The College of Environmental Design is pleased to announce the 2019-2020 John K. Branner Traveling Fellowship, Harold Stump Memorial Traveling Fellowship, and Andrew Beckerman Travel Fellowship winners, all of which are prizes for international travel and research awarded annually to Master of Architecture students ranging in amount from $10,000 to $20,000.
All three fellowships support independent travel in the exploration of a particular architectural question or issue. Although the topic of research may optionally be expanded as a thesis, it is expected that the experience of travel will enrich the fellow’s design studies. Upon returning from their travels, Fellows present their findings to the CED community in the form of a lecture and exhibition during the Architecture Spring Semester Lecture Series. Below are the winners.
Branner Fellowship Winners:
Tara Shi (M.Arch. ‘20) — “Automation, Labor, and the Architectural Imagination”
Today, automation is everywhere. Broadly defined as “technology by which a process or procedure is performed with minimum human assistance” automation has saturated our work environments in an army of forms across scales. These shifting labor practices are not only augmenting existing buildings, but also producing new architectural typologies. By studying past design experiments and imaginations, She intends to find new inspirations, perspectives and paradigms to re-frame difficult topics architects face in the field today. Issues like ethics, access, transparency and obsolescence in the built environment will only become more complex as the future increasingly automates. Using writing, photography, and interviews, Shi will visit sites in Italy, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, China, Japan, the Philippines, and the United States.
Caleb Bentley (M.Arch. ‘20) — “Mimesis”
Caleb Bentley proposed an examination of Renaissance Florence coupled with the Bay Area to tie together several disparate strands in his architectural education. First, he will consider the implications of architecture on society in both the Bay Area and the cities of Florence, Rome, and Paris. Power, beauty, and ideology are readily visible in the built environment of these regions, but what are their typologies and where are the similarities? Using photogrammetry and digital techniques, he will explore questions of practice and a theory of digital degredation. Last, interiority, the courtyard, and proportion — all of which have pervaded his studio work at CED — will be examined.
Thomas Devore (M.Arch. ‘20) — The Construction of Sanctity
Thomas Devore’s project will explore the role of architectural material in shaping conceptions of sanctity. Cultures around the world have constructed architecture that is (or was) held sacred. Different groups’ claims on the sacred have been enforced with mythologies and war, charity and oppression, but also with the transfiguration of raw materials into sanctified art and architecture. For this study, “sacred architecture” is defined as that which is tied to belief in the mystical or supernatural. Despite this narrow definition of sanctity, Devore intends on studying these sacred spaces both in the context of their mythology: as spaces with powerful social function (whether it be teaching, celebration, exclusion, sacrifice, marriage, etc.), as well as phenomenologically: material, form, and space that inspires sensations and emotions. Using audio, photography, interviews, and drawings, Devore will document his travels to Japan, Tibet, India, Dubai, Egypt, Greece, Italy, and Spain.
Branner and Stump Fellowship Winner:
Sandy Curth (M.Arch. ‘20) — The Softening Edge
Sandy Curth’s project will evaluate tectonic responses to climate change at geographically extreme locations around the world. Curth wrote in his proposal: “Accelerating climate change attenuates our relationship to ground, weakening our ability to build lasting structure. How do we anchor shelter to ground that is now slipping away?” He will visit urban sites that are experiencing and adapting to a landscape that is increasingly unstable. Beginning with a study of Arctic cities built on permafrost, Curth will consider the range of negotiations between softening landscape and community at both the urban and architectural scale. Using photogrammetry to document critical interfaces with the softening landscape and typological drawings that suggest future modes of adaptation, he will attempt to preserve tectonic moments in a landscape of adaptation and reprocessing. Curth will visit Alaska, Canada, Iceland, Greenland, Scandinavia, Svalbard, Russia, China, Japan, Mexico, Peru, France, Switzerland, Italy, and Ethiopia.
Branner and Beckerman Fellowship Winner:
Caroline Chen (M.Arch. ‘21) — “Occupy Autopia”
The elevated highway as a component of infrastructure, its standardization, mono-functionality, and material permanence has produced an efficient mechanism for delivering flows of automobile traffic. However, what has rendered it as an efficient design of engineering has also rendered it as a rigid spatial barrier and agent of pollution. Caroline Chen’s proposal seeks to evaluate the genre of elevated highway interventions through their successes and failures and understand potentials architects in collaborating on retrofit and designing for highway adjacent sites. Using GIS analysis and physical on site surveying, Chen will create a series of analyses for particular highway interventions and create a series of horizontal section drawings (planimetric) through highway projects that analyze their relationship to the urban fabric. She will travel to Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Washington, Texas, New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, Ontario, Mexico, Brazil, Spain, Italy, France, the Netherlands, and Germany.