SeanChron | Book Review | Young Architects 16: Overlay


One of my favorite activities here at Future-ish is the opportunity to review products, restaurants, hotels, and books. I love, Love, LOVE that I get to review books.

I was recently contacted by Princeton Architectural Press to review a very unique book, Young Architects 16: Overlay that showcases the six winners of the 2014 Architecture League of New York's Architecture League Prize, an annual competition, series of lectures, exhibition, and publication (which make up the Young Architects series that this book is part of). The 2014 theme, Overlay, challenged participants to demonstrate how iterative, incremental processes inform and direct their work.

Though I very much wish I could have attended the Overlay exhibition, this post is focused primarily on the book review. What is obvious from the book about the competition and exhibit is that it is truly an amazing, creative, and innovative challenge and event that elevates both the designers themselves and the concepts presented by the designers in a way that truly indicates how future-shaping the winning projects are.

I have to begin by saying that any book on architecture and or design is bound to be appealing to the eye. Young Architects 16: Overlay falls right in line here. From the compact size of the book and the oversize font on the cover to the thousands of stunning photographs throughout and the detailed graphics of the projects, Young Architects 16: Overlay is a book that you want to carry with you all the time, just in case you need some design candy with detail for an energy boost during the day.

Villa at Al-Mezhar - by winner Young & Ayata

What is unique about Young Architects 16: Overlay is that it provides an opportunity to explore the designers and projects in a much deeper way than most design books offer. From the thorough introductions of the designers and project winners to the detailed descriptions of the designer's multiple projects highlighted in the book and path that the designers took to find inspiration and find their final designs, Young Architects 16: Overlay far surpasses what many design books or magazines offer.

Mirror Mirror - by winner SIFT Studio

The other unique thing about Young Architects 16: Overlay, is that the designers and projects truly do provide a glimpse into the future. The book had me with Scott Cohen's opening sentence of the forward:
The Architecture League Prize for Young Architects + Designers invariably forecasts the future state of the art, the discipline, the academy, and the profession of architecture.

All in all, Young Architects 16: Overlay is a great addition to any design geek's library. As I mentioned, I've actually been keeping it in my bag for a quick look and/or read for several weeks now. It would make a great gift for a design enthusiast as well.

2014 Competition winners were:

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