This year, the American Institute of Architects Los Angeles Chapter awarded student Miguel Ruiz a 2019 AIA|LA Photography Merit Award. A total of 18 images, awarded in the Honor, Merit, and Citation tiers, were selected from 450 submissions, a two-fold increase on the 2018 edition. The awards were founded as a “celebration of the use of architecture as a subject to make art, rather than a photograph as a documentation tool. They celebrate the photographer’s eye, skill, and talent in expressing the transcendent nature of space.
Miguel is a fifth-year student from Long Beach California. He decided to study architecture because of his love for photography. “Photography has allowed me to express myself in a way I can’t with words. I first started learning photography 15 years ago with black and white film and found the process of developing and processing a photo magical. I love photographing buildings. I decided to take an intro to architecture in community college and fell in love with it.”
His photo for AIA|LA, titled, “L.A.”, won a merit award this year. Describing the photograph, Miguel says that, “I took this photo almost four years ago. It was my first semester in architecture school at Woodbury University. I was stuck in traffic on my way home from school. I decided to exit the freeway and walk around DTLA. I got to Bunker Hill and decided to stand and wait for the perfect moment.”