League Prize 2015: Authenticity

The 2015 League Prize competition sought proposals that cultivate new positions of authenticity within architecture.

2015 Winners:
Landing Studio (Dan Adams & Marie Adams), Besler & Sons (Erin Besler), mcdowellespinosa (Seth McDowell & Rychiee Espinosa), Thom Moran, First Office (Anna Neimark & Andrew Atwood), Endemic (Clark Thenhaus)

2015 League Prize Committee:
Carrie Norman, John Rhett Russo, Jenny Sabin

2015 Jurors:
Keller Easterling, Sanford Kwinter, Michael Meredith, Lyn Rice, Billie Tsien


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

Winner profiles

Landing Studio

Landing Studio focuses on “developing design tactics for positively integrating active global industries and infrastructures into their local contexts.”

Besler & Sons

Besler describes her work as “referencing and reusing things that are already in circulation,” which she then seeks to “refit into a slightly different framework.”


mcdowellespinosa is concerned with the “transformation of waste, excess, and the ordinary into new spatial and material realities."

Thom Moran

Thom Moran’s work focuses on “using humor to investigate the relationships between architecture, environments and objects.”

First Office

First Office covers a variety of scales, from furniture design to building headquarters, landscape interventions, and conceptual installations.


Endemic engages the term’s definition “concerning context, language, and material sensibilities...by making contact with fundamental, cross-cultural conversations."

Interview videos

Repositioning references

Erin Besler, founder of Besler & Sons, considers the relationship between architecture and building.

February 26, 2018

Understanding architectural tools

First Office explores new ways of thinking about architectural production and tools while being “honest or forthright about ... our sources and references.”

February 26, 2018

The architectural uncanny

Thom Moran uses strangeness and humor to critique architectural practice and investigate underexplored ideas.

February 26, 2018

Separate, together

Working from two different locations, the founders of mcdowellespinosa take advantage of their “opposing, complementary viewpoints.”

February 26, 2018

The generic original

Clark Thenhaus tests form-making strategies by combining and recontextualizing standard geometries to produce unfamiliar forms.

February 26, 2018

Events and exhibition listings