The Architectural League of New York has announced six winners of its 39th annual Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers, which recognizes innovative design professional who completed an undergraduate or master’s degree program less than 10 years ago. This year’s awards centered on the concept Value, which the League describes as “a slippery construct in architecture, leading to thoughts of numbers, colors, measurement, worth, and ethics,” in a press release.
“Value can be personal or shared, analytical or sensorial,” the League said in the same release. “It suggests economic and aesthetic highs and lows and hints at the ideological urgencies that undergird and influence the production of architecture. In its many forms, value demonstrates a stance toward the wider world, influencing how we act, sense, imagine, and create, both collectively and individually.”
Given social constraints during the COVID-19 pandemic, the League will present this year’s awards in an online ceremony and the winners will deliver streamed lectures and contribute to a digital exhibition.
The jury for this year's League Prize comprised Kutan Ayata, Mira Henry, Kevin Hirth, Lucia Allais, Paul Lewis, Anna Puigjaner, and Nanako Umemoto.
The 2020 League Prize winners are:
David Eskenazi of D.esk in Los Angeles
From the League: David Eskenazi founded Los Angeles-based d.esk in 2014. According to the architect, his practice aims “to contribute to the history of ideas in architecture through a close look at contemporary conundrums.” Experimenting with scale, materiality, and design processes, Eskenazi also pursues research through writing and is on the faculty of Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). He was awarded a 2017 MacDowell Fellowship and a 2015 Willard A. Oberdick Fellowship from the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
Garrett Ricciardi and Julian Rose of Formlessfinder in Los Angeles and New York
From the League: Garrett Ricciardi and Julian Rose founded Formlessfinder, based in Los Angeles and New York City, in 2010 as “a laboratory for methodological experimentation oriented toward the introduction of moments of formlessness into architecture.” Their work ranges from “traditional architectural representations such as models and drawings to videos, photography, structural and material tests, writings, and interviews.” Formlessfinder received the 2012 AIA NY New Practices award. Ricciardi currently teaches at UCLA.
Leslie Lok and Sasa Zivkovic of Hannah in Ithaca, N.Y.
(Read more about Hannah, featured in ARCHITECT's Next Progressives section, here.)
From the League: Leslie Lok and Sasa Zivkovic founded HANNAH, based in Ithaca, New York, in 2012. Digital design and fabrication technologies are intrinsic to their work, which ranges from 3D-printed concrete architectural elements to full-scale seating and structures. They describe their work’s structural performance and architectural expression as “inherently derived from materiality, digital construction protocols, robotic routines, and bottom-up design logics.” HANNAH was recognized in Architect Magazine’s 2018 Next Progressive series. Both Lok and Zivkovic are assistant professors at Cornell University.
Isaac Michan Daniel of Michan Architecture in Mexico City
From the League: Isaac Michan Daniel founded Mexico City-based Michan Architecture in 2010. He describes the practice “as a laboratory of architecture, exploring new possibilities within the discipline.” Its work ranges from temporary installations to commercial spaces and large-scale residential projects. Michan Architecture received a 2019 Design Vanguard award from Architectural Record, a 2017 Architecture MasterPrize for AL Apartment, and a 2015 Architizer Award for Z53 Social Housing.
(Read more about New Affiliates, featured in ARCHITECT's Next Progressives section, here.)
From the League: Ivi Diamantopoulou and Jaffer Kolb founded their New York City-based firm in 2016. Relating this year’s theme, Value, to their firm’s emphasis on re-use for projects including installations, pavilions, and residential projects, the partners describe how they “scavenge for parts to reconstruct fragments, surfaces, and forms out of byproducts; to find hidden moments of value and invent new visual languages and disciplinary tools along the way.” Diamantopoulou is a visiting critic at Syracuse University and Kolb is an adjunct assistant professor at Columbia University GSAPP. New Affiliates won a 2020 AIA New York New Practices Award.
Luis Beltrán del Río García and Andrew Sosa Martínez of Vrtical in Mexico City
From the League: Mexico City-based studio Vrtical was founded in 2014 by Luis Beltrán del Río García and Andrew Sosa Martínez. The practice is “dedicated to the democratization of architectural service,” as the architects describe it, aiming to understand and respond to the needs of the individuals and communities it serves. The practice was selected for the Young Latin American Architects exhibition at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale. del Río is a professor at UNAM and Universidad Iberoamericana. Sosa teaches at CENTRO.