We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winner for our "MICROHOME #6" competition – Caleb White and Emily Gruendel from United States!

Caleb White and Emily Gruendel from United States

Established in 2022 by Caleb White and Emily Gruendel, MatterLab is a young architectural design and research firm based in New York. Prior to its conceptualization, both founders spent numerous years working at firms based in New York City, working on both international and domestic projects of varying scales. Caleb and Emily both received their Masters of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. Emily also holds a Masters of Science in Historic Preservation and is a licensed architect in the state of New York. They are currently lecturers in the School of Architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Brief information about the projects that you/your company have been involved with. For instance, what scale have you focused on/preferred, any significant projects where the company/ individuals have been involved?

At MatterLab, we are inspired by the materialization of ideas and believe good design can only be discovered through testing and experimentation. We are currently working on a few small to medium size cultural projects and artistic installations in and around the state. We have worked on residential interior renovations and are making strides to expand our work to ground-up projects in the near future. We have experience in high-end residential, commercial, and office projects as well.

What does architecture mean to you and what is the role of an architect in your society?

We believe the role of the architect is as a translator between concept and the material world. In the United States, the profession has diminished to a holder of a stamp; architect as facilitator for governmental approval. The built environment suffers when our profession is distanced from the conceptual and tectonic development of the work. Our discipline must be central in shaping and innovating the built environment.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

For us, competitions provide a testing ground for ideas which may not have an immediate market. It allows for broad speculation on emerging realities which are not yet known. It gives us an opportunity to integrate our academic research into our professional work without the restrictions imposed by a client.

What advice would you give to individuals who struggle to decide whether it would be beneficial for them to participate in architecture competitions?

If you are a young or emerging practice, competitions can help you find your voice as a designer. You may not have the opportunity to work on the project of your dreams, however you can use a competition prompt to develop your skills and portfolio. Time and finances allowing, competitions are fantastic catalysts for development and growth.

Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Enter Architecture Competitions

Curious about the value of architecture competitions? Discover the transformative power they can have on your career - from igniting creativity and turning designs into reality, to gaining international recognition.

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