As part of the annual Small Projects Program, the American Institute of Architects has selected a new batch of recipients for their 2015 Small Projects Awards, acknowledging design excellence in small-project practitioners and recognising the value of good design, regardless of the projects’ size and budget. The program, now in its 12th year, serves as a platform for raising awareness of talents in small project construction, object, work of environmental art or architectural element design.
“One of the challenges of working on small projects is that they may not have big budgets and high visibility,” says SPP Chair Marika Snider, AIA, “Much of the beauty of small projects comes in the details and connections—things which often go unnoticed in larger projects. The SPP Awards not only helps promote designers who work at a small scale but also promotes design at a smaller scale. Additionally, the SPP Awards are a way for emerging professionals to showcase their work and help develop their careers and for winners receive national attention for highly local work.”
The thorough jury selection each year upholds the rigorous standards of excellence amongst the SPP winners, with the jury chair in concert (this year, Marc Manack of SILO AR+D) and the SPP Advisory Group heading the jury member nomination process. “We look for articulate architects with a reputation for design who are working in small firms or on small projects,” elaborates Marika Snider about the jury member nominees, “We also look for diversity, not just in gender, race, and ethnicity, but also in geographical diversity, and architects who work on different kinds of projects. The nominations are then sent to the AIA who has final approval for all jury members.”
This year, the SPP Awards’ winning projects comprise a mix of residential and public spaces, including a biomimetric pavilion, an installation paying tribute to the history of an architecture school and a vision for a flexible civic space. The seven award recipients include architectural firms across the country, from California to Pennsylvania, and showcase innovation and high quality of work despite the projects’ limited budget and size.