"Looking through this year’s promising group of “Emerging Voices,” it’s hard not to be encouraged about the future of architecture," says Brake. "The eight firms selected by the Architectural League of New York, through a portfolio competition, represent a diversity of approaches and an impressive output of work. Art-based practices, DIY pluckiness, landscape urbanism, boundary-crossing offices, socially conscious projects, these eight firms demonstrate the dynamic and varied currents shaping architecture today. Several of the firms also happen make very beautiful buildings."
As architectural practice moves away from theory and debate, and makes the "style wars" of the past seem "provincial and quaint," Brake is enthused by the direction these young firms are steering the field.
"As economic recovery begins to take hold—hopefully in spite of government spending cuts—it will be exciting to see these and other promising firms begin to operate in a more fertile environment, to further expand their reach. Despite the economic strain of the past five to six years, architecture has not stood still. Paper architecture and academic retreat was never going to be the approach this generation would take to the challenges of today. Who can fault them for that?"