The Spotlight Award was founded in 2009 under the leadership of Lonnie Hoogeboom with John J. Casbarian, Carlos Jiménez, and Rafael Longoria.
Every year, the Spotlight Award committee, formed by architects, academics, and design practitioners, convenes to consider local, national, and international architects within the first 15 years of their professional practice who have demonstrated design excellence and curiosity through their body of work. The Spotlight Award is by invitation only.
The award, which carries a monetary prize, also invites the selected architect/s to give the annual Spotlight Lecture at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Over the years, the Spotlight Award has built a reputation for identifying quality and thoughtfulness in design and has been the first to identify the work of
architects who have gone on to receive major international recognition.
Starting in 2020, the Spotlight Award committee was joined by Amelyn Ng, Rice Architecture Wortham Fellow, and Michael Kubo, University of Houston Assistant Professor of Architectural History, Theory, and Criticism.
Past Spotlight Award recipients include Antón García-Abril, Ensamble Studio (2009); Sou Foujimoto (2010); Grace La and James Dallman, LA DALLMAN (2011); Pezo von Ellrichshausen (2012); Georgeen Theodore, Interboro Partners (2013); 5468796 (2014); Tarik Oualalou and Linna Choi, Oualalou+ Choi (2015); Cadaval & Solá-Morales (2016); and Anssi Lassila, OOPEAA (2017).