Research can be hard to justify, even in an industry that prides itself on results. Regardless of whether success is measured in portfolio-perfect pictures or kilowatts of energy savings, innovation in architecture wouldn’t happen without individuals willing to put themselves out there.
It is this dogged spirit of purpose-driven risk-taking that jurors Marc Fornes, Joyce Hwang, AIA, and Steven Rainville, AIA, chose to celebrate in this year’s R+D Awards. From 120 submissions, they identified nine projects—one first award, two awards, and six citations—crafted by teams that are blazing trails in the built environment, with little more than conviction as their guide.
First Award: Pulp Pavilion by Ball-Nogues Studio
Award: Bar Raval by Partisans
Award: Pure Tension Pavilion by Synthesis Design + Architecture
Citation: Bands by Eric Owen Moss Architects
Citation: Breathe Brick by Both Landscape and Architecture
Citation: Co-Robotics and Construction: OSCR 1–4 Prototypes by Rust Belt Robotics Group
Citation: Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum by Teeple Architects
Citation: Queen Richmond Centre West by Sweeny &Co Architects
Citation: Radical Railbanking by Master of None
French architect Marc Fornes is the principal and founder of TheVeryMany in New York, as well as a self-described connoisseur of computer science. His work focuses on investigating design though codes and computational protocols, and on computational skinning—the science of describing complex, curvilinear, self-supported surfaces as a series of flat elements. Fornes has designed and built an extensive body of large-scale, organic, and self-supported structures, several of which have been acquired by institutions such as the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the FRAC Centre in Orléans, France. His studio has received many awards, including the 2013 Architectural League Prize from the Architectural League of New York.
Fornes previously worked at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in New York, Zaha Hadid Architects in London, and Ross Lovegrove's Studio X in London. He received a master of architecture and urbanism from the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London.
Joyce Hwang, AIA, is an associate professor of architecture and the director of professional studies at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, and the director of Ants of the Prairie, an architectural practice and research office in Buffalo, N.Y., that focuses on confronting contemporary ecological conditions through creative means. She is currently developing a series of projects that incorporate wildlife habitats into constructed environments, such as Bat Tower and Bat Cloud. She has received several design and arts awards, including the 2014 Emerging Voices Award from the Architectural League of New York, and is a co-editor of the forthcoming book Beyond Patronage: Reconsidering Models of Practice (Actar, 2015).
Previously, Hwang has worked in practices in New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Barcelona, Spain. She received a post-professional M.Arch. from Princeton University and a B.Arch. from Cornell University.
Steven Rainville, AIA, is a principal at Seattle-based Olson Kundig Architects, which he joined in 1996. He has collaborated on some of the firm’s most recognized projects, including Chicken Point Cabin and Outpost, both of which are located in Idaho and received awards from AIA. He is also the director of the firm’s R&D department, which investigates and implements progressive ideas, as well as the founder of Mind Mine, the firm’s forum for crowd-sourced ideas that break down boundaries between industries.
Rainville’s recent projects include the Washington State University Visitor Center and the school's Museum of Art in Pullman, Wash., the Wagner Education Center at the Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle, and the Carraig Ridge Net Zero Passive House prototype in Alberta, Canada. He received his B.Arch. from Washington State.