Jenny Sabin Studio Selected as Winner of the MoMA PS1 2017 Young Architects Program

Lumen by Jenny Sabin Studio has been named the winner of The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1’s annual Young Architects Program. Opening on June 27 in the MoMA PS1 courtyard, this year’s construction is an immersive design that evolves over the course of a day, providing a cooling respite from the midday sun and a responsive glowing light after sundown. Drawn from among five finalists, Jenny Sabin Studio’s Lumen will serve as a temporary urban landscape for the 20th season of Warm Up, MoMA PS1’s pioneering outdoor music series. Lumen will remain on view through the summer.

Now in its 18th edition, the Young Architects Program at The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 has offered emerging architectural talent the opportunity to design and present innovative projects, challenging each year’s winners to develop creative designs for a temporary, outdoor installation that provides shade, seating, and water. The architects must also work within guidelines that address environmental issues, including sustainability and recycling.

Made of responsive tubular structures in a lightweight knitted fabric, Lumen features a canopy of recycled, photo-luminescent, and solar active textiles that absorb, collect, and deliver light. A misting system responds to visitors’ proximity, activating fabric stalactites that produce a refreshing micro-climate. Socially and environmentally responsive, Lumen’s multisensory environment is inspired by collective levity, play, and interaction as the structure and materials transform throughout the day and night, adapting to the densities of bodies, heat, and sunlight.

“The Young Architects Program remains one of the most significant opportunities for architects and designers from across the country and world to build radical yet transformative ideas. This year's finalists are no exception; their projects illustrate a diversity of approaches and refreshing ideas for architecture today,” said Sean Anderson, Associate Curator in MoMA’s Department of Architecture and Design. “Jenny Sabin's catalytic immersive environment, Lumen, captured the jury's attention for imaginatively merging public and private spaces. With innovative construction and design processes borne from a critical merging of technology and nature to precise attention to detail at every scale, Lumen will no doubt engage visitors from day to night in a series of graduated environments and experiences.”

Jenny Sabin Studio. Lumen. 2017 (rendering). Winner of the Young Architects Program 2017, MoMA PS1, New York. Image Courtesy of Jenny Sabin Studio

Klaus Biesenbach, MoMA PS1 Director and MoMA Chief Curator at Large adds, "In its 18th iteration, this annual competition offered jointly by the Architecture and Design Department at MoMA and MoMA PS1 continues to take risks and encourage experimentation among architects. Jenny Sabin’s Lumen is a socially and environmentally responsive structure that spans practices and disciplines in its exploratory approach to new materials. Held in tension within the walls of MoMA PS1’s courtyard, Lumen turns visitors into participants who interact with its responsiveness to temperature, sunlight, and movement.”

The other finalists for this year’s MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program were Bureau Spectacular (Jimenez Lai and Joanna Grant), Ania Jaworska, Office of III (Sean Canty, Ryan Golenberg and Stephanie Lin), and SCHAUM/SHIEH (Rosalyne Shieh and Troy Schaum). An exhibition of the five finalists' proposed projects will be on view at The Museum of Modern Art over the summer, organized by Sean Anderson, Associate Curator, with Arièle Dionne-Krosnick, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art.

Bloomberg Philanthropies has supported the Young Architects Program since 2007. In 2016, MoMA PS1 and The Museum of Modern Art were thrilled to announce that this lead sponsorship had been extended for three years, enabling the Young Architects Program to thrive and excite audiences through summer 2018.

About Jenny Sabin Studio

Jenny Sabin Studio is an architectural design firm that investigates the intersections of architecture and science, biology, and mathematics. The principal, Jenny E. Sabin, is the Arthur L. and Isabel B. Wiesenberger Assistant Professor in the area of Design and Emerging Technologies and the newly-appointed Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Architecture at Cornell University. She is also the Director of the Sabin Design Lab at Cornell AAP, a trans-disciplinary design research lab with specialization in computational design, data visualization, and digital fabrication. Sabin’s awards include the AIA Henry Adams first prize medal, the Arthur Spayd Brooke gold medal, a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, a USA Knight Fellowship in Architecture, the Architectural League Prize for Young Architects and a national IVY Innovator in design. Sabin has exhibited nationally and internationally including in the 9th ArchiLab at FRAC Centre, Orleans, France and Beauty, the 5th Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial in New York City. Upcoming exhibitions include Imprimer Le Monde at the Pompidou Centre, Paris, France.

Selection Process

To choose an architectural firm for the 2017 Young Architects Program, deans of architecture schools and the editors of architecture publications nominate around 50 firms comprised of recent architectural school graduates, junior faculty, and established architects experimenting with new styles or techniques. These finalists are asked to submit portfolios of their work for review by a panel including Glenn D. Lowry, Director of The Museum of Modern Art; Kathy Halbreich, Associate Director at The Museum of Modern Art; Klaus Biesenbach, Director of MoMA PS1 and Chief Curator at Large at the Museum of Modern Art; Peter Reed, Senior Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs, The Museum of Modern Art; Martino Stierli, Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture & Design at The Museum of Modern Art; Sean Anderson, Associate Curator of Architecture at The Museum of Modern Art.

Design Team

Project lead and manager: Dillon Pranger
Design & Representation: Jingyang Liu Leo, Diego Blanco, Mark Lien
Robotic Fabrication: Andrew Moorman and Andres Gutierrez
Virtual Reality: Christopher Morse
Content Coordination: Jordan Berta
Model Assistance: Jasmine Liu
Video: Cole Skaggs
Engineering Design: Clayton Binkley, Arup
Lighting Design: Jeffrey Nash
Knit Fabrication: Shima Seiki WHOLEGARMENT
Misting Systems: Mist Cooling Inc. with special thanks to Larry Geohring


This year marks the 20th summer that MoMA PS1 has hosted an architectural installation and music series in its outdoor space, though it is only the 18th year of the Young Architects Program, which began in 2000. The inaugural project was an architecturally based 1998 installation by the Austrian artist collective Gelatin. In 1999, Philip Johnson’s DJ Pavilion celebrated the historic affiliation of MoMA PS1 and MoMA. The previous winners of the Young Architects Program are SHoP/Sharples Holden Pasquarelli (2000), ROY (2001), William E. Massie (2002), Tom Wiscombe / EMERGENT (2003), nARCHITECTS (2004), Xefirotarch (2005), OBRA (2006), Ball-Nogues (2007), WORKac (2008), MOS (2009), Solid Objectives – Idenburg Liu (2010), Interboro Partners (2011), HWKN (2012), CODA (2013), The Living (2014), Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation (2015), and Escobedo Soliz Studio (2016).

To learn more, check out our exclusive interview with Jenny Sabin:


ArchiLab, Naturalizing Architecture: The Architects

About this author
Cite: Eduardo Souza. "Jenny Sabin Studio Selected as Winner of the MoMA PS1 2017 Young Architects Program " 17 Feb 2017. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

You've started following your first account!

Did you know?

You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.