The Architectural League of New York has revealed the winners of their 2018 Emerging Voices awards. Launched in 1982, the coveted honor recognizes eight emerging practices across the United States, Canada and Mexico for their "distinct design voices." Past winners include some of the today's most prominent practitioners and practices in the region, such as Steven Holl, Tatiana Bilbao, Jeanne Gang, WORKac, and recent MacArthur Genius, Kate Orff.
Winners are selected through a juried, invite-only portfolio competition. Jurors evaluate significant bodies of realized work, considering each candidate's accomplishments within the design and academic communities while also taking into account how the work addresses larger issues in the built environment and landscape. Contenders this year were judged first, by a panel of past Emerging Voices winners, and secondly, by a jury including Sunil Bald, Lisa Gray, Stella Betts, Jing Liu, Paul Makovsky, Tom Phifer, Chris Reed, and Billie Tsien.
2018 recipients include three practices from Mexico, a few from the south and southwest, and two hailing from the East Coast. Ranging in size and scope of their work, “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 Rieselback.
Check out this year's winning practices below.
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 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."
Jesica Amescua and Mariana Ordóñez Grajales
Comunal: Taller de Arquitectura | Mexico City
"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 contexutal 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."
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."
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. "
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