Nicholas de Monchaux, Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of California, Berkeley, has been selected as a winner of the 2013-14 Rome Prize. The American Academy in Rome made the announcement yesterday, April 18, at the Arthur and Janet C. Ross Rome Prize Ceremony at the Metropolitan Club in New York City.
The Rome Prize is awarded annually through a national competition to a select group of scholars and artists of exceptional merit, representing a variety of disciplines. Winners are invited to reside at the American Academy’s 11-acre center in Rome and provided with a fellowship that includes a stipend, a study or studio, and room and board for a period of six months to two years. de Monchaux was among the 31 recipients of this year’s prize. His proposal for work at the Academy, “Robustness, Resilience, Redundancy and Rome” will examine architectural and urban design solutions to create greater social and infrastructural resilience in Rome’s fabric, and builds on de Monchaux’s recent work at Berkeley.
As an architect, urban designer, and theorist, de Monchaux focuses on the relationships between the urban environment, nature, and technology. In addition to his teaching at the College of Environmental Design at Berkeley, he serves on the executive committee of the Berkeley Center for New Media, Chairs the Academic Advisory Committee of the Berkeley Art Museum / Pacific Film Archive, and directs his own Oakland-based design practice. His work has been exhibited at the 2010 Biennial of the Americas, the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale, San Francisco’s SPUR, and SFMOMA.
de Monchaux has received design awards and citations from the International Union of Architects, Pamphlet Architecture, and the Van Alen Institute. His recent book, Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo (MIT Press, 2011), an architectural history of the Apollo spacesuit, won the Eugene Emme award from the American Astronautical Society and was shortlisted for the Art Book Prize.
Numerous publications have featured de Monchaux’s design work and criticism such as Architectural Design, Log, the New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Organizations that have supported his work include the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the Macdowell Colony, the Santa Fe Institute, and the Smithsonian Institution.
de Monchaux received his B.A. with distinction in Architecture, from Yale, and his Professional Degree (M.Arch.) from Princeton. Before his academic career, he worked as a designer for Michael Hopkins & Partners in London, and Diller, Scofidio + Renfro in New York.
“We are delighted to congratulate Nicholas on being awarded this prestigious prize,” said William W. Wurster Dean of Environmental Design Jennifer Wolch. “He is a shining example of the exceptional talent of our CED faculty and we wish him great success during his tenure at the Academy.”
Founded in 1894 as the first graduate school of architecture for the United States, the American Academy in Rome soon evolved into a hybrid center for the arts and humanities. It remains the premier American overseas not-for-profit, private center for independent study and advanced research in these disciplines.
Each year, approximately 30 Prize recipients are invited to Rome for six months to two years to immerse themselves in the Academy community—which includes Fellows, Residents, Visiting Artists and Scholars—and pursue their work in an atmosphere conducive to intellectual and artistic freedom, interdisciplinary exchange, and innovation. The national competition is presided over by rotating independent juries of peers in each discipline. This year, forty-four individuals were invited to make up nine peer juries to review the applications.
de Monchaux joins a prestigious list of former Rome Prize winners including architects Louis Kahn, Robert Venturi, and Michael Graves, and landscape architects Edward Lawson, Laurie Olin and Martha Schwartz.