The four grants are awarded to licensed professionals in their mid-career working on various challenges to the design industry through investigations that will ultimately be applied to the art and science of architectural practice. Each project was judged for its engagement with contemporary local and global architectural issues in addition to a consideration of the utility of each initiative’s end result.
Among the winners, Center for Urban Pedagogy executive director Christine Gaspar and Studio O founder Liz Ogbu were awarded a $15,000 grant for their joint effort titled Design as a Tool to Support Community Healing. The project will delve into the rituals and practice different groups of people use in the grieving process to develop the tools necessary for designers in aid of collective recovery as effected through the built environment.
Liz Teston was awarded $10,000 for her Public Interiority project. Using multiple cities as case studies, Teston will seek to generate a dialog around interiority and public space after Covid using atmosphere, form, politics, program, and psychology as her key areas of investigation. The research begs essential questions about the ability of designers to craft interior-feeling spaces along such lines. Teston is a faculty member at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and has degrees from Savannah College of Art and Design and Georgia Tech in addition to having received a Fulbright Scholarship in 2018.
LEA Architecture founder Jane Lea’s work surrounding the issue of gender representation and public monuments is well known and will be continued in her new project called Monumental: A Re-imagining of NYC’s Commemorative Landscape. The $10,000 grant will go towards research into alternative sites and typologically-suitable forms in the hopes of producing an interactive map of potential locations, designs for new monuments, and a toolkit for later use by designers looking for future inspiration.
Finally, Columbia GSAPP lecturer Julia Watson was awarded $15,000 to pursue the further development of her groundbreaking Lo-TEK movement. Her forthcoming publication Lo-TEK: Underwater and Intertidal Nature-Based Technologies looks at the response in terms of resiliency design made by indigenous communities facing sea-level rise. Watson bases her research on the five strategies outlined in IPCC's damning 2019 report (a topic currently on the minds of many) and expects the result to offer updated findings to the ideas first introduced in her bestselling 2019 title Lo-TEK: Design by Radical Indigenism.
More information about each project can be found here. Stay tuned for more of our industry-leading converge of grants and other academic competitions.
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