/ Announcement / Three Visionary Forge Prize Finalists to Present Their Ideas–Live

Three Visionary Forge Prize Finalists to Present Their Ideas–Live

Parul Dubey on May 6, 2020 - in Announcement, Events, News

CHICAGO – Three emerging architects will compete for $10,000 in what promises to be a very inspiring YouTube event.

The American Institute of Steel Construction has selected three finalists for The Forge Prize, which celebrates emerging architects who create visionary designs that embrace steel as the primary structural component to increase project speed.

“With the Forge Prize, we eliminated all constraints to creativity,” said Alex Morales, Associate AIA, LEED GA, AISC’s Structural Steel Specialist for the Houston market, who leads the Forge Prize program. “The Forge Prize presents emerging architects with an opportunity, on a national platform, to be forward-thinking, daring, and innovative in design proposals that highlight the dynamic characteristics of structural steel and how their visions may fit into our buildings of the future. Our three finalists took full advantage of this creative freedom and I’m excited to see what they do next.”

On May 13, they will present their designs to a jury of outstanding architects, with a handsome cash prize at stake for the most promising revolutionary idea. Tune in to youtube.com/AISCsteelTV at 12:45 p.m. Central to join the fun.

About the designs

The three final designs are very different from one another, but they all offer intriguing visions for the future.

Ilgar Aziz of SBLM Architects proposed the Twig Structural System of organically inspired, modular structural steel components that can be used as load-bearing columns or simply as art installations.

Aziz will work with Cast Connex to further develop the design, which “moves outside of conventional methods of steel construction and proposes advantages to both shop and field work through modularization and repetition of connections,” said Cast Connex Vice President Jennifer Anna Pazdon, PE.

“Close collaboration between engineers, architects, and builders at the outset of a project leads to the best outcome,” Pazdon said. “With the Forge Prize, we’re able to practice this best-practice for future realizations.”

Daphne M. Florán-Meléndez of Lockwood, Andrews, & Newnam, Inc. designed a pedestrian multi-purpose complex that would rejuvenate an abandoned Tallahassee site, using steel-framed housing units that are stackable so the complex can grow vertically as needed.

Floran will work with SteelFab, Inc. on the next stage of the competition. “Any opportunity to work alongside architects to showcase what steel construction has to offer is great for the steel construction business as a whole,” said SteelFab, Inc. Texas Division Vice President Darren J. Cook.

Rosannah Harding and Matthew Ostrow of HardingOstrow created a design for a striking cantilevered footbridge and elevated park that relies on the inherent strength of plate steel and the weather-resistant properties of hardy weathering steel.

Ostrow and Harding will work with STS Steel, Inc. to refine the concept. “I am looking forward to working with Matt and Rosannah to help them achieve their vision of a unique and delicate structure that enhances the pedestrian’s experience in this vibrant and evolving area of Manhattan,” STS Steel, Inc. President Glenn R. Tabolt, PE, said. “I find it inspiring to work with creative architects who find new ways to enhance our experience in the built environment.” 


About the judges

Matt Dumich, FAIA – Principal and Workplace Studio Leader, SmithGroup

Matthew Dumich, FAIA is a principal at SmithGroup in Chicago. A dynamic leader and consensus builder, he is known for his collaborative design approach and ability to execute complex, high-performance projects, totaling over 10,000,000 sq. ft constructed worldwide to date. Dumich served as the 2017 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Chicago Board president and is the co-founder of Bridge, a leadership program that pairs young architects with FAIA mentors. In 2019, AIA President William J. Bates, FAIA appointed Dumich to lead the National Emerging Professional Task Force. Dumich also serves on the board of trustees for the Chicago Architecture Center. Additional honors for his leadership and service include inclusion in 2015 Crain’s Chicago Business 40 Under 40, 2013 AIA National Young Architects Award, 2012 AIA Chicago Dubin Family Young Architect Award, and 2011 Building Design + Construction 40 Under 40.

Rebekah Gandy, AIA, LEED AP – Project Architect, Gensler

Rebekah Gandy is a project architect at Gensler. In her 11 years of professional experience, she has served multiple market sectors, including civic, higher education, and science technology. Gandy actively incorporates new industry ideas in all of her projects. Gandy co-founded and serves as Chair of the Christopher Kelley Leadership Design Program (CKLDP) at her local AIA Houston chapter. She has also dedicated time as program chair for Women in Architecture (WiA) Houston, as an Architecture Construction Engineering (ACE) mentor, and as a speaker at the Texas Society of Architects annual conference. 

David Sadinsky – Partner and Design Director, Turner Exhibits

As a designer with over 25 years’ experience, David has held leadership roles at NBBJ in Seattle and was a founding member of Uni-Systems, a kinetic design firm in Minneapolis. He has led multi-disciplinary teams of architects and engineers to form artistic and effective solutions to complex problems. In addition to leading the construction of the Amazon Spheres, he has designed skyscrapers, theaters, and operable roofs for stadiums. With patents in kinetic design and industrial processes, David has led projects for Amazon, Microsoft, The Boeing Company, the Houston Astros, American Airlines, and the Pacific Science Center. His work can be seen in New York, Moscow, Tel Aviv, and Seattle.

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