The second evening of the annual Emerging Voices lecture series features Roy Decker and Anne Marie Duvall Decker of Duvall Decker Architects; and Chris Leong and Dominic Leong of Leong Leong. Emerging Voices spotlights individuals and firms based in the United States, Canada, or Mexico with distinct design voices and the potential to influence the disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture, and urbanism. The lectures will be introduced by Billie Tsien.
Duvall Decker Architects was founded in 1997 in Jackson, Mississippi by Roy Decker and Anne Marie Duvall Decker. The firm “experiments and works through complicated systems of economic, physical, and social constraints” actively working against typology and “architecture as narrative.” Working primarily in Mississippi, they assert that the state’s lack of public funds forces them to maneuver among the “competing local cultural desires” to “make do” and “to do more with less.” Their work ranges from architectural design and community planning to real estate development and construction management. Recent projects in Mississippi include the renovation of the Dumas Hall at Alcorn State University in Lorman and the Bennie G. Thompson Academic and Civil Rights Research Center at Tougaloo College in Tougaloo. In 2012, construction was completed on the firm’s Midtown Affordable Housing in Jackson, which includes 22 units of federally funded affordable housing and a renovated commercial building that contains a health clinic, barbershop, and administrative offices. Both principals have taught at Mississippi State and Auburn Universities. Anne Marie Duvall Decker received her Bachelor of Architecture degree from Mississippi State and Roy Decker received his Master of Architecture degree from Kent State University.
Chris Leong and Dominic Leong are partners in the New York-based firm Leong Leong, which they founded in 2009. Their practice is “driven by a curiosity for new organization typologies and aesthetic experiences, which offer new ways of living, working, and interacting with one another.” Thus, Leong Leong’s interests are “not defined by a particular project type, but by the potential to create environments and artifacts with cultural resonance.” Recent projects include the 2015 City View Garage in Miami and the 2014 U.S. Pavilion for the XIV Venice Architecture Biennale. Two projects scheduled for completion in 2019 include the Center for Community and Entrepreneurship in Queens, New York; and the Anita May Rosenstein Campus at the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Both partners currently teach at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. Chris Leong received his Master of Architecture degree from Princeton University School of Architecture and Dominic Leong received his Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.
Billie Tsien is a co-founding principal architect of Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners and President of The Architectural League of New York. She served on this year’s Emerging Voices committee.