Three Visionary Concepts Selected as Finalists for the 2022 Forge Prize

January 25, 2022


CHICAGO - From a proposal for a new Silicon Valley icon to a revitalization of Detroit infrastructure to new public housing in New York City, the finalists in this year's The Forge Prize competition feature visionary designs from the next generation of brilliant architects.

The Forge Prize is presented annually by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) to celebrate emerging architects who create visionary designs that embrace steel as the primary structural component while exploring ways to increase project speed. A jury considers all of the entries and this year chose three finalists who will each work with a steel fabricator before presenting their final concepts to the judges during a live YouTube event in early March, culminating with the selection of the official 2022 Forge Prize Recipient.

"The Forge Prize is one of the very few design competitions tailored specifically for emerging architects. Every year, we are lucky to collaborate with some of architecture's brightest leaders who become part of our jury and who also mentor our finalists. The exposure the competition provides to recognize the work of our future architects is just tremendous," said Alex Morales, AISC's senior structural steel specialist leading the competition.

All finalists will receive a $5,000 award and the 2022 Forge Prize recipient will receive an additional $10,000 grand prize with an invitation to present before an audience of the industry's best minds at NASCC: The Steel Conference from March 23-25, 2022.

About the designs

The three final designs bring an exciting look into the future.


Martin Miller of Antistatics Architecture in Ithaca is proposing a unique structure to become an icon of Silicon Valley. Miller is attempting to capitalize on computational tooling and steel's flexibility to create a bold design. Miller will work on concept development with Brett Manning, vice president of engineering (Western Region) at Schuff Steel. 

Levi Wall of DLR Group in Denver imagined Re-Adaptation to be sited in Detroit. His concept is a nod to Detroit's long history in automobile fabrication techniques and intends to revive existing infrastructure with an infusion of structural steel innovation. Wall will work on concept development with Matt Cole, business development director at AISC-member fabricator Drake Williams Steel.

Vincent Foo Lai of Adjaye Associates and Douglas Lee of the University of California, Berkeley propose prefabrication and modularization using steel to reinvigorate public housing in New York City and Harlem. Their design will be sensitive to existing communities with an emphasis on sustainability. Lai and Lee will work on concept development with Rob Williams P.E., vice president of sales at AISC-member fabricator Steel, LLC.


About the judges

Evelyn Lee, FAIA - Slack Technologies, LLC

Evelyn Lee, FAIA, is the first-ever senior experience designer at Slack Technologies, founder of the Practice of Architecture, and co-host of the "Practice Disrupted" podcast. Lee seamlessly integrates her business and architecture background with a qualitative and quantitative focus to build better experiences for the organization's employees, clients, and guests.

Lee received a Bachelor of Architecture with honors in 2002 from Drury University, where she minored in global studies and played on the women's soccer team. In 2003, she received her Masters of Architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture. Most recently, in 2012, Lee finished a dual Masters in Public Administration/Masters in Business Administration in sustainable management from the Presidio Graduate School.

A widely-published writer, Lee wrote a monthly column for Contract magazine for more than 3 years and is a frequent contributor to Architect magazine. Lee has received numerous industry awards, including the 40 Under 40 award from Building Design+Construction in 2016 and the AIA National Young Architects Award in 2014. She currently serves as the first-ever female treasurer to the AIA National Board for the 2020-2021 term.

Lee has been a featured keynote speaker, invited guest, panelist, and moderator at national design and architecture conferences including AIA National Convention, Dwell on Design, and Women in Green. Her topics focus on developing knowledge leadership, organizational change management, capacity building, stakeholder engagement, and strategic approaches to put design thinking into practice.

Lee has spent more than 15 years working with individuals, organizations, and companies who are interested in applying design thinking to their decision-making process.

Alex Bachrach - Publisher, Architectural Record

Alex Bachrach has been publisher of Architectural Record since 2015, when BNP Media acquired the brand and all of its entities. He is also the publisher of Oculus, the journal of AIA NY, through a custom publishing partnership with the chapter. Prior to this role, Bachrach was the group publisher of flooring, stone, and tile publications, organizing the Stone & Tile Pavilion at the AIA National Convention from 1995 through 2012 and co-sponsoring an AIA-accredited annual tour of Italian stone quarries and factories that offered 15 LUs annually for 15 years. Bachrach has been with BNP Media since 1994.

Miles Nelligan - Associate Principal, Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Miles Nelligan is an associate principal at Diller Scofidio + Renfro, a design studio whose practice spans the fields of architecture, urban design, installation art, multi-media performance, digital media, and print. Nelligan joined DS+R in 2007 and has over 20 years of experience in architecture.
Nelligan has been responsible for leading a broad range of activities in the office, from competitions and concept design, to programming and planning to technical detailing for many of the studio's most important and groundbreaking projects. Nelligan's recent projects at DS+R include the Prior Center for Performing Arts at the College of the Holy Cross and the two Columbia University Graduate School of Business buildings in Manhattanville.

Nelligan earned his Bachelor of Architecture and BBSc with First Class Honors from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He also holds an Master of Architecture from Princeton University, where he received the Howard Crosby Butler Traveling Fellowship. He has taught at Princeton and design studios at Victoria University of Wellington and has also been an invited critic at numerous institutions. He is a licensed architect in New York.


For more information contact:

Scott Melnick
Senior Vice President
American Institute of Steel Construction