The Architectural League just announced the winners of Range, the thirty-second annual Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers. One of North Americaʼs most prestigious awards for young architects, the program exemplifies the Leagueʼs longstanding commitment to identifying and nurturing the development of talented young architects and designers. This yearʼs winners are: Luis Callejas, Paisajes Emergentes, Cambridge and Medellín; Brandon Clifford and Wes McGee, Matter Design, Boston and Ann Arbor; Marc Fornes, MARC FORNES / THEVERYMANY, Brooklyn; Rafael Luna and Dongwoo Yim, PRAUD, Boston and Seoul; Skylar J.E. Tibbits, SJET, Boston; and Bryan Young, Young Projects, Brooklyn. More images and information on the winners after the break.
MARC FORNES / THEVERYMANY
Marc Fornes, founder of Brooklyn’s MARC FORNES / THEVERYMANY, is a leader in the development of computation applied to design and digital fabrication. He realizes geometrically complex and self-supporting structures for both artistic and commercial settings, from pop-up stores to gallery installations to park pavilions. Though composed of flat elements, Fornes’ digitally designed skins appear to undulate, simultaneously acting as both surface and support.
With an emphasis on building as a test of digital design, MARC FORNES / THEVERYMANY evaluates the algorithms and rules “encoded” in computational systems against the “explicit” forms – the end products that are guided by precise but unpredictable operations – that the systems produce. His prototypes have been displayed as part of the permanent collections of the Centre Pompidou, the FRAC Centre, and the Centre National des Arts Plastiques (CNAP).
Luis Callejas, who was a part of Paisajes Emergentes at the time of the project, is currently the founder and director of Lcla Office, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Medellín, Colombia. His practice, positioned at the intersections of the fields of landscape, architecture, and urbanism, explores “new forms of public realms through environmental and territorial operations,” such as the Tactical Archipelago project in Kiev, Ukraine. There, Lcla reconsiders 37 islands in the city’s Dnieper River as places for recreation, ecological infrastructure, transportation, and, through a series of micro-clusters inserted on the river’s surface, itinerant zones of activity and services. Other recent projects include the Aquatic Centre for the 2010 South American Games and the renovation of the main soccer stadium in Bogotá, Colombia.
Rafael Luna and Dongwoo Yim, the founders of PRAUD, focus on the interplay between “topology and typology,” or the contrast between iterations of the same form (topology) and the types of forms and functions that the built environment offers (typology), as a means of understanding urban development and morphology in their work. The office experiments with reconfiguration, the relationship between solid and void, and the opportunities created by overlapping structural and spatial functions. Their holistic view of the architect as a researcher, practitioner, theorist, and visionary is illustrated by their interest in research and publications, which serve as the generator of what the office calls a “new autonomous language” – an internal logic that produces new expressions of form and function – for contemporary architecture. PRAUD is based in Boston and Seoul.
Principal Bryan Young founded the Brooklyn-based design studio Young Projects in 2010. With an emphasis on building, Young Projects draws from digital methods and traditional construction techniques to uncover “loopholes and glitches,” or unexpected moments where digital and traditional forms interact, to produce “elements of the bizarre and fictional.” As an example of his interest in the unexpected and contemporary, Young completed a master’s thesis investigating the diagrammatic spaces of Donkey Kong and Pac-Man.
Skylar J.E. Tibbits is the principal and founder of SJET, a research-based practice in Boston with an emphasis on prototype development that “crosses disciplines from architecture and design, fabrication, computer science to robotics.” Tibbits’ research interests include self-assembly technologies, programmable materials, and the reinvention of fabrication methods. He has exhibited work at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Beijing Biennale and has built large-scale installations in Paris, Calgary, Philadelphia, New York City, Berlin, Frankfurt, and Cambridge.
The work of Ann Arbor- and Boston-based Matter Design combines Brandon Clifford’s “dedication to design” and Wes McGee’s “proficiency in fabrication,” placing the studio at the confluence of several contrasts: drawing versus making, digital versus physical. Described by its principals as an “interdisciplinary academic research studio dedicated to re-imagining the role of the architect in the digital era,” Matter Design explores such issues as volume over surface and the usage of scale experiments to adapt the tenets of masonry construction to contemporary methods of construction.
This year’s League Prize jury included Teresita Fernandez, artist and sculptor; Paul Lewis, principal, LTL Architects; Thom Mayne, principal, Morphosis Architects; Charles Waldheim, professor and Chair, Department of Landscape Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design; and Meejin Yoon, principal, Howeler + Yoon Architecture. Committee members were Benjamin Aranda, Aranda/Lasch; Seung Teak Lee, stpmj; and Michael Szivos, SOFTlab.
Winners will lecture in June and display their work in an exhibition on view through the summer. Their work will also be featured in a new volume of the Young Architects series jointly published by Princeton Architectural Press and the League, and their ideas and work will be featured in original interviews and video on the Leagueʼs website here.