The Architectural League Prize (formerly known as the Young Architects Forum) is an annual competition and series of lectures and exhibitions organized by the Architectural League and its Young Architects and Designers Committee. The League Prize was established to recognize specific works of high quality and to encourage the exchange of ideas among young people who might otherwise not have a forum.
Participants in the program are chosen through a portfolio competition that is juried by distinguished architects, artists and critics, and the Young Architects and Designers Committee. The committee, a group selected each year from past winners of the League Prize, is responsible for developing the program’s theme and selecting competition jurors. Open to designers ten years or less out of school, the competition draws entrants from around North America. The lecture series and exhibition by winners of the competition provide a lively public forum for the discussion of their work and ideas. Winners’ designs will also be illustrated in a catalogue to be published by Princeton Architectural Press. For a list of past Young Architects Forum and League Prize publications, click here.
For additional information on this year’s Call for Entries, click here.
The Architectural League Prize is made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council. The program is also supported by the LEF Foundation, and by Dornbracht, Ibex Construction, Susan Grant Lewin Associates, and Tischler und Sohn.
The League thanks the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons The New School for Design for co-sponsoring the exhibition and lecture series.
Tuesday, June 22
Jason Austin and Aleksandr Mergold, Austin+Mergold, Philadelphia and Ithaca
Marc Frohn and Mario Rojas Toledo, FAR frohn&rojas, Los Angeles, Berlin, and Santiago
Michael Loverich and Antonio Torres, Bittertang, Brooklyn and Guadalajara
Tuesday, June 29
Emily Abruzzo and Gerald Bodziak, ABRUZZO BODZIAK ARCHITECTS, Brooklyn
Eric Schuldenfrei and Marisa Yiu, ESKYIU, New York and Hong Kong
Keith VanDerSys, PEG office of landscape + architecture, Philadelphia
Both evenings of lectures begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Auditorium, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, Parsons The New School for Design, 66 Fifth Avenue, New York City. Receptions will follow the lectures. Admission is free for League members and $10 for non-members. League members may make reservations by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information, please call 212-753-1722 x13. AIA and New York State CEUs are available.
The Architectural League Prize exhibition will be open to the public beginning on the first evening of the lectures on June 22 and will be on view through August 6 at the Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, Parsons The New School for Design, 66 Fifth Avenue. The gallery is open daily from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and late Thursday evenings until 8:00 p.m. Admission is free. The exhibition will also be open on the evenings of the lectures.
The competition theme, “ReSource,” created a basis for entrants to compose their portfolios and critically evaluate their work. This year’s committee posited that architectural practice relies on resources: disciplinary resources, such as theory and technique; physical resources, such as materials and production technologies; and practical resources, such as coordination planning, and financing. Suggesting that recent global shifts from the financial to environmental crises have demanded the rethinking of resources within architecture, the committee asked entrants to pause and reflect: to measure outdated paths to salvage what remains valid and relevant, while simultaneously reinventing the discipline’s resources anew within an uncertain context.
and the Young Architects Committee
YOUNG ARCHITECTS & DESIGNERS 2010
Emily Abruzzo and Gerald Bodziak founded ABRUZZO BODZIAK ARCHITECTS, a Brooklyn-based architectural office, in 2009. Responding to the theme, the firm writes: “It is here…the unconsidered – that many time-tested vernacular typologies, materials, methods and forms reside largely forgotten. It is possible, however, that a reconsideration of these issues – indeed, these resources – through the lenses of contemporary design techniques…might reveal new uses, methodologies, forms, and effects.” Recent projects include The 4D Lightful Gardens; a proposal for the Somerville, Massachusetts Arts Union Beacon; 100 Straight Skeletons, an investigation into the reuse of common suburban roof construction techniques and a collaboration with Gehry Technologies through their “What’s Your Problem” competition; and the Charlottesville Green housing proposal. The firm’s work has been widely published and exhibited at numerous institutions including Columbia University, Storefront for Art and Architecture, and The Boston Society of Architects.
Emily Abruzzo received her Bachelor of Arts from Columbia College and her Master of Architecture from Princeton University. She has been a lecturer and guest critic at numerous institutions, including Parsons The New School for Design, where she is currently an instructor in the Interior Design Program. Abruzzo is a founding editor and publisher of 306090. Gerald Bodziak received his Bachelor of Science in Architecture from The University of Michigan and his Master of Architecture from Princeton University. He has been a guest critic at numerous institutions and is a co-editor of 306090 14, “Making a Case.”
Austin+Mergold is an architecture and landscape practice based in Philadelphia and Ithaca. Founded in 2007 by Jason Austin and Aleksandr Mergold, the firm “operate[s] on the cusp of architecture, landscape, design, and installation art…Believing that it is preferable to rethink and repurpose existing resources than to tap new ones, we infiltrate existing systems that are responsible for constructed environments, rather than reinvent the wheel each time. …For us, this is sustainable design—both vis-à-vis the environment and our own practice—and it is particularly well-suited to the twinned economic and ecological crises that we face today.” Projects include: House-in-a-Can/Park-in-a-Can, Mechanicsburg, PA; SURAL wall; RVG club house, Mechanicsburg, PA; The Grand Resource, Hong Kong; and ParkView, Carlisle, PA. Their work has been widely published including in Inhabitat, The New York Times, The Architect’s Newspaper, and The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Jason Austin received his Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University. He also attended the University of Pennsylvania where he received a Master of Landscape Architecture. He currently serves on the adjunct faculty in the Department of Architecture at Temple University and Department of Landscape Architecture at University of Pennsylvania. Aleksandr Mergold received his Master of Architecture at Princeton and his Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University. Currently he is a Visiting Critic in Cornell’s Department of Architecture.
FAR frohn&rojas is a networked architectural design and research practice led by Marc Frohn and Mario Rojas Toledo, located in Berlin, Santiago de Chile, and Los Angeles. Through its name the office acknowledges “both its geographically distributed anatomy as well as the increasingly widened professional scope that is literally shaping its work…establishing a more diversified type of architectural production in which both the inherent contradictions between geographies, as well as the stretching of disciplinary boundaries will let formerly undeterminable links thrive.” The firm also investigates “’deep structures’ at play in each new project: the legal and financial constraints, desires, power structures and technological, ecological, material, and institutional frameworks that shape the built environment.” Projects include the Wall House in Santiago; the House in Heat, Rancagua, Chile; 2 in 1 in Cologne; and the Zero Emission Campus in Düsseldorf. The firm has won the DETAIL Prize and the AR award for emerging architecture. Widely exhibited, the firm’s work has been published in Architectural Record, Icon, Architectural Review, Azure, Domus, and other journals.
Marc Frohn received Master of Architecture degrees from Rice University and the University of Houston. He recently taught at SCI-arc. Mario Rojas Toledo received his diploma from the School of Architecture, RWTH Aachen and a degree in architecture from the Secretaría de Educación Superior. He currently serves as an Assistant Professor at the Universidad Nacional Andrés Bello in Santiago.
Bittertang strives “to bring humor and pleasure to the built environment by digging deep into the sensual world that surrounds us; extracting rich and hilarious fodder from overlooked eras that have contributed integral matter to the production of architectural atmospheres. One of our goals is to resurrect the Rococo continuing where its practitioners left off, privileging interactive pleasure, frothiness, plant, and animal sourcing as well as immersive design…Our explorations are based in digital and visceral matter with output transitioning between scales and localities leaving traces of our frothy matter in various disciplines.” Currently, Bittertang operates out of Guadalajara and New York City and has had work published in the U.S. and South Africa. The partnership of Michael Loverich and Antonio Torres began in 2005. Recent projects include Microcosmic Aquaculture, “gelatinous orbs” of living and man-made matter to produce recreational and farmed spaces; Plush Toy Collection, explorations of tectonics, sensation, atmosphere, and narrative in soft body miniatures; and the Gondwana Circle garden design.
Antonio Torres and Michael Loverich both hold Master of Architecture degrees from UCLA. Michael Loverich received his Bachelor of Art in Architecture from the University of Washington. Antonino Torres received his Bachelor of Art in Architectural Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Bachelors Degree from the E’cole de Architecture de Versailles.
Eric Schuldenfrei and Marisa Yiu founded ESKYIU in 2005 as a design collaborative integrating culture, art, community, technology, and architecture. Based in New York and Hong Kong, the firm’s interests are in “examining the ways in which built environments shape social relationships by forming connections between civic engagement and sustainable design.” Selected projects include Chinatown WORK 2006, an interactive public arts installation sponsored by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, The Department of Cultural Affairs, and 3form material solutions; SINO, a video installation shown at the Brooklyn Museum; Nutritious: an Aeroponic Façade exhibited at the Architectural Association in London; Human Motor: Narratives from the Assembly Line exhibited at the International Architectural Biennale Ljubljana; and Linear Landscapes: Fabricating a Rural/Urban Interface, an award winning project created for a noise barrier competition. Current research projects include “Urban Pastoral”, “Heirloom,” and “Farming Factory”. Recently they served as curators for the 2009 HK SZ Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture. Their work, research, and writings have also been published in Thresholds MIT, Domus China, LOG Journal, Architectural Record, and A/D.
Marisa Yiu received a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences from Columbia University and a Master of Architecture from Princeton University. She currently teaches at the University of Hong Kong. Eric Schuldenfrei received a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University and Master of Philosophy from the University of Cambridge, where he is completing his PhD. He has held numerous teaching positions.
Keith VanDerSys is a partner of Philadelphia-based PEG office of landscape + architecture, which he co-founded with Karen M’Closkey in 2004. The office “explores the expressive potential of surface techniques that open up more integrative thinking about natural systems in urban environments. We utilize pattern as a discernible, repetitive system that enables the display of new combinations of organic and inorganic material in the formation of public space.” Projects include Hustle & Flow, Chicago; Double Jeopardy, west lounge, Ann Arbor; Mies van der Rohe Plaza, Detroit with PLY Architecture; Not Garden, Philadelphia; and Ripple Effect, New York. PEG has been published internationally and has won numerous design awards, including the Emerging New York Architects (ENYA) Prize, three American Institute of Architects Awards, and an I.D. Magazine award.
Keith VanDerSys received his Bachelor of Architeture from the University of Detroit and a Master of Art in Critical Studies in Architectural Culture from the University of California Los Angeles. He currently teaches studios and technology courses in the departments of architecture and landscape architecture at the University of Pennsylvania.
The Architectural League will produce podcast excerpts from each of the participant’s lectures, as well as a roundtable discussion between winners of the Prize and this year’s committee. Podcast interviews from previous year’s League Prize winners, along with podcasts of many other League programs, are available on the League’s website, www.archleague.org, or on the League’s page on iTunes. All podcasts are free.
Architectural League programs are supported, in part, by public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts; the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act; the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency; and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.
Images from top to bottom: ReSource; Peaks & Valleys / © ABRUZZO BODZIAK ARCHITECTS llc; RVG club house, © Austin+Mergold; WALL HOUSE , Santiago de Chile (2004-2007). FAR frohn&rojas; Plush Toy Collection: Mother and Child, Bittertang; URBAN PASTORAL: Fabricating a Vertical Landscape. Image courtesy of ESKYIU; Double Jeopardy, west lounge/ PEG/ Photo: Beth Singer.