The College of Environmental Design is pleased to announce the 2020-2021 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.
In light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, the recipients of these prizes have been told that they should defer their travel plans until the Summer of 2021 when, we can all hope, it will be safe to do so. We, as they, look forward to such a time. They will still be expected to return to campus to present their findings even if they have, at that point, graduated. Below are the winners and their planned journeys.
Branner Fellowship Winners
ELIZABETH OYLER (M.ARCH. ‘21) — “PILGRIMAGE ARCHITECTURE AND GEOGRAPHIES OF HEALING”
The practice of pilgrimage, or ritual travel to a sacred location, is as old as faith. We have been walking in search of divinity or magic for as long as we have told stories. In the built environment, pilgrimage practices of all religions have and continue to exert immense influence, from the invention of the ecclesiastical ambulatory to accommodate early medieval pilgrims to the many and contested architectural proposals for the newly-accessible Western Wall in Jerusalem in the late 1960s. Pilgrimage architecture, however, extends far beyond the built bounds of a destined site. Pilgrims require supportive infrastructure—shelter, food, places to rest—and designers (and entrepreneurs) have seen these needs as opportunities for innovation for centuries. Oyler will visit many of these pilgrimage sites located in Spain, France, Switzerland, Italy, Israel, Japan, India, Mexico, and the United States.
SALLY LAPE (M.ARCH. ‘21) — “REIMAGINING RESIDUAL SPACES OF CONFLICT”
War and mass social conflict have shaped the built environment and contributed to our relationships with public space. Buildings and spaces that represent conflict are typically approached through either erasure or preservation. Since European colonization, many countries in Southeast Asia have made an effort to raze buildings from the colonial era, replacing them with modern high rises in order to portray a new, or perhaps different, history. By contrast, other examples aim to raise awareness and emphasize the gravity of conflict through preservation. The Whitney Plantation in Louisiana remains largely unchanged, except that it now serves as a museum memorializing the reality of American slavery. In some cases, a combination of tactics is deemed appropriate: following the Second World War, most concentration camps in Europe were demolished, while a few significant sites, such as Auschwitz-Birkenau, were preserved as museums with the intent of acknowledging the horrors of the Holocaust. This project will explore an alternate approach: the potential for residual structures of conflict to be repurposed through adaptive reuse in countries such as the United States, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa, Italy, Poland, and Germany.
YAFEI LI (M.ARCH. ‘21) — “LEARNING FROM PARALLEL INDUSTRIES: TOWARD A NEW ARCHITECTURE”
Over the last three centuries, modern civilization has undergone three significant transformations, often known as industrial revolutions: the age of mechanical production, the age of mass production, and the age of automated production. All have had a critical impact on society in general, but in particular, on architecture. The way we design, construct and utilize buildings has been impacted due to industrial changes in materials, resources, processes, and techniques. The impending fourth industrial revolution, the age of information and intelligence, is barreling towards us at breakneck speed, according to Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum. Are we as architects prepared to take on the leadership and innovation roles that this fourth revolution will introduce, and have our motivations and knowledge evolved to match the challenges and opportunities presented? Li’s research explores the ideas, processes, and techniques from other industries that can be creatively applied in architecture and construction technology. This will be achieved by visiting various types of industrial manufacturing and fabrication factories or plants in China, Japan, France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, the United States, Canada, Thailand, and Indonesia.
Stump Fellowship Winner
ELENA BOUTON (M.ARCH. ‘21) — “LOOPHOLES AND EXTRA-LEGAL INTERVENTIONS IN ARCHITECTURE”
The architectural legacy of engaging with occupied space has shifted during periods of extreme social unrest. In Milan in the 1970s, architecture classes were held for youth squatters and protestors to instruct them on safe building materials and construction methods. In Berlin in the 1980s, city planners would collect ways in which building codes were disregarded, and would work toward legalization and amendment. Contemporary architects have engaged with legality by publishing ways to hack the building code, like Santiago Cirugeda’s Recetas Urbanas and Finn Williams and David Knight’s SUB-Pla. In the case of Michael Sorkin’s Local Code, a city is reduced only to the restrictions that are applied to it. Bouton’s project aims to place ‘loophole’ architecture and extra-legal architecture in conversation with each other through their action as a spatial occupation, to understand how code generates form. The sites Bouton will be observing will be found in the following countries: the United States, Spain, France, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Poland, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Serbia, and Taiwan.
Branner and Beckerman Fellowship Winner
ALICIA MOREIRA (M.ARCH. ‘22) — “TERRITORIAL TENDENCIES”
In the wake of a new epoch, globalization has altered the relationship between hinterland and city. Urban areas now depend more heavily on other cities for resources than on their respective hinterlands. This research aims to understand the ways in which Territory influences Architecture’s response to Geography. In order to analyze relationships between layers of Territories, from the hinterland to the city, Moreira will travel along five rivers from source to mouth. The rivers Rimac and Maipo stem from the Andes; the Po, Rhone, and Rhine from the Alps. As opposed to an archipelagic approach of flying from city to city, Moreira will use the movement through spaces as an investigation and observe the ways in which Architecture interacts with Geography. Through this approach, Moreira will challenge the long-uncontested dichotomy between the urban and the rural. The boundary between the two is blurred, with hinterlands no longer serving merely as service landscapes to their respective cities.