/ Awards / Three Visionary Finalists Selected to Present Their Ideas at Live Forge Prize Event

Three Visionary Finalists Selected to Present Their Ideas at Live Forge Prize Event

Parul Dubey on February 12, 2021 - in Awards, News, People

CHICAGO – 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 while exploring ways to increase project speed. They will each work with a steel fabricator before presenting their final concepts to the judges during a live YouTube event in late March. 

“The Forge Prize competition gives younger architects a unique opportunity to develop new concepts and applications for one of the core materials of building design and construction–steel, in its many forms and manifestations,” said 2021 Forge Prize judge Robert Cassidy, executive editor, Building Design+Construction.  

The winner will receive a $10,000 grand prize and an invitation to present before an audience of the industry’s best minds at NASCC: The Virtual Steel Conference on April 12, 2021. 

About the designs

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

Hunter Ruthrauff of T.Y. Lin International Group in San Diego designed a 3D-printed steel pedestrian bridge that spans Balboa Park’s Florida Canyon. Ruthrauff chose 3D-printed steel because it offers better tensile strength than 3D-printed concrete and lessens the complexity of the design process.

Jieun Yang of Habitat Workshop imagined Signal Park in San Jose, Calif., a cluster of urban villages that seamlessly blend into the area’s natural landscape. The steel scaffolding structure in the park would collect and filter rainwater to be used for cooling mist stations and site irrigation.

Mert Kansu and Yimeng Teng of VMDO Architects proposed a civic mixed-use plaza in Richmond, Va., that focuses on public engagement, community programs, and sustainability. Their design incorporates steel plates to create an expressive folding form. 

About the judges

Pascale Sablan, FAIA, NOMA, LEED AP – Associate, Adjaye Associates

With over 13 years of experience, Sablan has been on the design team for a variety of mixed-use, commercial, cultural, and residential projects around the world. Pascale is the 315th living African American female architect in the United States to attain her architectural license. She has received numerous honors including the 2018 Pratt Alumni Achievement Award, Emerging New York Architect Merit Award, NOMA Prize for Excellence in Design, 2018 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Young Architects Award, and the 2021 Whitney M. Young Jr. Award. Pascale is founder and executive director of Beyond the Built Environment.

Robert Cassidy – Executive Editor, Building Design+Construction | Editor, Multifamily Design+Construction

Cassidy served as editorial director of BD+C from 2002-2014. He holds a bachelor’s from the College of the Holy Cross and a master’s in urban studies from Yale. He was a city planner in Providence, R.I., and Arlington, Va., and edited Planning Magazine, the publication of the American Planning Association. In 1979 he co-founded the Friends of the Chicago River and served as its Chair from 1979 to 1982. His published books include Livable Cities: A Grass-roots Guide to Rebuilding Urban America and Margaret Mead: A Voice for the Century. In 2016 he was awarded the G.D. Crain, Jr. Award for Lifetime Editorial Achievement from Connectiv, the business information association serving the business-to-business media sector.

Bob Borson, FAIA – Associate Principal, BOKA Powell

Borson is widely recognized as the blogger behind Life of an Architect–one of the world’s most popular architectural blogs. Dallas AIA named him “Young Architect of the Year” in 2009. He received the Award for Excellence in the Promotion of Architecture through the Media from the Texas Society of Architects in 2015 and was elevated into the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows in 2017.


American Institute of Steel Construction

The American Institute of Steel Construction, headquartered in Chicago, is a non-partisan, not-for-profit technical institute and trade association established in 1921 to serve the structural steel design community and construction industry. AISC’s mission is to make structural steel the material of choice by being the leader in structural steel-related technical and market-building activities, including specification and code development, research, education, technical assistance, quality certification, standardization, market development, and advocacy. AISC has a long tradition of service to the steel construction industry of providing timely and reliable information. 

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