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Design Vanguard 2013
Hailing from Europe, North America, and Asia, this year’s roster of emerging firms represent diverse backgrounds and attitudes toward design and the profession. But a few threads run through much of their work, even as the expressions vary greatly: complex layering, nature, engagement. Just a few years ago, “complexity” often meant convoluted forms generated by fancy new software. Today, it’s less obvious and emerges from a search for multiple meanings. It also flows from an interest in the rules of nature, which support a rich growth of ideas. Underlying most of the projects here is a sense of engagement—with the places and people served by these architects.


Héctor Fernández Elorza Architects
Rooted in Spain but influenced by Sweden, a Madrid-based architect combines the rugged and the refined. slide show

Pictured: Architectural Documentation Center and Lecture Hall; Photo © Roland Halbe

William O’Brien, Jr.
A teacher and practitioner challenges accepted notions of balance, reality, and narration as he establishes his small firm. slide show

Pictured: Hendee-Borg House; Rendering © Peter Guthrie for William O'Brien, Jr.

Rural Urban Framework
A nonprofit firm tackles the needs of China’s forgotten countryside, designing projects that help communities come together. slide show

Pictured: Taiping Bridge, Shangzhou; Photo courtesy RUF

Akihisa Hirata Architecture Office
An imaginative architect is inspired by nature to link people and places. slide show

Pictured: Masuya; Photo © Nacása & Partners

Marc Fornes/TheVeryMany
A small studio deploys computational design and digital fabrication to make inventive structures that define space. slide show

Pictured: Double Agent White; Photo © Guillaume Blanc

JOHO Architecture
Returning to his native country after years in Europe, an architect finds ways of spanning borders and making traditional elements feel modern. slide show

Pictured: Herma Parking Building; Photo © Sun Namgoong

Grupo Aranea
A firm rooted in hand-drawing adapts natural forms to create a flowing architecture. slide show

Pictured: Casa Lude; Photo © Francisco Leiva

Oyler Wu Collaborative
After learning the ropes with a series of installations, a husband-and-wife team is building up to larger and more permanent projects. slide show

Pictured: Centerstage; Photo © Scott Mayoral

Living off the fat of the land: four designers tap into the abundance of local materials and labor. slide show

Pictured: Casa de Madera; Photo © Ana Cecilia Garza

A firm obscures views and distorts perspectives to challenge the familiar and produce the unexpected. slide show

Pictured: Haffenden House; Photo © Nathan Rader


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Record Design Vanguard Past Issues

Now available online a 5 issue collection of Record’s Design  Vanguard issues spanning  2003-2007.

Record’s Design Vanguard  annual selection of the world’s top emerging designers. With each issue  RECORD finds a diverse group of firms that are committed  to making architecture count.

Past Awards

Design Vanguard ­  2013
Design Vanguard ­  2012
Design Vanguard ­  2011
Design Vanguard ­  2010
Design Vanguard ­  2009
Design Vanguard ­  2008
Design Vanguard ­  2007
Design Vanguard ­  2006
Design Vanguard ­  2005
Design Vanguard ­  2004
Design Vanguard ­  2003
Design Vanguard ­  2002
Design Vanguard ­  2001
Design Vanguard ­  2000

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