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The Architectural League of New York has announced the newest cohort of North America–based practitioners—including four individuals and two collectives—to join the ranks of Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers awardees. Now in its 43rd edition, the portfolio-based competition was established in 1981 as the Young Architects’ Forum and is open to architects and designers less than ten years out of a bachelor’s or master’s degree program. 

Each winner responded to this year’s theme of Dirty, which implored entrants to get candid and go off the cuff by “looking beyond their presentations of professionalism, respectability, and expertise.” The 2024 League Prize recipients are Lola Ben-Alon of The Natural Materials Lab (Columbia University GSAPP, New York); Erik Carranza of Anonima (Mexico City); Strat Coffman (Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Los Angeles); Chase Galis, Christina Moushoul, and Sonia Sobrino Ralston of Office Party (New York), Rayshad Dorsey, Joseph James, Diego Zubizarreta Otero, Julian Owens, and Michael Urueta of Partners of Place/PoP (Greenville, South Carolina; Brooklyn, New York; Austin, Texas; Washington, D.C., and Charleston, South Carolina); and Leah Wulfman (Salt Lake City). 

As with League Prize’s past, the 2024 theme was developed by the Young Architects + Designers Committee, a rotating group comprising previous winners. For the latest cycle, the committee included Sarah Aziz, Rodrigo Escandón Cesarman, and Maggie Tsang. Joining committee members on the competition jury were Julie Bargmann, Ersela Kripa, Ann Lui, and Ben Nicholson.

In its Dirty prompt, the committee asked entrants to dish it all out …

“Dirt is matter: it is the soil, the ground, and the earth. But when dirt makes things dirty, they become unclean. To be dirty is not only a physical state of being; it is a moral position, as ‘dirty’ subjects are understood to be vulgar, illicit, unpleasant, and improper. If cleanliness is next to godliness, dirtiness is debased. [...] We prompt designers to expose the forces that shape design practice, projects, modes of representation, and communication. It’s time to dish the dirt... How do you reject sanitized ways of working with built, natural, and political environments? Show us your dirty ways and dirty things.”

The theme will be explored in a three-part online lecture series held on the evenings of June 13, June 20, and June 27 as well as a digital exhibition launching on June 11 that features original material created by the winners. More information on the 2024 League Prize programming can be found here.

Below are images of works by each 2024 League Prize awardee along with short profiles as provided by the League:

Lola Ben-Alon | The Natural Materials Lab, Columbia University GSAPP 

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The [EAT ME BUILD ME] Project, 2022 Tallinn Architecture Biennale, Tallinn, Estonia, 2022, by The Natural Materials Lab. Photo courtesy Lola Ben-Alon

The Natural Materials Lab, founded and directed by Lola Ben- Alon, investigates raw, earth, and fiber-based building materials across scales, from fabrication research and design/build projects to policy investigations and installations. The Lab, located at Columbia University GSAPP, unites experimental research with Ben-Alon’s teaching practice. Integrating emergent technologies with historical techniques, the Natural Materials Lab leverages material experimentation to “imagine and invent socially equitable and ecologically sustainable futures,” in the studio’s own words. 

Erik Carranza | Anonima


Communicating Structures, Jungle of Hoops, Mexico City, 2016, by Anonima. Photo by Oswaldo Ramírez & Anonima

Erik Carranza founded Anonima with Sindy Martínez Lortia in 2007. Based in Mexico City and Oaxaca City, the multidisciplinary studio engages in both design and research projects related to urban spatial practices, ranging across scales from street-level interventions to institutional built work to advocacy campaigns. Across this diverse portfolio, Anonima explores the ways in which architecture creates relationships between human beings and place while maintaining a “playful character” in all projects, according to the studio. 

Strat Coffman 

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Erotica Generica, Touch Points, Liberty Research Annex, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2023, by Strat Coffman. Image by Strat Coffman

Trained as an architect, Strat Coffman’s work explores the concept of “the embodied subject as an agitator of design,” says the designer. Currently located in both Ann Arbor and Los Angeles, Coffman’s practice incorporates installation, set pieces, guerilla performance, and wearable garments. Their provocative objects and installations engage the live body, often tactilely, in new orientations toward systems of design such
 as building codes and generic products, inviting, says Coffman, “misinterpretation, readjustment, and misuse.” 

Chase Galis, Christina Moushoul, Sonia Sobrino Ralston | Office Party 

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Clean Up, gta Exhibitions, ETH Zürich Department of Architecture, Zurich, 2023, by Office Party and Unmasking Space. Photo by Partners of Place

Chase Galis, Christina Moushoul, and Sonia Sobrino Ralston founded Office Party in 2021. The research and design collective produces temporary events, installations, and exhibitions internationally that investigate “the role of parties and similar ephemeral spaces as the origin of complex social and material networks with urban, political, and environmental effects,” according to the firm. In addition to live events, Office Party publishes written and editorial work, such as the collective’s journal Party Planner, further exploring the concept of parties with interdisciplinary collaborators across media formats. 

Rayshad Dorsey, Joseph James, Diego Zubizarreta Otero, Julian Owens, Michael Urueta | Partners of Place (PoP)

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Patchwork: A Black + Rural Homecoming, 2023, by Partners of Place. Image by Partners of Place

Partners of Place was established in 2023 by its five members: Rayshad Dorsey, Joseph James, Diego Zubizarreta Otero, Julian Owens, and Michael Urueta. The research, ideation, and design collective focuses on issues of social and environmental equity. Partners of Place’s speculative designs imagine a more inclusive future. Throughout their projects, the collective proposes interventions into the built environment contextualized by the social sciences, using techniques of data visualization, historical mapping, and storytelling. 

Leah Wulfman 

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EX-CHANGE 2021, Carnegie Mellon School of Architecture, Pittsburgh, 2021, by Lea Wulfman and Studio Elana Schlenker. Photo by Leah Wulfman

Traversing physical and digital realms, Leah Wulfman’s practice challenges normative uses of technology. Currently located in Salt Lake City, their work adapts the systems and logic of literature, architecture, and game forms for purposes of play and performance. Wulfman’s installations integrate digital tools such as AI and game engines with material counterparts of weeds, trash, plastic, and foam. According to Wulfman, their work seeks to frame mixed reality as “not simply THE NEXT BIG THING but a method of working that undercuts binary assumptions of gender and physicality, as well as technology.”