Understanding architectural tools

February 26, 2018

The League Prize, an annual competition that asks young designers to respond to a given theme, has marked an important milestone in many architects’ careers since it was established in 1981. Winners showcase their work through a lecture series and exhibition.

First Office won a 2015 award.

Anna Neimark and Andrew Atwood explore new ways of thinking about architectural production and tools while being “honest or forthright about … our sources and references,” among them artists like Marcel Duchamp, Kazimir Malevich, and Eugène Viollet-le-Duc.

Their Authenticity installation is composed of three tabletop models: a ready-made double-door, from plans by Duchamp; a one-room house; and a film screening room in Los Angeles. Each representation doubles as a miniature of a built or under-construction First Office project, as well as an examination of the architectural model as an art object. Of particular interest is the model as a scaled reality, with details that “are both ornamental and formal,” down to the tiny outlet covers in the one-room house. Accompanying each model is a video that shows how, “if you could touch the model, … you would move around it.”