The AIANY announced the six winning firms in the 2020 New Practices New York Awards, which distinguishes young architecture and design firms who push the boundaries of architectural practice through their work. The competition is open to firms who have been operating since 2010 and are located within New York City's five boroughs. This year's edition also invited multidisciplinary firms to broaden its reach to designers and young professionals in the process of becoming licensed architects.
Considering the 2020 theme of “Pause”, the jury picked six firms who responded to how emerging architecture practices define themselves and what they aspire to contribute to the field.
BRANDT : HAFERD
BRANDT : HAFERD is reflective by nature—a young practice whose work began with the design of interactive public installations across New York City. The firm is committed to new forms of civic and client engagement, to inventing ways of being together, and to expanding its territory (geographic and professional) in search of new audiences for design. Identity is a persistent theme in the firm’s work. Feminist, black, queer, and parallel approaches to practice imbue their work and provide a critical lens. BRANDT : HAFERD describes its scrappy use of digital and analog tools and resources in urban sites as “guerilla research,” expanding this discourse into imaginative re-toolings of POPS and low-density and underutilized lots.
Citygroup (not Citigroup) is a collective of architects and artists committed to using their professional skills to defend the city as a place of inhabitation for all people. Located in a storefront on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the collective formed to challenge the structural and cultural forces that shape the normative practices of architecture. Citygroup recognizes that architecture tends to be beholden to conservative authority, both economic and political, and perceives that the architectural profession, as it is framed today, may not be able to confront the global housing crisis or to protect the city from unbridled profit-driven development. As a collective, they are unwilling to defer to the status quo and believe they must interrogate the conditions that subjugate, alienate, and appropriate architects and architecture. This monumental task is pursued through design projects, exhibitions, installations, and discussions.
GRT Architects engages, innovates, and communicates by building. Founded by Tal Schori and Rustam Mehta, the firm has grown its practice exclusively with commissions and collaborations resulting in built work. As architects who studied history before design, the firm leaders find truth more interesting than fiction. They look for what makes projects unique and craft responses that they hope are both surprising and appropriate. GRT Architects leverages a combination of technical, visual, and historical literacy to bring more to a project than a client asks for. The firm’s love and respect for history yields an understanding that the past is layered and compatible with new work, executed confidently in its own voice.
new affiliates is an award-winning New York-based design practice led by Ivi Diamantopoulou and Jaffer Kolb. The practice learns through building and experimenting with forms and materials to blur the lines between volume, structure, decoration, and surface. Alongside commissioned work, new affiliates looks to initiate projects and collaborations that focus on matters of reuse within a context of material excess, particularly as it relates to current standards of practice. The firm has completed a range of work from interiors to ground-up projects, alongside a series of collaborations with institutions.
NILE is a modernist design studio. While pursuing those antiquated lessons about structure, utility and beauty, the firm also works in the present and stays aware of what is interesting and what is good. NILE believes in encouraging freedom while maintaining structural clarity. While we’re all living together, we might as well live in utopias, oases, and other beautiful, clear constructions. NILE collaborates with so many great people—institutions, friends, corporations, graphic designers, artists, developers, architects, fabricators, landlords, and more. The studio was started by Nile Greenberg, who also serves as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University GSAPP. Before founding NILE, Greenberg worked at MOS Architects, SO – IL, and Leong Leong in New York and Los Angeles.
Bryony Roberts Studio
Bryony Roberts Studio approaches design as a social practice. Integrating methods from architecture, art, cultural heritage, and community engagement, the practice explores how the built environment both shapes and responds to complex social conditions. The studio approaches every project with expanded site-specificity, learning not only from the layers of built fabric and infrastructure, but also from local histories of political struggle and urban change. The studio frequently collaborates with community groups, cultural historians, and artists to produce projects that activate the public realm and celebrate overlooked narratives. Roberts teaches both architecture and historic preservation at Columbia University GSAPP, where her design studios and seminars focus on issues of gender, race, and labor.
As part of the awards program, the selected firms will receive a stipend for an installation and exhibition at the Center for Architecture, which will open on July 9, 2020. Wax Studios will design the exhibition.
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