Graduate student, Athena Do received first place in the third annual Avery Review Essay Prize for her essay, The Language of Efficiency: A Misreading of the Industrial Era. Do is a recent graduate of CED’s Master of Architecture Program.
The Avery Review is a monthly journal of critical essays on architecture published by the Office of Publications at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.
Submissions were welcomed from current undergraduates, masters-level students, and recent graduates and explored some of the urgent questions animating the field of architecture.
In her writing, Do links the rapid industrialization, and its associated consequences, of the world's largest industrial center in Reno, Nevada to the limiting, disguising language of the site’s initial development plan and architectural style handbook.
“Do parses the design guidelines of the Development Handbook for the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center. Her careful misreading prompts us to consider what is at stake in the massive landscapes transformed by machine logistics and the often unseen architectures of the digital economy." The Avery Review said in summary of Do's essay.
“As the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center reveals, these machine landscapes have an uneasy, exploitative relationship to the lands and communities in which they are sited—to see this, one only needs to read between the lines.” Do says in her paper.
“If human and environmental realities are capable of exposing malfunctions in the programming of our new phase of modernity, perhaps identifying the malfunctions in its language of efficiency can be the first step in allowing a reprogramming to occur.”
Check out Do’s winning work in The Avery Review’s latest issue here.