League Prize 2022: Grounding

Through grounding, designers come to terms with complex material realities, sociocultural contingencies, and more fundamental ways of being. Although grounding suggests locality, contemporary environments are invariably embedded in global systems that complicate architecture’s relationship with place. Grounding thus means, on one hand, making vital connections to what is already there—materially, socially, and otherwise—and, on the other, contending with placeless, pervasive processes. Navigating the remote and embodied, the nonlocal and local, architecture requires methods of retooling, reappropriation, and transformation to find its grounding. How do young architects tether their work and practices to the grounds upon which they design? How can designers respond to both the particularities of location and the ubiquity of global forces? What are intentional approaches to and forms of grounding?

The theme was developed by the 2022 Young Architects + Designers Committee, which included recent League Prize winners Luis Beltrán del Río García, Tei Carpenter, and Gabriel Cuéllar.

The jury included the committee in addition to Chris T. Cornelius, Carla Juaçaba, Lola Sheppard, and Mabel O. Wilson.

The competition is organized by The Architectural League’s program director Anne Rieselbach and program manager Rafi Lehmann. 


This year’s League Prize programming and exhibition will follow a hybrid onsite and online model. 

Digital Exhibition
Winners will create installations of their work onsite in a location of their choice or in an entirely digital format, all of which will be presented in an online exhibition on archleague.org opening June 14.

Online Lecture Series
The lecture series will be held on Wednesday evenings starting June 15 on Zoom. Each evening will consist of an introduction, lectures by two winning firms, and a moderated Q&A.

Lectures begin at 6:30 p.m. EDT. Admission is free and advance registration via Zoom is required.

Nathan Friedman and Francisco Quiñones | Departamento del Distrito
Moderated by Gabriel Cuéllar

Isaac Stein and Maggie Tsang | Dept.
Jose Amozurrutia and Carlos Facio | TO
Moderated by Luis Beltrán del Río García

Farzin Lotfi-Jam | Farzin Farzin
Xavi Laida Aguirre | stock-a-studio
Moderated by Tei Carpenter

Graphic identity by Pentagram.


The Architectural League Prize is made possible by Tischler und Sohn, Delta Millworks, and Judlowe.  

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 the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. Support is also provided by the Next Generation Fund, an alumni fund of The Architectural League’s Emerging Voices and Architectural League Prize programs, and the J. Clawson Mills Fund of The Architectural League.


Dept.: Remnant Nursery

One of six installations for the digital exhibition by winners of the 2022 League Prize.

June 14, 2022

TO: Sound Construction

One of six installations for the digital exhibition by winners of the 2022 League Prize.

June 14, 2022


All Together Now

Through its collective model and emphasis on discussion and debate, Citygroup seeks to move beyond business-as-usual design.

June 14, 2022

Retaining Walls

A design commission in a ghost town turned tourist destination allowed Departamento del Distrito to explore ideas about historic preservation.

July 19, 2022

A Creek Runs through It

Dept. argues for a hyperlocal, community-oriented approach to flood management in North Miami.

June 21, 2022

Working Groups

Farzin Lotfi-Jam discusses his path to a practice model that foregrounds collaboration.

August 31, 2022

The Material and the Immaterial

TO's design for a temporary pavilion in Mexico City speaks to the firm's fascination with material reuse and historical resonance.

June 28, 2022


Lecture Videos

League Prize 2022: Night 1

With representatives of Citygroup and Nathan Friedman and Francisco Quiñones of Departamento del Distrito.

August 2, 2022