League Prize 2019: Just

Established in 1981 to recognize visionary work by young practitioners, The Architectural League Prize is an annual competition, lecture series, and exhibition led by the League and its Young Architects + Designers Committee.

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 lectures, digital media, and an exhibition in June 2019. 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: Just

The idea that an architectural work might be just—whether formally, materially, contextually, culturally, or otherwise—invokes the diverse and interdependent concerns that shape contemporary practice. In its myriad references, Just explores the implicit tensions between architecture’s affinity for the just so in materials, tectonics, and organization, and a call to act justly.

Escalating conditions of sociopolitical turmoil and environmental calamity have prompted renewed attention to the ethics of architecture. How might architecture serve justice? Confront complex challenges across scales, mediums, and geographies? Build new equitable paradigms for action? Can architecture engage a breadth of constituencies, environments, and species? In an era of global turbulence, how might architecture’s ends justify the means? Can architects advocate for architectural excellence and beauty while still addressing social concerns? Can just architecture, with its laborious process from conceptualization to construction, become a justified statement in itself?

Just explores architectural action with the understanding that a multiplicity of coexisting and contradictory attitudes may be constructive, liberating, and justified. This year’s Architectural League Prize competition asks entrants to consider the just in how they approach the practice of architecture, whether through experimentation in research and design advocacy or by advancing speculative and applied techniques within the discipline.


Mario Gooden
Juliet Kinchin
Paul Lewis

The Young Architects + Designers Committee

Isabel Abascal
Bryony Roberts
Anya Sirota


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 collaborators describing the collaborative nature of the work. Collaborative work will be considered within the context of an individual’s complete portfolio.


Winners will present their work in lectures, digital media, and an exhibition in June 2019. They will receive a cash prize of $2,000.

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 which defines and considers the work under the rubric of the competition theme is required. 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 30 double-sided pages. CDs, models, and flash drives will not be accepted. Entries must be received at the League office by 5:00 p.m. EST February 11, 2019, or be postmarked by that date.

Entry fee

Each entrant must submit an entry fee of $30. Entrants may pay the fee here or include cash or a check payable to The Architectural League of New York with their submission. If paying online, please be sure that the credit card holder is the name of one of the entrants; we are unable to accept payments made on behalf of others.

Entry forms

Each entrant must submit two versions of the entry form: one online 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 partner acknowledgement form.

Download: Entry form

Download: Partner acknowledgement form

Download: Collaborator form

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 2019. 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.

Competition deadline

Monday, February 11, 2019

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 2019.

Program director

Anne Rieselbach


Applicants may email questions to program manager Catarina Flaksman, flaksman@archleague.org.


The Architectural League Prize is made possible by Elise Jaffe + Jeffrey Brown, Hunter Douglas Architectural, Kubany Judlowe, 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 and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo 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.



LANZA Atelier lecture

Isabel Martínez Abascal and Alessandro Arienzo present their League Prize installation and other work.