The Architectural League of New York has announced the winners of the 41st cycle of the annual Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers. Open to young architects and designers ten years or less out of a bachelor’s or master’s degree program, the award seeks to recognize visionary work by young practitioners and encourage the development of talented young architects and designers.
One of North America’s most prestigious prizes, this 2022 edition asked participants to reflect on the substance of design’s foundations, on Grounding. In fact, the brief asks “How can designers respond to both the particularities of location and the ubiquity of global forces?” The jury consisted of this year’s Young Architects + Designers Committee, Luis Beltrán del Río García, Tei Carpenter, and Gabriel Cuéllar in addition to Chris T. Cornelius, Carla Juaçaba, Lola Sheppard, and Mabel O. Wilson. Selecting laureates from New York, Texas, Michigan, and Mexico City, the League Prize is a portfolio competition.
Read on to discover the profiles of the 6 winners.
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New York, NY
Citygroup is an architecture collective founded in 2018 in New York City. Headquartered in a Lower East Side storefront, it partners with a wide variety of local organizations to develop and promote equitable design solutions to some of New York’s most pressing issues. Through design projects, public events, and grassroots activism, Citygroup aims to “interrogate the conditions that subjugate, alienate, and appropriate architects, architecture, and inhabitants of architecture,” according to its website. Recent projects include an exhibition and teach-in focused on proposed rezoning in Manhattan’s Chinatown, and a debate series exploring issues related to architecture and the city.
Nathan Friedman and Francisco Quiñones
Departamento del Distrito
Mexico City, Mexico
Departamento del Distrito is a Mexico City-based design practice founded in 2017. Its work operates at the intersection of politics, identity, and the built environment, spanning a wide variety of topics and forms. Across its diverse projects, Departamento del Distrito synthesizes design and research “to expand upon local sites of interest, linking them to geographies, time periods, and subjects that reach beyond their immediate bounds,” according to the firm. Recent projects include a house in northern Mexico that integrates historic stone ruins and a free publication series that explores modernist architectural preservation in Mexico City.
Isaac Stein and Maggie Tsang
Founded in 2019, Dept. is a landscape architecture and urban design studio based in Houston, Texas. The practice operates at a wide range of intersecting scales, from temporary site-specific installations to urban-scale masterplans. Through careful research into each project’s web of social and ecological contexts, Dept. aims to produce “creative, useful, and adaptive design responses for the public and the environment,” according to its website. Recent projects include a 10,000-square-foot “living installation” featuring native prairie species in Houston, and a plan for a network of small stormwater retention parks in flood-prone North Miami.
Farzin Farzin is an Ithaca-based collaborative multidisciplinary design studio founded in 2008. The practice works across architecture, urbanism, computation, and media to investigate the technologies that govern contemporary life. Through varied modes of research and fabrication, Farzin Farzin produces architectural exhibitions that “creat[e] opportunities to pose important questions to the public and make new urgencies evident,” according to the firm’s website. Recent collaborative projects include an installation that revisits an archive of documentary films produced for a 1976 United Nations conference, and an exhibition that exposes and critiques Rio de Janeiro’s smart city control systems.
Xavi Laida Aguirre
stock-a-studio is an architectural design practice founded by Xavi Laida Aguirre in 2015. The practice blurs the boundaries between the physical and the digital, creating mixed-reality spaces that interrogate the circular movement of contemporary commodities. Through iterative experiments in materials reuse, temporary architectures, and product manipulation, stock-a-studio “links material resources to the immaterial systems that proliferate and qualify them,” according to the firm’s website. Recent projects include a public-facing digital catalog of customizable parts for small architecture and furniture design projects, and a 20,000-square-foot scenic architecture installation for an immersive live performance in Berlin and Los Angeles.
Jose Amozurrutia and Carlos Facio
Mexico City, Mexico
TO is a Mexico City-based architecture and design practice that was founded in 2015. Often located in public spaces, TO’s projects deploy simple tectonic solutions using local vernacular construction methods and materials. According to the firm’s competition portfolio, it engages in frequent “dialogue with the people that use their knowledge, culture, and hands to build: masonry workers, carpenters, ironworkers, artisans, and anyone who is driven by the wish of turning ideas into built and inhabitable environment[s].” Recent projects include an open-air music classroom built of recycled masonry materials in a suburb of Mexico City, and an outdoor museum pavilion that converts construction rubble into roof tiles.
This year’s League Prize programming and exhibition will follow a hybrid onsite and online model. The Digital Exhibition will be launched on June 14 and will feature original material created by each of the winners. The Online lecture series will take place on the 15, 22, and 29 of June, at 6:30 p.m. EDT.
News and winners profile via The Architectural League of New York Committee