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Alumnus honored for innovation in architecture

June 17, 2014

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Andrew Holder B.A. ’00 is a recipient of the 2014 Architectural League Prize, awarded to a select group of young architects whose designs have demonstrated “exemplary and provocative work.” Given by the Architectural League of New York, the annual award is one of North America’s most prestigious honors for early-career practitioners of architecture.

Selection of each year’s Architectural League Prize winners is based on a themed portfolio competition, which exclusively accepts entries from structural designers who have completed their schooling within the past 10 years. This year’s competition, titled Overlay, yielded winning portfolios from six architectural practices in the United States.

Holder and Claus Benjamin Freyinger—coprincipals of the Los Angeles Design Group (LADG)—submitted a diverse array of cutting-edge projects, from the design of an illuminated manuscript exhibit at the University of Michigan to the interior of a ski boot shop in Santa Monica, California.

After earning a degree in political science from Lewis & Clark, Holder began a graduate program in architecture at the University of California at Los Angeles. Despite the apparent differences in these fields of study, Holder found that a liberal arts education greatly informed the substance of his work.

“A degree in architecture tells you how to build, but not what to build,” Holder explained. “Lewis & Clark instilled in me an urge to intervene in society, to change its structure and correct tendencies that are oppressive or unequal.”

The Architectural League Prize gives Holder a platform to share his projects with a wider demographic and further explore the societal impacts of architectural decisions.

“Buildings are co-occupants of limited space, and they need to be designed as such,” Holder said. “The audience expansion provided by the prize is, in a sense, an enlargement of my medium that allows me to test the effects I’m trying to generate.”

Work by the 2014 Architectural League Prize winners will be on display from June 24 to August 1 at Parsons The New School for Design. Holder will discuss LADG’s winning designs on opening night.

Katrina Staaf ’16 contributed to this story.

Architectural League Prize winners Political Science