Emerging Voices winner profile


UrbanLab | Growing Water Ecoboulevard, Chicago, IL, 2007. Credit: Michelle Litvin

The Architectural League’s annual Emerging Voices program spotlights North American architects, landscape architects, and urban designers who have significant bodies of realized work and the potential to influence their field.

UrbanLab won a 2010 award.

UrbanLab is a research-based architecture and urban design practice led by Sarah Dunn and Martin Felsen. The Chicago-based firm “theorizes that infrastructure can be hybridized, thereby leveraging a technically oriented project into one with cultural qualities.” UrbanLab’s current work addressing issues of urban space through the development of infrastructural and ecological urbanism concepts include Growing Water, an Urban Plan for Chicago; Aurora Masterplan; and Central Open Space for MAC, a park design in South Korea. Built work includes Live+Work, Chicago; Hennepin House in Illinois; and Echo Park House, a residence in Los Angeles.

The firm has been the recipient of numerous AIA awards including design awards in 2007, 2008, and 2009, the 2009 Latrobe Prize, and the 2003 Emerging Visions Award from the AIA Chicago/Chicago Architectural Club. UrbanLab has been published in Architectural Record, Architecture, The New York Times, and Places. Sarah Dunn received her B.A. in architecture from Columbia College, Columbia University and her M.Arch from Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. She is an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Martin Felsen received his B.Arch from Virginia Tech and his M.S. in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. He is Studio Associate Professor at Illinois Institute of Technology. They are also co-directors of Archeworks, an alternative design school where students work in multidisciplinary teams with nonprofit partners to create design solutions for social and environmental concerns.