Architectural League Prize for Young Architects and Designers 2011: It’s Different

Exhibition installation view, image copyright: David Sundberg / ESTO

Featuring work by Ajmal Aqtash, Richard Sarrach, and Tamaki Uchikawa; Jason Kelly Johnson and Nataly Gattegno; Kiel Moe; Unchung Na and Sorae Yoo; Catie Newell; William O’Brien Jr.

June 15-July 29, 2011
Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, Parsons The New School for Design, 66 Fifth Avenue
New York City

It’s Different is the 30th annual exhibition of work by winners of the Architectural League Prize (formerly the Young Architects Forum). The portfolio competition is open to architects and designers 10 years or less out of undergraduate or graduate school. In addition to creating installations of their work, winners present lectures, are featured in video podcasts, and publish their work in an annual catalogue.

The competition theme, developed by the League Prize Committee, changes every year to reflect current issues in architecture. The committee, a group selected yearly from past League Prize winners, asks prominent members of the design community to serve with them on the jury. Michael Manfredi, Hilary Sample, Annabelle Selldorf, and Ken Smith served as jurors alongside committee members Lonn Combs, Phu Hoang, and Aleksandr Mergold.

It’s Different posed the question: what is the new role of the designer? Entrants were challenged to present projects and design approaches that could provide new strategies to address existing or entrenched problems, proactive definitions of practice, and a rethinking of the design discipline in relation to new economic, political, social, and cultural paradigms.

The winning work is different, tectonically and formally. Provocative yet at times lyrically pragmatic, some projects test cutting edge technology and new materials, others reimagine or recycle the most basic elements: ice, wood, packed earth, and even air. Structures and skins are designed to respond dynamically to changing climates, traditional building types are distilled to near Platonic forms, and the ephemeral memorably marks place.  There is a clarity to these diverse design responses, a willingness to be purposefully different.

The League thanks the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons The New School for Design for co-sponsoring the exhibition and lecture series.

The Architectural League Prize is made possible, in part, by public funds from 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. The program is also supported by DornbrachtSusan Grant Lewin Associates, and Tischler und Sohn.

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