to celebrate the best (and worst) of San Diego architecture and design with fellow San Diegans at this year’s virtual Orchids & Onions Gala,” Margit Whitlock, president of SDAF, said. “It’s been great to see the public’s engagement on our website and social platforms with the wide range of nominees, making selecting the People’s Choice Shortlist an easy task. We look forward to seeing what the public decides on Oct. 1 when they can cast a first ever live vote to decide the final People’s Choice Orchid & Onion.”

Another first for the organization, SDAF will be partnering with the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) and its newly forming San Diego chapter (SDNOMA) to raise scholarship funds on the night of the event. A live donation platform provided by nonprofit will enable attendees to directly contribute to the scholarship fund, aimed at helping support a more diverse and inclusive architectural industry. Scholarship funds will go towards supporting the first year of architecture school for a worthy minority student.

“NOMA’s mission is to empower local chapters to foster justice and equity in communities of color through outreach, community advocacy, professional development, and design excellence,” Michael Robinson, president of SDNOMA, said. “In my opinion, the creation of this scholarship, for a worthy minority student, is an excellent way of demonstrating NOMA’s mission.”

For more information about the Orchids & Onions People’s Choice Awards, go to