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Introducing the AJ 40 under 40 2020 cohort
The Architects' Journal
London, United Kingdom
Date Published: 
Leadership, Next Generation, Architecture, United Kingdom, Talent, Diversity, Leadership
Tapestry Statistics:
2020-12-27 14:54:00
2020-12-27 15:17:24
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Simon Hayes
Meet the new AJ 40 under 40 – a showcase of architecture’s brightest up-and-coming talent

Over the last two weeks the AJ, in association with VitrA Bathrooms, has revealed all 40 emerging names selected for the class of 2020. It is the first time since 2005 that the AJ has run the unique who’s who of the nation’s next generation of boundary-pushing designers and innovators.

Launched in 1985, the inaugural 40-strong list of budding stars included David Chipperfield, Sunand Prasad, Will Alsop, Amanda Levete – then as co-founder of Powis & Levete – and Allies and Morrison founders Bob Allies and Graham Morrison.Other up-and-coming names chosen over the years for the prestigious list include Denise and Rab Bennetts of Bennetts Associates, Louisa Hutton and Matthias Sauerbruch of Sauerbruch Hutton, and the founders of what was then Feilden Clegg Design.

The last 40 under 40 cohort, 15 years ago, included David Adjaye, Amin Taha, AOC, DSDHA, Anna Liu and the late Gareth Hoskins.

The latest 40 were chosen by a jury chaired by AJ editor Emily Booth alongside architect, best-selling novelist and academic Lesley Lokko, The Guardian’s architecture and design critic Oliver Wainwright, Sarah Wigglesworth, head of sustainable design practice Sarah Wigglesworth Architects, and 2005 AJ 40 under 40 alumnus Anna Liu of Tonkin Liu.

More than 170 practices and individuals put their names forward to be included in the 2020 list.

‘The quality and range of submissions was both impressive and uplifting,’ said Booth. ‘The future of the profession looks rosy, and trying to choose just 40 of the brightest stars was an intense and rewarding process.

‘We think the chosen architects for class of 2020 truly reflect today’s society. It is a diverse roll call, which celebrates creativity, flair, new ways of practising, environmental awareness and entrepreneurialism.’

She added: ‘40 under 40 has a prestigious heritage, and many of those previously selected have gone on to become international names. It is a rare, global shop window and a platform for exciting, fresh and radical talent.

‘We are proud of this new cohort. And those selected should be proud too. We wish them all well on their extraordinary journeys ahead.’

The full list is published in print in the AJ’s 17 December edition, which is available to buy here.

Levent Giray, VitrA Bathrooms UK’s managing director, said the company was ‘proud and excited’ to be supporting the AJ 40 under 40. ‘Our company has a long-established culture of collaborative working with acclaimed international designers and architects on award-winning collections,’ he said. ‘We value our relationships with leading and established practices but we also believe it’s vitally important to nurture and encourage the design leaders of tomorrow. Collaboration with the AJ on 40 under 40 is our way of giving support to emerging talent and the future of design.’

He added: ‘The original 40 under 40 practices have gone on to achieve great things in the industry, and we have no doubt that this year’s winners will have bright futures ahead of them too. It is the next generation of architects and designers – breaking new ground in terms of sustainability, technology and social engagement – that we entrust with our shared future. On behalf of VitrA Bathrooms, we would like to heartily congratulate all the 40 under 40 participants.’