Robert A.M. Stern Architects announced master's student Michelle Tianhui Chen from the Yale University School of Architecture as the recipient of the prestigious 2015 RAMSA Travel Fellowship. The $10,000 fellowship will fund Chen's trip to India, where she will study the architectural shift from diverse expressive design languages toward a more politically and ethnically neutral vocabulary.
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"'In our world of increasingly ubiquitous gleaming towers, clean in form but cleansed of details, looking to centuries-old traditions might be a means toward reestablishing human attachment to our everyday surroundings,' says Ms. Chen. Her proposal promises to 'culminate in a book of drawings and text that attempts to chart a path to a more balanced architecture—one which does not forsake cultural expression for a shallow conception of political order.'
The jury consisted of three RAMSA Partners: Melissa DelVecchio, Dan Lobitz, and Grant Marani. Alexandra Gershuny and Arianne Kouri facilitated the discussion and process.
"'Ms. Chen's very strong portfolio shows a clear point of view, and her proposed line of inquiry relates closely to the work she's been doing. It is easy to imagine how her study will help advance her growth as an architect,' said the jury. 'It was the creativity and poetics of Ms. Chen's proposal that tipped the balance.'"
The jury was also impressed by the variety of types of proposals and topics, which included: "Historic and Contemporary Applications of the Port Typology" by Katie MacDonald, Harvard Graduate School of Design; "Mobility and the Residential Landscape" by Kayla Manning, Princeton University School of Architecture; "Icelandic Turf Building" by David Sharratt, University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture; and "Relief: Drawing Depth from Carlo Scarpa and the Mudéjar Tradition" by John Kleinschmidt, Yale School of Architecture.
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