Young Architects 21: Just

The 21st in a series of books documenting the work of winners of The Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers.

Young Architects 21: Just features work by the winners of the 2019 Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers. The competition theme, Just, investigated the exigencies of the just in contemporary architecture. In the words of the League Prize Committee’s theme statement, entrants explored “the implicit tensions between architecture’s affinity for the just so in materials, tectonics, and organization, and a call to act justly.” Amid escalating demands for justice and renewed focus on the ethics of architecture, the winners’ work exemplifies the diverse ways young architects and designers are both constructing and complicating the practice and theory of just design.

Winners of the 2019 Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers:

Rachel G. Barnard, Young New Yorkers
Jennifer Bonner, MALL
Virginia Black, Rosana Elkhatib, and Gabrielle Printz, feminist architecture collaborative
Mira Hasson Henry, (HA)
Gregory Melitonov, Taller KEN
Cyrus Peñarroyo, EXTENTS

Mario Gooden, author of the foreword, is a founding principal of Huff + Gooden Architects and a Professor at Columbia GSAPP. He is an architect whose work engages the cultural landscape and the intersectionality of architecture, race, gender, sexuality, and technology. Gooden served on the 2019 League Prize jury.

Anne Rieselbach, author of the introduction, is program director of The Architectural League. For over thirty years, Rieselbach has overseen the Current Work lecture series, the Emerging Voices program, and the Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers.

The Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers is a juried portfolio competition organized around a yearly theme. Architects and designers based in North America and ten years or less out of a bachelor’s or master’s degree program are eligible. Work can be built or unbuilt and executed in any medium. The League Prize is the focus of an exhibition and lecture series as well as this volume. The list of over 200 past winners represents some of today’s leading architects and designers. Many also have earned positions of leadership in schools of architecture, or have shaped the architectural landscape through their guiding roles in public agencies. Select past winners include Steven Holl; Billie Tsien; Preston Scott Cohen; J. Meejin Yoon; Claire Weisz & Mark Yoes; Rick Joy; Sunil Bald & Yolande Daniels; Eric Bunge & Mimi Hoang; and Teddy Cruz. Recent winners include Frida Escobedo; Jenny Sabin; Dan Adams & Marie Adams; Neeraj Bhatia; Isabel Abascal & Alessandro Arienzo; and Bryony Roberts.

In the wake of the summer of 2020 and the convergence of the COVID-19 pandemic; the Black Lives Matter movement and its intersectionality with Black Trans Lives and Say Her Name; and the intensifying need for a global response to climate change and environmental justice, it is clear that ‘just’ is not merely an idea, option, or question for architecture but an urgent necessity. —Mario Gooden, founding principal of Huff + Gooden Architects, 2019 jury member