The Architectural League Prize is one of North America’s most prestigious awards for young architects and designers. The Prize, established in 1981, recognizes exemplary and provocative work by young practitioners and provides a public forum for the exchange of their ideas. Each year The Architectural League and the Young Architects + Designers Committee organize a portfolio competition. Six winners are then invited to present their work in a variety of public fora, including lectures, an exhibition, and here on the League’s website. For a complete list of past winners, click here.
The Young Architects + Designers 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. This year’s committee members are Carrie Norman, John Rhett Russo, and Jenny Sabin. They asked entrants to organize their work under the theme of Authenticity, as “recent advances in computation, visualization, material intelligence, and fabrication technologies have begun to alter fundamentally our theoretical understanding of general design principles as well as the architect’s role and practical approach towards architecture and research.” They continued in the Call for Entries: “We seek proposals that cultivate new positions of authenticity within architecture. The path to obtaining an original voice involves authenticating these positions. We want to see authenticity as a pursuit rather than a form of validation or an essential quality. We are interested in how design, technology, and practice challenge authenticity and the ways that originality, expression, and authorship continue to be pursued. How do we situate these new conceptual frameworks? Thus submissions might re-examine authenticity through form, design, substance, function, context, or any other means that continue to direct and transform your practice.”
In addition to the committee members, the 2015 jury consisted of Keller Easterling, Sanford Kwinter, Michael Meredith, Lyn Rice, and Billie Tsien. Anne Rieselbach, the League’s Program Director, oversees the program.
Learn more about the 2015 League Prize winners and their practices below through profiles, lecture videos, and interviews about their Authenticity installations.
The Architectural League Prize is made possible with corporate support from Suzanne Tick and Tischler und Sohn and individual support from Elise Jaffe + Jeffrey Brown. The League Prize program is also supported by the Next Generation Fund of The Architectural League and in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State legislature and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Published: May 13, 2015. Updated September 22, 2015.
View interview and lecture videos from Endemic, who investigate traditional forms of representation and “primitive geometries” in relation to cross-cultural disciplinary conversations.
View interview and lecture videos from Besler & Sons, whose work “references and reuses things that are already in circulation” to re-think existing problems in architecture.
View interview and lecture videos from Thom Moran, who employs visual irony, incongruity, and “cognitive slapstick” to find “where space can be funny.”
View interview and lecture videos from First Office, whose work includes furniture design, landscape interventions, conceptual installations, and other built projects.
View interview and lecture videos from mcdowellespinosa, who designs through the “transformation of waste, excess, and the ordinary into new spatial and material realities.”
View interview and lecture videos from Landing Studio, who integrate industry and the urban environment, with particular emphasis on port facilities and industrial ecologies.
Sticks by Hou de Sousa was the winner of Folly 2016. Read an essay on this functional structure by Pasqualina Azzarello, Socrates Director of Public Programs; a roundtable discussion featuring the designers among other participants; and a look at this year’s other notable competition entries.
Announcing the winners of the Architectural League Prize 2016: (im)permanence
A collection of the winning essays from the fourth annual Urban Omnibus writing competition, As Seen On [ ].
Torqueing Spheres by IK Studio was the winner of Folly 2015. Explore an interview with Mariana Ibañez and Simon Kim, a photo essay on the fabrication, and other notable entries from this year’s competition.