Call for Entries: No Precedent

Call for Entries: No Precedent

Call for Entries: No Precedent
The Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers

Competition Deadline
February 15, 2012

Toshiko Mori
Gregg Pasquarelli
Lisa Phillips
Annabelle Selldorf
Robert Somol

and the Young Architects and Designers Committee
Emily Abruzzo
Dominic Leong
Michael Loverich

Architectural League Program Director
Anne Rieselbach

Call for Entries
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 public fora, an on-line installation, podcasts, and in an exhibition in June 2012. Winners will receive a cash prize of $1,000. A catalogue of winning work will be published by the Architectural League and Princeton Architectural Press. The Architectural League Prize is an annual competition, series of lectures, and exhibition organized by the Architectural League and its Young Architects + Designers Committee. The Prize (formerly known as the Young Architects Forum) was established to recognize specific works of high quality and to encourage the exchange of ideas among young people who might otherwise not have a forum. For a list of past winners, click here.

Theme: No Precedent
You’re not new and you aren’t different.
You’re definitely not shocking and you are full of bullshit.
You just don’t fit in.
You’re on the brink but they just don’t understand.
You’re unbelievable.
You are without precedent.

Driven by the desire to create, to be heard, to keep busy or to fulfill untapped and forbidden niches, young architects are a self-defining generation. They are unwilling to wait their turn or to follow in footsteps. It has become normative for young architects to cast aside unfit precedents, codes, rules, and primitives, restlessly defining their projects, their problems, their methodologies, their users, and their spaces of intervention. Their work becomes uncategorizable, suggestive, and speculative; it’s on the brink. It’s neither here nor there, but fodder for the future.

It is risky traveling in uncharted waters. What does it take to create and support something without precedent? What must be constructed in order to convincingly communicate an idea? How do these new territories influence the way we work and what we produce? Inherent to the realization of these ideas is the willingness to work, to test again and again, negotiate, and work through problems: mockups, models, tests, prototypes become essential.

Ideas, works, and methodologies that are unfounded, ungrounded, and suspect are of interest here: the things no one has done before, and that one has little experience with.

How do you build it?
How do you permit it?
How do you draw it?
How do you talk about it?
How do you write about it?
How do you think about it?
How do you erase it?
How do you make it unknown?
How is it unprecedented?

Entrants must submit as individuals or as a group of individuals. If the individual(s) is/are the sole principal(s) of a firm, the firm name will be listed as a winner 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. Entrants must be within ten years of graduation of either an undergraduate or graduate degree. 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 Young Architects Forum 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 and 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 is open to full-time residents, who need not be citizens, of the United States, Canada, and Mexico only.

Entry forms
Each submission must include an entry form. Insert 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.

Entry Form
Partner Acknowledgement Form
Collaborator Acknowledgement Form

Competition Deadline February 15, 2012
Entries must be received at the League office by 5 p.m. or postmarked by this date. There will be no exceptions to this deadline. The League cannot be responsible for entries received by mail after the jury date, which will be approximately a week after the deadline.


Submission requirements
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″ x 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 p.m. February 15, 2012 or postmarked by that date.

The Architectural League
of New York
594 Broadway, Suite 607
New York, New York 10012

Entry fee
Each entrant must submit an entry fee of $25. Entrants may submit cash or a check payable to “The Architectural League of New York.”

Portfolio return
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 2012. 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.

For more information, email or call 212.753.1722 x10. To download a copy of The Architectural League Prize call for entries click here.

Winning entrants will be notified by mid-March 2012.

The Architectural League Prize is supported by Dornbracht, Susan Grant Lewin Associates, and Tischler und Sohn.  Additional funding is made possible from the Next Generation Fund, an alumni fund of the Architectural League’s Emerging Voices and Architectural League Prize programs.


This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.  The Architectural League Prize is also made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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