Miles Gertler wins Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers

Common Accounts | Closer Each Day: The Architecture of Everyday Death, The Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal, Canada, 2020. Image credit: Common Accounts

Canadian Miles Gertler, an Assistant Professor at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design has won a 2023 Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers. The Architectural League of New York bestows the awards annually.

The Architectural League Prize, originally established as the Young Architects’ Forum in 1981, is open to individuals based in North America who have completed their bachelor’s or master’s degrees within the past ten years. The prize is awarded through a portfolio competition and selected by a jury.

This year’s competition theme, “Uncomfortable,” prompted participants to explore their discomforts and engage with pressing issues such as climate change and labor practices. The mandate encouraged critical reflection and collective imagination while questioning the status quo of the discipline. Entrants were asked to address whose comfort matters and how they respond to discomfort.

“Miles Gertler founded Common Accounts with Igor Bragado in 2016. In its own words, the Toronto- and Madrid-based experimental design studio is ‘tethered more to networks of peers, politics, and file storage than we are to traditional notions of place and practice,’” writes the Architectural League. “Through a variety of media, it engages with the everyday—though sometimes taboo—spatial and technological protocols surrounding self-design and the human body. Exploring subjects from fitness and cosmetic surgery to funerals and deathcare, the studio’s bold experimentations push both design and public discourse beyond their comfort zones.”

Common Accounts’ work has been included in exhibitions around the world, including at Azkuna Zentroa in Bilbao, the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto, Cube Design Museum in the Netherlands, the Seoul Museum of Art, and the A+D Museum in Los Angeles. The practice has contributed to the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale, the 2017 Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, and the 2016 Istanbul Design Biennial.

Miles Gertler holds a Bachelor’s of architectural studies from the University of Waterloo and an MArch from Princeton University. In addition to his work at the University of Toronto, he is a member of the board of directors of Toronto’s Mercer Union: A Centre for Contemporary Art. In summer 2023, Gertler will be an artist-in-residence at Palazzo Monti in Italy.

As part of the prize requirements, the winners will deliver lectures and create installations representing their work. The lectures will be conducted online via Zoom on Thursday evenings, starting June 15. Miles Gertler is scheduled to speak on that night. Each lecture will feature presentations from two winners, followed by a moderated discussion and a question-and-answer session.

Alongside Miles Gertler, this year’s League Prize recipients include Katie MacDonald and Kyle Schumann from After Architecture in Virginia, Joseph Altshuler and Zack Morrison from Could Be Design in Illinois, Daisy Ames from Studio Ames in New York City, Sean Canty from Studio Sean Canty in Boston, and Sarah Aziz and Lindsey Krug of Albuquerque, Chicago, and Milwaukee.