ARO carves out time and pumpkins as a form of research. Since the inaugural competition at the Center for Architecture in 2016, ARO competes each October against New York’s design firms under the moniker “Pumpkin Research Office.” The team spends the prior weeks brainstorming, testing ideas, composting many pumpkins, toasting many seeds, and donning uniforms for one night of fun.

In 2022, our craft was recognized with the Pritzker Pumpkin award, the highest honor in architectural pumpkin carving.

See below for all of our previous award-winning entries:

  • ARO at Pumpkitecture in yellow tyvek suits in fron tof their carved pumpkin.
    ARO at the Center for Architecture's inaugural Pumpkitecture
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017

2022 – Haunted by the 70s

Returning in person to the Center for Architecture after three years of pandemic disruption, our maximalist disco lava lamp took home the coveted Pritzker Pumpkin.

ARO's Pumpkitecture tream poses with their winning pumpkin in matching tie-dye shirts
  • POrtrait of ARO's winning disco pumpkin
  • ARO's Pumpkitecture team sawing open a pumpkin
  • ARO's Pumpkitecture team carving the disco pumpkin
  • Photo of the Pritzker Pumpkin award certificate

2020 – A Zoom Haunting

And the call was coming from inside the house!

We took a virtual and cross-country a virtual spin on the annual competition. Inspired by operative design and even more zoom calls this year, carvers took to individually transform pumpkins according to spooky spatial verbs.

ARO Pumpkitecture Zoom Haunting

2019 – Untitled No. 13

Inspired by the great Halloween sculptor, Alexander Cauldron, the team presented simply a pumpkin, perfectly in balance.


2018 – Double Carvature

A curving reflected sculpture, described as an interdisciplinary-jargon-paradise.


2017 – Pumpkin Skyscraper

Our opportunity to include a skyscraper in our portfolio, the team piled pumpkins high to create a luminous tower.


2016 – A Suspended Jack-o-Lantern in Section

Our original Mad Engineer Prize-winning entry featured a suspended and sectional Jack-o-Lantern.