Young Architects Forum 2007: Proof


Featuring work by Jinhee Park; Carlos Bedoya, Wonne Ickx, Victor Jaime, and Abel Perles; Dominic Leong, Jonathan Lott, and Brian Price; Chaewon Kim and Beat Schenk; Benjamin Aranda and Chris Lasch; and Ivan Hernandez Quintela

May 17-August 31, 2007
The Urban Center
457 Madison Avenue
New York City

Proof is the twenty-sixth annual exhibition of work by winners of the Architectural League’s Young Architects Competition. The portfolio competition is open to architects and designers who are ten years or less out of undergraduate or graduate school. In addition to creating a site-specific installation of their work, winners present lectures for the League’s Young Architects Forum, are the subject of video podcast interviews, and subsequently edit their work and text for an annual catalogue.

The theme for the competition, developed by the Young Architects Committee, changes every year to reflect current issues in architectural design and theory. The committee, a group selected each year from past participants in the Young Architects Forum, also asks prominent members of the design community to serve with them on the jury. In addition to committee members David Benjamin, Daniel D’Oca, and Lisa Hsieh, jurors for 2007 were Michael Bell, Toshiko Mori, Calvin Tsao, and Sarah Whiting.

This year’s theme challenged entrants to consider how the conceptual processes and empirical methods inherent in the term ‘proof’ shape their own architectural projects, specifically what happens to the development of their design when “work meets world.” Within this realm of conceptual testing, the committee defined “architectural projects” as trial sheets subject to constant review and change, transcripts of dialogues among multiple parties that record our forward, backward, and lateral movement across the territory of the proof.

Entrants were encouraged to consider how they carried out a design proof. They were to consider sources, variables, and ways of interpreting. More specific to design were the questions: How do we tackle sub-proofs such as conceptual proof, material proof, technological proof, and structural proof? How do we balance innovation and indepen­dence with partnership and consensus? How do we anticipate an unknown future? As the work is open-ended, how do we know when to stop? When do we consider a project finished? The ways in which the competition winners have chosen to display their work are telling, emphasizing process and product. In some cases, the choices pose open-ended questions that point more towards new experiments than resolutions, while others evidence an ordering of wildly different variables to create singular form.

Above: Exhibition installation.  Photo: David Sundberg/Esto.