The rite of passage for architects known as Emerging Voices has for 27 years told us whom to watch. The Architectural League-sponsored lecture series has been dependably prescient in its selection of talent on the rise, whether it was Morphosis in 1983, Toshiko Mori in 1992, or Teddy Cruz in 2006. Probably of even greater fascination is the map of interests that the series plots from year to year. The lines are not hard-drawn, but over time, and retrospectively, they become clear indicators of the profession’s concerns and direction.
Last year, Anne Rieselbach, program director at the League, wondered if 2010 would produce more theoretical thinking and speculative projects. Intriguingly, that has not been the case. Instead, readers will find not only a broad geographical diversity in firms hailing from Vancouver to Milwaukee to Mexico City, but also that their commissions are spread all over the globe, from Anchorage to Beirut to China.
Firm size is clearly no longer a bar to innovative ideas finding expression abroad. While intensity is the likely hallmark of these ambitious firms, an even more encouraging sign is the consistent commitment to finding ways to get involved from within the system—be it bureaucratic, academic, or social—in order to change not only buildings themselves but how the world is built.
Emerging Voices 2010