snap shots of previous awardees
Winnipeg-based design firm 5468796 received the Spotlight Award in 2014.

Since 2009, Rice Design Alliance supports and recognizes the work of exceptionally gifted national and international architects in the early stages of their professional career through the Spotlight Award. 

The Spotlight Award was founded in 2009 under the leadership of Lonnie Hoogeboom with John J. Casbarian, Carlos Jiménez, and Rafael Longoria.

Every year, the Spotlight Award committee, formed by architects, academics, and design practitioners, convenes to consider local, national, and international architects within the first 15 years of their professional practice who have demonstrated design excellence and curiosity through their body of work. The Spotlight Award is by invitation only.

The award, which carries a monetary prize, also invites the selected architect/s to give the annual Spotlight Lecture at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Over the years, the Spotlight Award has built a reputation for identifying quality and thoughtfulness in design and has been the first to identify the work of 

architects who have gone on to receive major international recognition.

Starting in 2020, the Spotlight Award committee was joined by Amelyn Ng, Rice Architecture Wortham Fellow, and Michael Kubo, University of Houston Assistant Professor of Architectural History, Theory, and Criticism.

Past Spotlight Award recipients include Antón García-Abril, Ensamble Studio (2009); Sou Foujimoto (2010); Grace La and James Dallman, LA DALLMAN (2011); Pezo von Ellrichshausen (2012); Georgeen Theodore, Interboro Partners (2013); 5468796 (2014); Tarik Oualalou and Linna Choi, Oualalou+ Choi (2015); Cadaval & Solá-Morales (2016); and Anssi Lassila, OOPEAA (2017).


Fala Atelier: Filipe Magalhães, Ana Luisa Soares, and Ahmed Belkhodja

Fala Atelier

Filipe Magalhães, Ana Luisa Soares, and Ahmed Belkhodja

Founded in 2013 in Porto, Portugal, Fala Atelier is led by Filipe Magalhães, Ana Luisa Soares, and Ahmed Belkhodja. The studio prides itself in taking lightness and joy very seriously, a quality reflected in the playfulness and graphic nature of their orderly yet provocative drawings.