Thursday, December 4, 2014

Principals of two of the ten architectural firms featured in the recent "Design Vanguard" issue of Architectural Record magazine (12/2014) were educated at the Illinois School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

In its annual Design Vanguard issue, Architectural Record selects ten "emerging firms from around the world that are expanding the role of the architect by championing new approaches to design and practice." (See

Architect Gong Dong, principal of the Beijing-based firm Vector Architects, received his Master of Architecture degree at Illinois in 2001, after which he spent time working in the offices of Steven Holl and Richard Meier before founding his own firm in 2008. Architectural Record specifically notes Dong's experience as a student at the Illinois School of Architecture as an influence on his interest in phenomenology and designing with light, as seen in recent projects such as the Seashore Library now under construction in Nandaihe, China.

Chris Lasch, principal in the design firm Aranda/Lasch, received his BS in Architectural Studies degree at Illinois in 1995, and then went on to graduate study at Columbia University. Lasch co-authored the book Tooling (Pamphlet Architecture 27) and his firm's work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Architectural Record also noted the firm's recent shift from smaller to larger-scaled projects, including a recent competition win for a new performance venue in Libreville, Gabon, now in design development.