Winners of the Architectural League Prize Announced

Thoma_MoranThe Architectural League of New York announced six winners for the 2015 Architectural League Prize. As one of North America’s most prestigious awards for young practitioners, since 1981 the Prize recognizes provocative and exemplary work and provides a public outlet for the exchange of ideas. The portfolio competition invites designers around North America who have been out of school 10 years maximum.

Hosted by the League and the Young Architects + Designers Committee, this year’s competition theme was Authenticity, which asks how recent advances in computation, visualization, material intelligence, and fabrication technologies are altering our theoretical understanding of design principles. The theme also examines the architect’s role in these advances as well as practical approaches towards architecture and research.

This year’s winners are:

  • Dan Adams and Marie Adams, Landing Studio, Somerville, MA
  • Erin Besler, Besler & Sons, Los Angeles, CA
  • Seth McDowell and Rychiee Espinosa, mcdowellespinosa, Scottsville, VA and Brooklyn, NY
  • Thom Moran, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Anna Neimark and Andrew Atwood, First Office, Los Angeles, CA
  • Clark Thenhaus, Endemic, Ann Arbor, MI

Thom Moran, Ann Arbor, MI

“Thom Moran is an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based designer. Moran’s collaborative design work focuses on, in his words, ‘using humor to investigate the relationships between architecture, environments and objects.’ He also collaborates on projects and exhibitions at the Detroit-based initiative THING THING.”

Erin Besler, Besler & Sons, Los Angeles, CA

“Erin Besler founded Los Angeles, California-based Besler & Sons in 2014. Her work, in her own words, ‘references and reuses things that are already in circulation,’ which she then seeks to ‘refit into a slightly different framework.’ Besler has described her work as operating ‘between multiple sites of production’— in both educational and professional contexts.”

Anna Neimark and Andrew Atwood, First Office, Los Angeles, CA

“Anna Niemark and Andrew Atwood founded Los Angeles, California-based First Office in 2011. The practice covers a variety of scales, from furniture design to building headquarters, landscape interventions, and conceptual installations.”

Dan Adams and Marie Adams, Landing Studio, Somerville, MA

“Dan Adams and Marie Adams founded Somerville, Massachusetts-based Landing Studio in 2005. The studio describes its focus as ‘developing design tactics for positively integrating active global industries and infrastructures into their local contexts.’ The studio’s clients and projects include port facilities, headquarters buildings, demolition plans, shared industrial/public park landscapes, ocean transport, and mining operations worldwide.”

Seth McDowell and Rychiee Espinosa, mcdowellespinosa, Scottsville, VA and Brooklyn, NY

“Seth McDowell and Rychiee Espinosa founded Scottsville, Virginia and Brooklyn, New York-based mcdowellespinosa in 2010. Their practice, concerned with the ‘transformation of waste, excess and the ordinary into new spatial and material realities,’ emerged from their project Water Fuel: The Plan for a Self-Sustaining New York, which earned first place in the Self-Sufficient City competition held by the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia. These investigations are explored at diverse scales and formats from the city to the object, from architecture to product design.”

Clark Thenhaus, Endemic, Ann Arbor, MI

“Clark Thenhaus founded the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based design research office Endemic in 2010. The studio’s work engages the duality of the term ‘endemic’s’ definition: on one hand, ‘the traditional meaning concerning context, language, and material sensibilities as an intensely local construct,’ and on the other, ‘as a term of the discipline itself, thus making contact with fundamental, cross-cultural conversations on technique, history, form, and process as inherent to the practice of architecture.”

— Anna Kats (@coldwarcasual)

Image courtesy Thom Moran.