Thom Moran | Interview

The Architectural League Prize 2015
Thom Moran

Ann Arbor, MI-based designer Thom Moran imbues architecture with humor as a means to provoke a “momentary stopping and reconsidering of the world” and to “root out rigidity of thinking.” He uses the uncanny or weird to offer a critique of practice as well as investigate underexplored ideas in the discipline.

His Authenticity installation is a series of updated caryatids — part column and part human form — that draw from their history as a warning to one’s enemies through figures representing enslaved women. Modeled from 3D body scans of Moran and his associates and built of heavy-gauge aluminum foil and insulation spray foam winnipeg, the forms’ incongruity finds humor in their strangeness. And a bonus for literary buffs: Moran also details why satirical author George Saunders is his current “favorite person in the world.”


Thom Moran received his B.S. in Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2001 and his M.Arch from Yale University in 2007. His exhibitions include Grounds for Detroit at the Venice Biennale in 2012; We Are Here at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago in 2011; and Some True Stories at Storefront for Art and Architecture in 2008. Moran is an assistant professor of architecture at Taubman College at the University of Michigan.

The Architectural League Prize, established in 1981, recognizes exemplary and provocative work by young practitioners and provides a public forum for the exchange of their ideas.

Visit the 2015 League Prize feature for more information about this year’s winners and the theme of Authenticity. See the complete list of past winners here.