Damian Farrell
Architecture Awareness Grants

Architecture enriches our lives, and the more that the people of Michigan understand its contribution to our organizations, communities and state, the higher the quality of life in Michigan becomes.

It is for this reason that the MAF provides financial assistance to organizations and individuals that organize, sponsor and promote events, lectures, publications and experiences that increase awareness of architecture. Grants are awarded each January and July.

Applications are judged by the MAF Damian Farrell Architecture Awareness Grants Committee and approved by the MAF Board of Trustees. In 2024, a total of $15,000 will be awarded.

The program was renamed the Damian Farrell Architecture Awareness Grant in April 2023, in honor of the program's long-time chair Damian Farrell, who passed away earlier that year.

For more information, contact Alan Cobb, FAIA, LEED AP:


Criteria For Selection


To what extent does the program promote an understanding of how architecture enriches lives and the Michigan Architectural Foundation’s mission?


How many of the public will likely engage with or receive this program either directly or through media channels?


To what extent will this investment attract other resources or other organizations to support the message?


How important is the grant money to the organization and its ability to produce the program?


What is the likely outcome or result of the program after its completion?

Project Requirements

  • Promote architecture rather than architects
  • Be located or produced within the State of Michigan
  • Conform to the Application Requirements that follow


Application Requirements

Our goal is to make the submission as succinct and simple as possible for applicants. The submission quality is more important than the quantity, so we limit the amount of 8 1/2’’x11” pages you can submit and provide you a required outline for the submission.

1. Cover Letter (1 page)

The letter should include the name of your organization, the name of program, AIA Chapter, Section or member sponsoring the submission, contact information, any partnering organizations involved and narrative that explains how specifically the program addresses the Criteria for the Award and the amount of money requested.

2. Program Profile (1 page)

Provide narrative in the following order:

  • Program Description — mission, content, and individuals involved
  • Audience Expected — both in numbers and profile
  • Schedule — timeframe for implementation
  • Budget — indicate the complete cost of the program and the specific items for which the grant is to be used. The cost to attend or procure, if there is one, should be included. Include all other sources of funds.
  • Communications — describe how the program will communicate to the public, before, during, and after the event through both conventional media and social media. Indicate how the MAF will be recognized in these communications.

3. Exhibits (1 page, if needed)

Provide graphic material, photographs or other imagery appropriate to your case for support.



Organizations or individuals will submit a brief electronic submission by email to Alan Cobb, FAIA, LEED AP,  MAF Damian Farrell Architecture Awareness Committee Chair, alan.cobb@akahn.com.  Grants are awarded twice annually, in January and July. Applications must be received by December 31 or June 30 to be considered for award in the following month.  For more information, contact

The Chair will forward applications that conform to the Architecture Awareness Committee and they will send their recommendation to the Board for approval at their next regularly scheduled meeting.

The Board of Trustees will approve the application and the Chair will notify the recipient within three days of the approval. After the event, the successful recipient will upload the Evaluation Report indicating actual performance of the program and its communication success.

Upon receipt of the successful Evaluation Report, the Chair will authorize reimbursement sent to the contact individual. A check will be sent thereafter.

How to Apply

Submit no more than the three pages as a PDF to the Chair of the Committee listed above.


Post Program Evaluation for Successful Applicants

Please email your Program Evaluation to the Chair of the MAF Damian Farrell Architecture Awareness Committee with the following information after the program completion.

  • Program Name
  • Date of program or completion
  • Actual attendance or audience
  • Press releases or other media channel examples
  • Images from the event or program
Multi-Year Award Recipient

NOMA: Project Pipeline Architecture Camp

MAF | Michigan Architectural Foundation

For architect Bryan Cook, his program to expose minority students to architecture careers is a labor of love. With the help of MAF’s Damian Farrell Architecture Awareness Grants, he’s expanded its reach.

The National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) created the Project Pipeline Architecture Camp to help increase the number of minority and under-represented students exposed to architecture and the built environment. Inspired after hearing about Project Pipeline at a national NOMA conference, architect Bryan Cook brought it to Michigan, starting with Grand Rapids in 2013, expanding to Detroit in 2016, and, beginning in 2018, to Flint. The program has been so successful that it has been a MAF grant recipient for multiple years running.

Click here to learn more about Project Pipeline.