The Architectural League of New York has announced the recipients of its 2018 Emerging Voices awards, spotlighting individuals and firms “with distinct design voices and the potential to influence the disciplines of architecture, landscape design, and urbanism.”
Established in 1982, the annual Emerging Voices program has identified more than 250 young practices that have since gone on to develop influential careers. Some past winners have included: Steven Holl (1982); Morphosis (1983); Coleman Coker and Samuel Mockbee (1990); Toshiko Mori (1992); Deborah Berke (1993); Enrique Norten (1994); Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works (1996); Michael Maltzan (1998); Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi (1997); James Corner of Field Operations (2001); SHoP Architects (2001); Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis Architects (2002); Jeanne Gang (2006); Teddy Cruz (2006); Amale Andraos and Dan Wood of WORKac (2008); Tatiana Bilbao (2010); and Elena Brescia and Kate Orff of SCAPE / LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE (2012).
This year, portfolios submitted by approximately 50 firms were reviewed by a two-stage jury to narrow down the list to a group of finalist, and then the 8 winners.
“This year’s group of winners are unified by the intensity of their social engagement, honoring and enriching place, fueled by hands on commitment to rethinking traditional approaches to design, materials, and construction,” said League Program Director Anne Rieselbach.
2018 Emerging Voices
Ersela Kripa, Stephen Mueller / AGENCY; El Paso, Texas
AGENCY was founded in 2010. Partners Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller use research, publication, and design to explore broad-ranging issues such as material ecology, government policy, and ethics. Recent projects include Fronts, a research project and book focusing on the relationship between military doctrine and informal urbanism; Breach, which explores the simulated environments developed to train military and security forces; and Border Dispatches, a series of Architect’s Newspaper articles about the U.S.–Mexico border.
Fernanda Canales; Mexico City
Fernanda Canales grew up in Mexico City, where her eponymous firm was founded. She believes “architecture is about creating connections between people, territories, and history.” Recent projects include Bruma House (with Claudia Rodríguez), a residence divided into different modules organized around a central patio, with each location based on views, orientation, and vegetation; Reading Rooms, flexible community spaces that can be built by residents of low-income neighborhoods; and The Monterrey School of Higher Learning in Design, a new campus on the city’s outskirts.
Founded in 2015, Mexico City-based Comunal: Taller de Arquitectura provides design services to underserved communities. Their work centers around five methodological axes which they feel are fundamental to “developing inclusive, participatory, and contextual projects.” Recent work includes Childbirth Houses, designs for midwife workspaces informed by extensive dialogue with an indigenous Chiapas community; and Territory and Inhabitant, a research project for a house that could be built in Yucatán for less than $10,000.
Stephanie Davidson and Georg Rafailidis / Davidson Rafailidis; Buffalo, New York
Stephanie Davidson and Georg Rafailidis established Davidson Rafailidis in 2008. Both are members of the architecture faculty at the University of Buffalo and have also taught at the RWTH Aachen University in Germany and the University of Toronto. Recent projects include He, She & It, a structure with three distinct workspaces for a Buffalo couple; Café Fargo (Tipico Coffee), a coffee shop in a former corner store also in Buffalo; and Mirror, Mirror, the winner of a competition aimed at reimagining the street festival tent.
Luis Aldrete / Luis Aldrete Estudio de Arquitectura ; Guadalajara, Mexico
Since establishing his firm in 2007, Luis Aldrete has designed residential, hospitality, and cultural facilities, where he works with local craftspeople to employ construction techniques developed over generations. Recent projects include BF Residence, a Guadalajara house whose program nods to the traditional Mexican hacienda; Rinconada Margaritas Residential Complex, a high-rise development in Guadalajara that responds to an adjacent ravine; and Pilgrim Route Shelters, an infrastructural network of shelters designed with other collaborators to support an annual Jalisco pilgrimage.
David Seiter / Future Green Studio; Brooklyn, New York
David Seiter established Future Green Studio in 2008 as a landscape architecture firm that recognizes a “deep integration” between architecture and landscape with an emphasis on research, fabrication, and horticulture. Recent projects include Nowadays, a Queens performance venue with a laid-back, parklike atmosphere; Spontaneous Urban Plants: Weeds in NYC, a book promoting the aesthetic and ecological benefits of weeds; and Half Street, a block-long pedestrian plaza in Washington, D.C. that uses green infrastructure to manage stormwater runoff.
Helen Leung and Elizabeth Timme / LA-Más; Los Angeles, California
Nonprofit urban design group LA-Más focuses on underserved Los Angeles neighborhoods. It collaborates with community members, government agencies, and developers with a goal to grow cities equitably through design projects and policy initiatives. Recent work includes Go Avenue 26, enhanced public transit access near a major highway overpass in East Los Angeles; and “Backyard Basics: An Alternative Story for the Accessory Dwelling Unit,” a conceptual proposal exploring how collectively developed accessory dwelling units could serve as a model for affordable housing along the LA River.
Chris Baribeau, Josh Siebert, and Jason Wright / modus studio; Fayetteville, Arkansas
Established in 2008, modus studio works across a variety of scales, from furniture design to master planning. The studio is founded on the idea that “relevant and inspiring architecture can be sourced from simple, everyday experiences.” Recent projects include Green Forest Middle School, a reinterpretation of traditional school design for a small agricultural community; Eco Modern Flats, a renovation of four dated Fayetteville apartment buildings to improve aesthetics, performance, and sustainability; and a transformation of a warehouse on a brownfield site into a University of Arkansas sculpture studio.
The 2018 Emerging Voices jury included:
First Round Jury
- Virginia San Fratello
- Sebastian Schmaling
- Wonne Ickx
- Lola Sheppard
- Marcelo Spina
- Carlos Jimenez
- Marlon Blackwell
Second Round Jury
- Sunil Bald
- Lisa Gray
- Stella Betts
- Jing Liu
- Paul Makovsky
- Tom Phifer
- Chris Reed
- Billie Tsien
News via The Architectural League of New York