A travelogue of global carbon capture sites wins RIBA's 2022 Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship
By Josh Niland|
Friday, Aug 12, 2022
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced Royal College of Art MA graduate in Architecture Hana Sapherson as the next recipient of the prestigious annual Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship.
Now in its 16th edition, the scholarship endows a £7,000 ($8,500 USD) award to each winner to be used as a research stipend in the selected destination of their choosing, as outlined in the winning proposal. Last year’s selected project by Weronika Zdziarska offered an incisive investigation into gender-based violence in cities across the world.
Sapherson's successful 2022 proposal, "Zero: direct air capture infrastructure and the future of zero carbon societies," shifts the focus to sustainability methods and entails the documentation of six in-development Direct Air Capture sites plotted on a two-month global sea and rail journey between Europe to the United States.
“The jury was impressed by the high standard of entries for this year’s Travelling Scholarship. However, they were unanimous in their selection of Hana Sapherson’s proposal, which was a clear, lucid advocacy for her research into Direct Air Capture of carbon dioxide from sites across Europe and North America,” Foster said of the winner. “We offer our congratulations to Hana for her well-deserved success and look forward to when she will be able to share the results of such a worthy study.”
Sapherson had worked previously as an architectural assistant in Gensler’s London office and has also studied digital twin technologies in addition to pursuing research into Sustainable Ecosystems and Infrastructure Risk Analysis at the ETH Zurich in the summer of 2017. Her project will look to yield highly-scalable insights into the potentialities of carbon dioxide removal, which in turn should provide future dividends for governments and corporations looking to get under the international net-zero hurdle by 2050.
In a press statement, RIBA President Simon Allford said that “the success of Direct Air Capture sites could have a huge effect on our shared ambition to reach net zero — so we can all learn from Hana's research.”
Foster and the jury also commended Central Saint Martins student Antoinette Yetunde Oni on her proposed study of urban food systems and land use practices in different African cities.
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