Young Architects Forum 2008:

Featuring work by Xu Tiantian; Kathy Velikov and Geoffrey Thün; Lonn Combs; Ben Pell and Tate Overton; Mark Foster Gage; and Ana Miljacki and Lee Moreau

May 8-July 11, 2008
The Urban Center
457 Madison Avenue
New York City

Resonance is the twenty-seventh 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 at the Urban Center, 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 Julie Beckman, Chris Lasch, and Jonathan Lott, jurors for 2008 were architects Karen Fairbanks, Jesse Reiser, Mark Robbins, and Calvin Tsao.

Entrants were asked to consider the increased productivity enabled by technological advances in building methodologies, expanded communications networks, and cross-fertilization from other disciplines, and challenged to demonstrate whether there is a corresponding increase in the ability of architectural ideas to resonate with issues and concerns outside the discipline.

All of the six winners have created interdisciplinary practices that, in various combinations, synthetically engage communication, collaboration, education, as well as programmatic and technological means of making architecture and place. The resulting work “resonates” beyond traditional architectural practice in different ways. From innovative modes of construction and repurposed building materials, to new definitions—virtual and real— of site, to new ways to visualize information, the winning firms have expanded traditional geographic and methodological boundaries of practice. Exhibitions give architects the opportunity to isolate and explicate the ideas underlying the formal composition of their designs. Not surprisingly, this year’s winners have taken divergent routes to convey the character and impact of their work. In their creative hands, the interpretive possibilities inherent in visualizing process, representation, and documentation amplify the resonance of their work.

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