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25 practices, sole practitioners, and startups from 5 continents and 18 countries have been chosen as part of the 2023 New Practices, the latest edition of the global annual survey by ArchDaily. Ongoing since 2020, the review detects and showcases those who are taking architecture in its new direction under unstable times and demanding challenges.
ArchDaily’s New Practices has invited not only designers to apply but those practicing within the broadest definition of architecture and its exercise to share their innovative, fresh, and forward-thinking mission with us. As a result, the 2023 edition features designers, landscape architects, researchers, curators, activists, writers, and three ground-breaking startups—the modular construction U-Build, Urban Beta with their Beta Port building system, and the “Google Doc of Space Design” Rayon—thus joining previously highlighted firms: AEC-industry-oriented management software Monograph, energy transition startup Baupal, online design platform and marketplace CANOA, and 3D-printed housing company ICON.
David Basulto, ArchDaily Founder & Editor-in-Chief, has stated regarding the 2023 New Practices:
As the growing complexity of our world presents us with ever-growing challenges at an unprecedented speed, our built environment has become one of our society’s most critical questions. From energy scarcity to inequality, density, diversity, waste, food production, circular economy, and identity—it all converges into the built environment. To face this, architecture needs to evolve and scale.
The practices we choose for this year’s edition embody the spirit of innovation, and from their diverse windows they bring something new to the table: from participatory processes to climate awareness, from the local approach to scaling architecture, to make it more accessible and democratic.
Meanwhile, Clara Ott, ArchDaily Projects Manager, has this to say:
From early in their careers, they challenge the known architectural scene fueled by a desire to get involved in architecture from a fresh perspective; by bringing new ideas ranging from developing construction systems and materials, inclusive participatory processes, care for the environment and innovation through technology. Their work becomes a significant contribution and true inspiration for the development of the built environment.
Throughout 2023, ArchDaily, across seven sites and four languages, will showcase the chosen practices’ work, explaining their approach through a series of in-depth articles as happened with the previous edition’s selected firms.
Without further ado, these are the 2023 ArchDaily New Practices in alphabetic order:
Ahmadreza Schricker Architecture | Iran + United States + United Kingdom
Team members: Ahmadreza Schricker, Mehdi Holakoui, Mona Janghorban, Patrick Hobgood, Behrang Bani-Adam, Roxana Afkhami, Amin Mahdavi
Embracing the potential of modernization, architects traditionally practice in cities with rising GDP growth to play a catalytic role in urbanization. Founded in New York by Ahmadreza Schricker in 2015, the intimate experience of realizing traditional architecture in a time of constant economic volatility has reconfigured ASA’s practice to pursue design in all directions: ASA North is dedicated to the physical realm, while ASA South has taken on projects in the virtual, including the first ground-up Virtual Museum for the Afkhami Collection. ASA East explores the past, preservation of the environment & adaptive reuse and is currently in formation; ASA West seeks to invent architecture for the future in lesser-explored frontiers, from earth’s geographic poles to other planets.
Alsar Atelier | Colombia
Being born in the middle of the pandemic, the practice led by Alejandro Saldarriaga Rubio focuses on investigating low-cost/low-tech design solutions for the persistent problems in the Global South through innovative construction methods, sustainable practices, and community prioritization. Recently the studio has started to engage with informal settlements in Bogotá, Colombia, and currently, they are speculating on new typologies, emergent from the Coronavirus pandemic, that can be reapplied to more chronic problematics of the public realm of the informal landscapes of the world.
ASPJ: Agencia Social de Paisaje | Mexico
Team members: Emiliano García, Helene Carlo, Paula Amín, José María Castro, Daniela Alarcón, Iván Cruz, Alberto García, Diana Medina, Michelle Vences, Alejandro Sosa, Brenda Delgado, Karen Rivera, Isabel Ramírez, Daniela Ruiz de Chávez, Andrés Corona
ASPJ is convinced that Landscape—with capital L—is a necessary tool to design the horizons of today and tomorrow, and that design from the deep logic of Landscape allows the creation of coherent and abundant environments. Helene Carlo and Emiliano Garcia have developed territorial studies, stormwater management projects, renaturalization of rivers and regeneration of degraded environments, and design of environments and natural atmospheres. The Landscape is the final integrator, with a hydrological basin approach, where water is the guiding thread for the establishment of regenerative living systems, proposing diverse and productive landscapes linked to human establishments.
ATELIER XI | China
Team members: Chen Xi, Zhu Zhu, Weng Cekai, Huang Zhenfeng, Lin Ziya, He Xiansen, Ye Fangnan
Founded in 2017 by Chen Xi, their work focuses on public and cultural projects at various scales, attentive to the needs of diverse groups and scales. The studio aspires to create spaces that bring unique poetry and profoundness to contemporary urban and rural environments: “We see architecture as an art of mediation between social, economic, and political interests. We try to create meaningful places with minimum resources. We want to narrate emotions and memories with spatial poetry. We believe that each space, grand or tiny, is a clue to the vastness of our world, and a testimony to the glory of everyday life. By planting these quiet and resilient spaces one at a time, we envision architecture to branch out and blossom with life and narratives.”
Branco del Rio Arquitectos | Portugal
Team members: João Branco, Paula del Río, Inês Massano, Inês Bailão
“We are a team of four people, all very committed to work, always trying new ways of organizing ourselves in order to respond to everyday challenges.”
Diogo Aguiar Studio | Portugal
Team members: Diogo Aguiar, Daniel Mudrák, Adalgisa Castro Lopes, João Teixeira, Claudia Ricciuti, Liam Romo, Marta Bednarczyk, Matyáš Řehák
Diogo Aguiar Studio operates between the fields of architecture and art, simultaneously conceiving small-scale buildings and spatial installations for public space, temporary or otherwise, believing that the ambivalent practice informs and drives the work being developed, as speculative and spatial research. Among other relevant themes that are transversal and inevitable to contemporary reality, the studio is interested in the material and sensorial exploration of immersive architectural or artistic spaces, be they archetypal or ready-made, through the study of geometric, abstract, and elementary compositions. These are materialized as formal systems, that work the limits of the filled and the empty space, seeking to claim the relevance of the process of designing the architectural space, as a powerful research instrument.
forty five degrees | Germany
Team members: Alkistis Thomidou, Berta Gutiérrez, Giulia Domeniconi, Lea Hobson
As an international collaborative practice of architects and researchers, forty five degrees is committed to the critical revisioning of space-making, exploring new methods, resources, and means. Their work investigates the built environment through research, design, and artistic experimentation, across multiple scales and in its social, economical, and structural implications. They are interested in collecting protocols and collective approaches, exploring alternative living and city-making models and new paradigms of spatial development to engage with communities and the networks they are part of. The collective strives to create inclusive and accessible spaces through careful use of scale, material, and design language and is committed to rethinking education through academia and practice, placing design at the intersection of arts and sciences. At the studio, their projects address the social and cultural spheres, developing non-profit activities and engaging with a broader spectrum of actors creating a bigger impact.
gru.a | Brazil
Team members: Caio Calafate, Pedro Varella, André Cavendish, Ingrid Colares, Barbara Amorim and Igor Machado.
Based in Rio de Janeiro, gru.a has been developing projects and works of different scales and natures, with a special interest in the intersection between the fields of architecture and the arts. Over the last few years, the office has carried out projects for cultural centers, exhibition spaces, artistic installations, theaters, residences, and interventions in modern heritage, among others. The firm has participated in exhibitions and festivals such as the Venice Architecture Biennale (Brazil Pavilion, 2018) and the Ibero-American Architecture Biennale (2019). Also in 2019, gru.a was selected among the 10 finalists for the DEBUT award, granted by the Lisbon Architecture Triennale (2019) for international practices.
Infraestudio | Cuba
Team members: Fernando Martirena, Anadis González, Dat Nguyen, Daniela Iglesias, Mauricio Chávez y Manuela Silva.
Infra is a prefix indicating “below” or “before”. As a prefix in itself, it conditions everything that precedes it. Infraestudio is less than an architectural studio: it is a fiction created to operate discreetly in a city frozen in time. Infraestudio practices narrative architecture as a design exercise without the mediation of images: they start from the same discourse to experiment with different resources such as buildings, research, exhibitions, editorial practices, writing, art, and activism. Some of their obsessions are making architecture that hides in the landscape, showing emptiness as a representation of an idea, not thinking about forms but strategies, and building the minimum necessary.
JK-AR | South Korea
Team members: Jae K. Kim, Ji Seon Yoon, Gyu Tae Kim, Tae Wook Kang, Seung Hoon Lee
Defined as an agenda-based design practice, JK-AR is a platform for design experiments, creating space and form to yield new experiences. They think of visions for human life through architecture, rethinking traditional tectonics with digital technology for producing structural forms which challenge conventional practice in design and construction. Recently, the office focuses on recreating East Asian timber structures through interdisciplinary studies of design computation and historical analysis. In this context, the projects of JK-AR intend to constitute a novel step in reinventing and evolving the historical monumental structure.
KOSMOS Architects | Switzerland
Team members: Blanca Garcia Gardelegui, Eva Theresa Haendler, Leonid Slonimskiy, Artem Kitaev, Dmitriy Prikhodko, Marina Skorikova, Vsevolod Babichuk, Daniil Ulakhovich, Rodion Kitaev
Virtually bringing together partners from different parts of Europe, KOSMOS works on projects of diverse scales and typologies: from furniture to art installations to masterplans, including big urban parks and territorial development projects. They believe that architecture is a collaborative, inclusive, and multidisciplinary profession, and often collaborate with other architects, artists, political activists, sociologists, photographers, and poets. KOSMOS believes that architecture is not just a well-designed volume of a building, facade, and internal layout, but rather a spatial frame for spaces of public interaction, for being together. Architecture should activate the space around it and become a frame for people to spend their free time or work; play or study; relax or be active; meet each other or be with themselves.
Oana Stanescu | Germany + United States
Romanian architect, designer, writer, and educator, Stanescu’s projects span seamlessly across disciplines and scales, from private residences to public infrastructure, from product design to teaching. She has worked with the New Museum in New York, MoMA, Virgil Abloh, Coachella, the Storefront for Art and Architecture, and Kanye West. The studio is run from Berlin & New York.
Office Kim Lenschow | Denmark
Through architecture and design, Office Kim Lenschow seeks to reveal and challenge ingrained values, beliefs, and material narratives in established building practices and ways of life. The firm believes in architecture embedded in our time, seeing the built environment both as a resource of materials and of cultural meaning. Office Kim Lenschow is currently searching for a more fragile and open architecture, where the materials used, and the buildings’ patterns of use are better calibrated and synchronized with each other. This includes experimenting with different ways of applying bio-degradable materials to architecture to create an architecture better suited for our planet. Their aim is to cultivate a more aware and authentic engagement with the world and the structures that surround us.
Oficina Bravo | Chile
Team members: Martín Álvarez, Sebastián Bravo, Catalina Cárcamo, Noelia Caro, Arantxa Lastra, Raúl Pacheco, Sergio Reyes, Valentina Ulloa.
Founded by Sebastián Bravo, Oficina Bravo develops projects of intervention of buildings with heritage value, commercial spaces, gastronomic, housing, and public facilities. They are interested in making simple projects with efficient use of resources (architectural, economic, constructive, and material) looking for buildings that—through a clear strategy—are a contribution to the city and have the ability to interact with the immediate context. Oficina Bravo cares about having a conversation with the clients, understanding and involving them in the process, and making them understand its work. That is the only thing that ensures that the ideas behind the project survive with dignity once the work is inhabited.
Paulo Tavares | Brazil
Paulo Tavares’s practice explores the frontiers of architecture across design, advocacy, writing, and curating. Operating through multiple media and across fields, his work opens a collaborative arena aimed at environmental justice and counter-hegemony narrative
prototype | Ukraine
Team members: Ivan Protasov, Pylyp Chaikovsky-Vamush, Uliana Dzhurliak, Serhiy Revenko
A one-word description of prototype’s approach would be microrationality. They want to inspire others with flexibility concerning the variety of the challenges the firm takes on, from cultural to industrial to residential projects and beyond, and eco-friendly technical macro- and micro solutions, whether it be upcycling, minimum/zero waste, or circular production. prototype sees the future of architecture as becoming more responsible in terms of inventively reducing the current negative impact of the construction industry on the environment and more attentive to each project in terms of both its broad context and narrow specifics: prototype might utilize scaffolding as part of a temporary building, construct half of a waste sorting station from the waste it is supposed to sort or incorporate the materials left from on-site pre-construction dismantling into the project we execute on that site.
Rayon | France
Team members: Bastien Dolla, Stanislas Chaillou, Shira Nathan, Arthur Brongniart, Quentin Tardivon, Jan Pochyla, Xavier Haniquaut
In Rayon’s vision, architectural drawings are today at the core of our entire industry’s daily work. Yet, the class of legacy software people are currently left with was built during the pre-internet era. Therefore, Rayon brings to the table a 2D, browser-based and multiplayer experience allowing people to draw, share and work together on their drawings. At a time when people are increasingly moving their work, teams, and workflows online, Rayon aspires to spearhead this revolution in our industry, and democratize space design as widely as possible. In a nutshell, Rayon is essentially the “Google Doc of Space Design”.
RoarcRenew Architects | China
Team members: Robben Bai, Helen Yu, Leqian Xue, Mengxuan Sheng, Yejing Wu, Xiaoyi Liang, Enze Wu
Roarc Renew will always express a clear constructing idea in its practices. Building logic reflects the principal logic of how things work in this world, which is substances and joints: joints can reflect the substances in the physical world and connect them all. In its practices, Roarc Renew has created a JointsPavilion (JP) series for the construction system and a SoftJoints (SJ) series for the home furniture system to leverage its know-how to make it easy and simple by connecting substances beautifully.
Spacon & X | Denmark
Team members: Malene Hvidt, Nikoline Dyrup Carlsen, Svend Jacob Pedersen, Sofie Staal, Aleksander Aarstad, Otto Engelhardt, Johan Neborg, Linn Olsson, Karoline Bach, Victor Lomholt, Victor Munch, Anastasija Vlasova, Vera Johanne Aagaard Hertz, Mette Estrup, August Wille, Mads Riishede Knudsen, Morten Nielsen, Valentin Bauberger
Spacon & X strives to disrupt and challenge architectural norms and conventional design boundaries in a diplomatic manner, something they call disruplomacy. This approach has been guiding the firm since its inception, where it worked to address the urgent issue of spatial scarcity within urban contexts by reconsidering how we consume space. Spacon & X designs surfaces, volumes, and spaces that are multifaceted; able to serve a variety of purposes and functions; where multiple activities and experiences can occur over time, on the same square meters. To create spatially optimized and characterful spaces, Spacon & X believes that the most aspiring work comes from an untraditional fusion of skills across disciplines; bringing together various ideas from different practices to generate alternative, innovative and enduring solutions.
Taller General | Ecuador
Team members: Florencia Sobrero, Martín Real.
Taller General is a space of confluence, where they find themselves day by day doing what they like, mainly through architectural work. However, the space aims to mix all the flavors that make up our lives, whether it is called activism, reading, teaching, construction, drawing, planning, or management. Taller General is comprised of Martín Real and Florencia Sobrero. However, the group mutates depending on the development of each project. Collaborative work brings together worlds, opinions, and practices, enriching the space and facilitating results that they would be unable to imagine by themselves.
Tideland Studio | Denmark
Team members: Jonas Swienty Andresen, Simon Strøyer
Tideland Studio applies architectural tools in field research to capture and unfold phenomena relevant to our time. They work in the intersection between science, art, and architecture pushing the boundaries of disciplines to create experiences that inspire and educate. One of Tideland Studio’s goals is to mobilize change by bringing attention to climate change. Therefore they embrace architectural technologies that enable to register, simulate and communicate changes to natural and manmade landscapes.
U-Build | United Kingdom
Team members: Nick Newman, Oli Berry, Hannah Burrough, Esra Alma, Ben Baker
U-Build is a not-for-profit startup, developed by Studio Bark in collaboration with Structure Workshop. They empower people to make their own spaces with U-Build’s modular flat-pack kits. The startup uses precision-cut CNC plywood assembled into blocks that can be bolted together into any configuration. Using parametric design they can turn simple sketches into fully costed technical drawings, and cutting files that can be sent all around the world. The system has been designed for the circular economy so that all of the parts can be disassembled. In fact, U-Build commits to taking back any unwanted U-Build boxes and reusing them in other projects, and several of our projects have already had many lives. Worth mentioning it that U-Build provides its services and systems at reduced rates or pro-bono to charities and movements working for a better future.
Urban Beta | Germany
Team members: Anke Parson, Paul Clemens Bart, Florian Michaelis, Marvin Bratke, Isabella Luger, Verena Katzmarzyk
Urban Beta is a spatial innovation studio creating inclusive, innovative, and transformative spaces. The studio develops spatial systems with a participatory approach, dealing with social justice, predictive planning, co-creation, and the democratization of design. Urban Beta creates transformative spaces that grow with us and can react to the changing streams of the information society. Their planning acts at the intersection of multiple disciplines and transforms dreams, visions, and values into tangible spatial concepts with future-proof narratives. Urban Beta’s core principles are based on social inclusion and predictive planning: they see themselves as an interface for spatial innovation, developing predictive planning tools and creating platforms for participatory co-creation processes and seamless transitions between physical and digital.
vão | Brazil
Team members: Anna Juni, Enk te Winkel, Gustavo Delonero, Gabriela Rochitte, Luiza Souza
vão is a transdisciplinary office whose work meanders through the fields of architecture, urbanism, and fine arts in the most diverse scales, demands, and contexts. vão is interested in the so-called transdisciplinary, basing all their works on theoretical, technical, and experimental grounds when investigating peculiar characteristics of the territory of action that can be incorporated into the project’s reasoning.
Willow Technologies | Ghana
Mae-ling Lokko’s Willow Technologies aims to explore and activate new positions for architects and designers within a global generative justice framework. Through the identification and transformation of different forms of “alienated value” within the architectural, agricultural, and food material life cycles, its work explores how design can play an active role in broadening and deepening ‘who’ and ‘what’ to participate in our material economies. Centered around projects that leverage agricultural, forestry, and food by-products, the practice aims to develop knowledge exchange and research platforms between largely disconnected intersectoral stakeholders.
The jury also wants to acknowledge the shortlisted practices of this edition: Domain Architects, SpActrum, Cinema Urbana, Coletivo LEVANTE, 3me arquitectura, Fabrizio Pugliese, Estudio RARE, HANGHAR, Proyector, Bona fide taller, Ivan Bravo Arquitectos, AMDL CIRCLE, CatalyticAction, DROO – Da Costa Mahindroo Architects, EVA Studio, Grand Huit coop, IVAAIU City, Kun Studio, Peter Pichler Architecture, RAD+ar, RnD_Earth (Research and Design), SAGA Space Architects, SO?, ZMX, and Fria Folket.
The ArchDaily’s 2023 New Practices jury was comprised of:
- Hana Abdel, Senior Projects Curator
- Romullo Baratto, ArchDaily Brasil Managing Editor
- David Basulto, ArchDaily Founder & Editor in Chief (Final Stage)
- Agustina Coulleri, Projects Curator
- Fabián Dejtiar, ArchDaily en Español Managing Editor
- Victor Delaqua, Content and Community and Social Media Editor
- Christele Harrouk, ArchDaily.com Managing Editor
- Eduardo Leite Souza, Materials Senior Editor
- Susanna Moreira, Projects Curator
- Clara Ott, Projects Manager (Final Stage)
- Paula Pintos, Senior Projects Curator
- Han Shuangyu, ArchDaily China Manager
- Dima Stouhi, Community and Social Media Manager
- Nicolás Valencia, ArchDaily Network Editorial & Data Manager (Final Stage)
This article is part of the ArchDaily Topics: New Practices. Every month we explore a topic in-depth through articles, interviews, news, and projects. Learn more about our ArchDaily topics. As always, at ArchDaily we welcome the contributions of our readers; if you want to submit an article or project, contact us.