by AIA New York
On Friday, February 14, the AIANY New Practices Committee welcomed the New Practices New York 2020 competition jury to the Center for Architecture, where they announced the competition’s six winners:
With its eighth biennial competition, the AIANY New Practices Committee continues to serve as a platform for new and innovative models of architecture practice. Considering this year’s theme of “Pause,” the jury selected six firms that took a moment to consider the question of how emerging architecture firms define themselves and what they aspire to contribute. To qualify for this year’s competition, practices had to be founded since 2010 and be located within the five boroughs of New York City. The competition was open to multidisciplinary firms, widening the field of entrants to designers and young professionals currently in the process of becoming licensed architects.
As part of the award, firms will receive a stipend for an installation and exhibition at the Center for Architecture, which will open on July 9, 2020.
ABOUT THE WINNERS
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. Bringing folks together, structuring production / play, and coordinating for learning are strengths of the practice’s collaboration. Co-production, collective drawing, and exchange are meaningful to the aesthetic of the practice. An interest in scale, the land, and regional architecture continues to bridge the studio’s practice and teaching. Who has access, and how sharing can lead to health, are motivators when they re-think co-living, intergenerational exchange, and even representation.
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. Expanding the palette of architectural techniques, the studio experiments with performance, film, and events to address the nuances of social histories and to inspire participation from non-architectural audiences. This work has gained support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Graham Foundation, the Getty Foundation, and the American Academy in Rome. Bryony Roberts Studio’s work emerges in close dialogue with research projects and publications. 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.
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. Participation defines membership in Citygroup, as they seek to value use, encounter, and the authorship of the collective over that of the individual. Unlike a conventional architectural practice, there are no principal architects who set the vision and approach of the work. Through deliberation, and occasionally contentious discourse, the aim is to establish an enclave for the production of theory and strategy that supports an alternative approach to architecture and a life of dignity for everyone in the city.
GRT Architects engages, innovates, and communicates by building. 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. Founders Tal Schori and Rustam Mehta met in third grade and proceeded, unintentionally, to attend the same university and architecture school. After working at different firms for seven years they decided to do the right thing and start a business together.
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. From the hundreds of bins of used drywall produced by art-world institutions, to large-scale high-end mockups—what if these all had afterlives? Through this work they have made built ongoing collaborations with city agencies (the Parks Department, the Department of Sanitation), civic collectives (community groups, neighborhood advocates), and the building industry (developers and manufacturers). The firm has completed a range of work from interiors to ground-up projects, alongside a series of collaborations with institutions including New York’s Jewish Museum, The Shed, and the Canadian Center for Architecture. They have exhibited in venues from Storefront for Art and Architecture to the Venice Architecture Biennale and the Onassis Cultural Center, and their work has been published in numerous design magazines internationally.
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. The forthcoming book The Advanced School of Collective Feeling, co-authored by Greenberg and Matthew Kennedy, will be published by Park Books in Winter 2020. The book Two Sides of the Border, also by Greenberg, will be published by Lars Müller Publishers in Spring 2020. Before founding NILE, Greenberg worked at MOS Architects, SO – IL, and Leong Leong in New York and Los Angeles. This past experience focused on cultural, public and residential architecture. Greenberg holds a Masters of Architecture from Columbia University.