Call for Entries: 2018 Architectural League Prize | Objective

2018 Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers | Objective

Friday, February 9, 2018 5:00 p.m. EST

Claire Weisz
Georgeen Theodore
Jorge Otero-Pailos
Tatiana Bilbao

Molly Hunker
Neeraj Bhatia
William O’Brien Jr.

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 2018. Winners will receive a cash prize of $2,000.

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 Architectural League Prize’s past winners here.

THEME: Objective
Architecture is shaped by myriad influences, invariably engaging in an oscillation between objective and subjective motivations. As a creative act, architecture’s role and impact shifts with the benefits and limitations of attempts to establish objectivity: an objective, agreed-upon set of values by which to evaluate its production. The idea of the objective has been an important tool for architects to attempt to go beyond personal preferences and in doing so create a value set of “truths”— from aesthetics, to program, to function. Today, architecture finds itself more visibly embroiled in a plurality of objectives—from social, economic, political agendas to experimentation with materiality, structure, and perception, amongst others. If an objective implies an action, then how we act, what our actions achieve, and how we argue for a design speaks to our values as a discipline and as a society.

Objectivity today has been simultaneously elevated and undermined in a climate characterized by alternative facts and fake news. How might we determine the facts and values that motivate the production of architecture in a post-truth era? Given the diversity of objectives that comprise the discipline of architecture today, how might we understand facts and fictions as different truths?

Objectivity, objectives, and objects collide in a world grappling with truth, agency, and the role of form. This year’s Architectural League Prize competition asks entrants to consider how objectives and objectivity inform and create values in their work and through doing so, reconsiders the criteria for judgement within architecture.

Winners will present their work in lecturesdigital media, and an exhibition in June 2018. Winners will receive a cash prize of $2,000. 

The competition is open only to current, full-time residents, who need not be citizens, of the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Entrants must be ten years or less out of a bachelor or masters program. Current students are ineligible. Entrants may 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 describing 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) describing 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, and transparencies will not be accepted. Entries must be received at the League office by 5:00 p.m. EST February 9, 2018 or postmarked by that date. 

Each entrant must submit an entry fee of $25. Entrants may pay the fee 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 digital form available here and one hard copy form included with the submission itself. Insert the hard copy 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 acknowledgement 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 2018. 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 9, 2018
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 2018.

Anne Rieselbach

Applicants may email questions to Program Associate Catarina Flaksman,

The Architectural League Prize is made possible by Elise Jaffe + Jeffrey Brown, Hunter Douglas Architectural, 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, 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.