League Prize Winner Bio

theLab-lab for architecture

Mustafa Faruki

The League Prize, an annual competition that asks young designers to respond to a given theme, has marked an important milestone in many architects’ careers. Winners showcase their work through a lecture series and exhibition.

Mustafa Faruki was a winner of the 2017 competition.

Mustafa Faruki is the director of theLab-lab for architecture, a New York-based practice founded in 2010 “dedicated to completely re-inventing the potential outputs of architectural design.” theLab-lab sees architecture as, “by definition the creation of imaginary worlds” and creates sometimes fantastical designs and project proposals to challenge architecture’s professional constraints and idealism.

For a site on Governors Island, the firm designed Intake Facility, a complex for “an anonymous client” intended to process extraterrestrial settlers migrating to New York City. Spaces are dedicated to functions such as “Decelestialization” or, the de-neutering of these visitors whose “very special powers and energies are not compatible with life on Earth.” In 2011, theLab-lab received a New York State Council on the Arts Individual Artist’s Grant to complete Flenn’s Galls, NY a narrative-driven project in which Faruki cast himself as a fictitious intern who pored over the historical society archives of a non-existent upstate town and “uncovered unseen documents” speaking to its past. The firm created a series of historic artifacts to develop an alternately tumultuous history of this otherwise sleepy town. For Celebatorium, theLab-lab developed a “design proposal for housing to shelter the unmarried, unloved, unwanted, or otherwise permanently alone” for “zoneAlone NYC: Housing for Alone-ness initiative.” The proposal casts the typology of micro-housing in a monastic light with pod-like dwellings featuring a range of automated services and utilities that support inhabitants who live alone.

theLab-lab for architecture’s work has been exhibited in group exhibitions at LMCC Arts Center on Governors Island, and at the Nordisk Kunstnarsenter Dale in Norway, where Faruki also completed respective residencies. The firm’s work has also been exhibited at The Queens Museum and Hatton Gallery in Newcastle, UK. Details from Celebatorium have been installed at The Drawing Center in New York where Faruki is currently participating in Open Sessions, a two-year hybrid exhibition/residency.

Mustafa Faruki received his Master of Architecture from Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and his Bachelor of Architecture from Columbia College. He also received a Master of Art History degree from SOAS University of London.