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AIA New York Set to Celebrate the Next Generation of Designers

Confronting today’s most challenging design questions, New Practices New York 2018 is a must-see.

Jennifer Geleff Jennifer Geleff

New York City is gearing up for an exciting exhibition showcasing the work of today’s most innovative young architecture and design firms. Opening on Thursday, April 12 at the Center for Architecture — the city’s premiere cultural venue for architecture and the built environment — New Practices New York 2018 will host the phenomenal work of the five winners of seventh biennial New Practice New York competition: Agency-Agency / Tei Carpenter, MABU / Matt Burgermaster, N H D M / Nahyun Hwang + David Eugin Moon, Only If — and PRO – Peterson Rich Office.

AIA New York

Senior Affordable Housing by Only If —; Image courtesy of Only If —

Created by the AIA New York — the oldest and largest cohort of the 90,000-member-strong national organization — the New Practices New York competition grew out of a desire to promote and support the next generation of designers, launching them forward as premiere leaders in the field. To qualify for the 2018 juried portfolio competition, each entering practice had to be founded after 2008 and located in New York City’s five boroughs.

AIA New York

Remaking a Metamorphosis by MABU; Image courtesy of MABU

This year’s distinguished panel of jurors was composed of Beatrice Galilee of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dan Howarth of Dezeen, Jeffrey Inaba of Inaba Williams, Andrés Jaque of the Office for Political Innovation, Hilary Sample of MOS Architects and Rosalyne Shieh of Schaum/Shieh. Particularly, with this year’s theme “Consequence,” the jury had a specially attuned eye for firms that are not merely working on the margins, but rather actively and constructively engaging with their city, society and context with innovative strategies.  

According to Howarth, “As part of the deliberation process, we discussed how young practices in NYC should position themselves. We were looking for them to think about the problems of the city and the people of NYC and beyond. We selected firms that really make a difference and actively embed that in their work.” Not only is each of this year’s winners pushing boundaries in the field of design, but they are also using their work to engage with critical issues facing our cities, on a variety of different scales. They are allowing today’s unstable times to inspire and liberate their architectural practice. 

AIA New York

Project for Chevy in The Hole by N D H M; Image courtesy of N D H M

The exhibition, which will remain on display until July 7, will include built, unbuilt and speculative work explored through a range of mediums, such as photography, renderings and 3D models. The immersive exhibition will also dive into the influences and motivations behind these practices by presenting objects, books, materials and images that served as inspiration for the artists’ works. Finally, the space will feature custom furniture, which was thoughtfully designed through a collaboration between Alex Lin Studio and MOS Architects, with fabrication courtesy of MG McGrath.

AIA New York

New Tenement Rendering by PRO – Peterson Rich Office; Image courtesy of PRO – Peterson Rich Office

“The seventh edition of the New Practices New York competition continues to show NYC’s rich and vibrant architectural scene,” said Benjamin Cadena, AIA, LEED AP, and Koray Duman, AIA, LEED AP, AIANY New Practices Committee Co-Chairs. This year’s five winners will be added to a long line of notable young practices selected over the years, including SO-IL, David Benjamin The Living, WORKac, SOFTlab and dlandstudio architecture + landscape architecture. 

The 2018 awards season will also feature an extra special addition to watch out for. Starting this year, the AIANY New Practices Committee will launch a series of publications related to the competition and its winners, memorializing the work of these incredible practitioners in print. The stunning, limited-edition booklet will contain the winning firm’s projects, processes and inspirations, as well as interviews with the firm principals.

AIA New York

Testbed by Agency Agency; Image courtesy of Agency Agency

In the face of what sometimes feels like an ever-growing amalgam of social issues, New Practice New York forwards a welcome sense of relief. A setting to reflect on what cutting edge architects and designers are doing to grapple with and actively address today’s context, this year’s AIANY exhibition is a must-see.

Cover image features Mental Health by Design by PRO; image courtesy of PRO