Coinciding with World Architecture Day, held on October 3, Barcelona’s Fundació Mies van der Rohe has awarded the 3rd Lilly Reich Grant for Equality in Architecture to M.ª Elia Gutiérrez Mozo, José Parra Martínez, Ana Gilsanz Díaz and Joaquín Arnau Amo for their research project Anna Bofill Levi. La arquitectura como contracanto: 1977 - 1996.
The quartet's research project explored the critical fusion of theory and practice in the overlooked, multidisciplinary professional activity of Catalan polymath, Anna Bofill Levi, and her subsequent struggle to be recognized in the face of familial opposition and the prevailing academic status quo of her time.
The Foundation shared, "The main objective of this work is the detailed and contextualized (situated) study of the architectural works designed and directed by Anna Bofill alone, in order to characterize them in their own features and to put them both in value and in relation to the rest of her intense work. Therefore, it is a question, first of all, of formulating her idea of architecture through the knowledge of her works, a production very delimited both in space and in time."
Jury members Zaida Muxí, Aaron Betsky, and Débora Domingo Calabuig shared, "The proposal will address the invisibilization of women working in teams and will make a local figure known to an international audience, offering a comprehensive view of the work and figure of Anna Bofill Levi. It is a clearly defined project, with the unique twist of trying to weave a production of architecture, music, writing, and management thanks to a transdisciplinary academic study of four researchers, mostly in architecture but with one of them with a very experienced background in musicology."
In 2018, the Lilly Reich Scholarships for Equality in Architecture was developed to honor the legacy of the influential and yet overlooked work of German artist, designer, and one of the Bauhaus' first female teachers, Lilly Reich. While she was the artistic partner of Mies van der Rohe, she was part of the conception and execution of the 1929 German Pavilion in Barcelona.
This year's academic grant project is distinct from previous scholarship calls that were research focused exclusively on Reich in order to elevate a discussion about inequality and marginalization in architecture. The third edition opened research focus to on "anyone from anywhere who deserves to overcome discrimination in the field of architecture."
According to the Foundation, an event to honor this year's grant recipients and project well be held at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion soon.
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