Call for Entries: 2016 Architectural League Prize | (im)permanence


2016 Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers | (im)permanence

This competition is now closed
For more information about this year’s winners, lectures, and exhibition information, visit the League Prize feature here.
2017 Call for Entries to be released in Fall of 2016.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016 5:00 p.m. EST

Mimi Hoang
Paul Lewis
Anu Mathur
Billie Tsien

Jason Austin
Gerald Bodziak
Rychiee Espinosa

Click here to download the competition poster

Young architects and designers are invited to submit work to the annual Architectural League Prize Competition. Projects of all types, either theoretical or real, and executed in any medium, are welcome. The jury will select work for presentation in lectures, digital media, and an exhibition in June 2016. Winners will receive a cash prize of $2,000. A catalogue of winning work will be published by The Architectural League.

Established in 1981 to recognize visionary work by young practitioners, the Architectural League Prize is an annual competition, lecture series, and exhibition organized by The Architectural League and its Young Architects + Designers Committee. Learn more about the competition’s past winners and their projects.

THEME: (im)permanence
Time persists as a defining characteristic of architecture. It affects architecture’s assertion of style, methods of assembly, and relationship to program, thus distinguishing it from other arts. Increasingly, however, architecture may be described as having variable temporal dimensions, the stone temple and the party tent both fitting into what one may label “architecture.” This condition is complex: while it is often said that the lack of permanence brings about freedom of investigation, it may be problematic to see architecture, in any form, as disposable. Further, the cultural proliferation of short-term projects redefines expectations for contemporary architects and designers.

The rise of the temporary occurs during a time of global economic upheaval, where buildings are increasingly produced through fast-tracked construction, employing relatively untested materials for short-term gain. Have we drastically lowered our expectations for the durability of architecture, and if so, why? Or, does this turn suggest a new paradigm whereby permanence rightly plays less of a role in the definition of architecture? What are the implications of designing permanent structures in an impermanent environment? Are permanent structures no longer relevant in a time rooted in the adimensional exchange of ideas and services? What new architecture will continue to define space and people’s lives for generations to come?

This year’s Architectural League Prize competition asks entrants to consider the form and meaning of impermanence or permanence in their work. We seek work that responds to current aspects of society, economy, and policy, or invents its own emergent systems of order, taking a position on the relationship of architecture to time.

Winners will present their work in lectures, digital media, and an exhibition in June 2016. Winners will receive a cash prize of $2,000. A catalogue of winning work will be published by The Architectural League.

The competition is only open to current, full-time residents, who need not be citizens, of the United States, Canada, or Mexico. Entrants must be ten years or less out of undergraduate or graduate school. Current students are ineligible. Entrants must submit individually or as a group. If the individual(s) is/are the sole principal(s) of a firm, the winning firm name will be listed as well. Entrants must submit work done independently; no work done as an employee of a firm, where the entrant is not a principal or partner, is eligible for submission. No student work completed for any academic program or degree is eligible for submission. Educators may not include work done in their studios or for their teaching. Past League Prize winners are ineligible. If only one partner of a firm is eligible, he or she can enter as a single entrant. He or she must include a signed document from all other partners outlining the collaborative nature of the work and the firm will not be listed as a recipient of the Prize. Collaborative work between unrelated firms or individuals is eligible if the partnership is equal; any project with collaborators must include a signed document from the other collaborator(s) outlining the collaborative nature of the work. Collaborative work will be considered within the context of an individual’s complete portfolio.

The competition theme is given as a basis for young architects and designers to reflect upon and reevaluate their work. A written statement not to exceed 250 words is required, which defines and considers the work under the rubric of the competition theme. Significant weight is given to how an applicant’s work addresses the theme. A single portfolio, which may include several projects, must be bound and no larger than 11″ × 14″. The portfolio may not contain more than thirty double-sided pages. CDs, models, slides, and transparencies will not be accepted. Entries must be received at the League office by 5:00 p.m. EST February 17, 2016 or postmarked by that date.

Each entrant must submit an entry fee of $25. Entrants may pay the fee online here or include with their submission cash or a check payable to “The Architectural League of New York.” Please be sure, if paying online, that the credit card holder is the name of one of the entrants; we are unable to accept payments made on behalf of others.

Each entrant must submit two versions of the entry form: one form available here and one hardcopy form included with the submission itself. Insert the hardcopy form, intact, into an unsealed envelope attached to the inside back cover of the submission. To maintain anonymity, no identification of the entrant may appear on any part of the submission, except on the entry form and return envelope. If relevant, please also include a collaborator acknowledgment and/or a partner acknowledgment form.

Portfolios will be returned by mail only if a self-addressed envelope with postage is also enclosed. Please ensure that return postage does not expire before August 2016. The Architectural League assumes no liability for original drawings. The League will take every precaution to return submissions intact, but can assume no responsibility for loss or damage. Portfolios may be discarded after one year if no return envelope is provided.

February 17, 2016
Entries must be received at the League office by 5:00 p.m. EST or postmarked by this date. There will be no exceptions to this deadline.

Winning entrants will be notified by mid-March 2016.

Anne Rieselbach

Applicants may email questions to Program Associate Matt Ragazzo,

The Architectural League Prize is made possible by Elise Jaffe + Jeffrey Brown, USAI Lighting, and Tischler und Sohn

League programs are made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Support is also provided by the Next Generation Fund, an alumni fund of The Architectural League’s Emerging Voices and Architectural League Prize programs. 

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