Indian architect and academic Arijit Chatterjee has been selected as the winner of the 2021–22 James Harrison Steedman Memorial Fellowship in Architecture biannual research competition.
The Ahmedabad-based Chatterjee will receive a $75,000 cash prize for his proposal titled “Mapping the mind of the river: Architecture as a loss of control,” an assessment of how differing public utility systems can be used to exercise control over the vital food and water resources of a particular country. As part of his fellowship, Chatterjee will study river systems in Bangladesh, Burma, China, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan in order to develop a “Handbook of Repair” based on Indigenous stewardship practices and his own observations.
Chatterjee, a visiting faculty member at CEPT University, beat out almost 50 other entries who competed around a theme of disruption to answer essential questions about society and climate change as developed by the AIA’s St. Louis chapter and the Department of Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis’ Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts.
An announcement from the school commended Chatterjee’s ability to dissect “how political power overlaps with landscapes” as well as the overall attention it paid to “the material and spatial consequences of these power struggles over water and industry.”
Another project focusing on “limitations of quantitative accounting of future impacts by connecting abstract accounting for future harm to immediate acts of reparation” from Yale SoA Master’s candidate Jack Rusk was selected as an alternative. It was joined by projects from fellow SoA master’s candidate Audrey Fischer and alums Daniel Jacobs (2014) and Laura Pappalardo (2021) on a list of special mentions that also includes recent Auburn University graduate Pilar Zuluaga.
This year's jury was chaired by US Green Building Council Resilience Steering Committee member and WUSTL adjunct lecturer Mary Ann Lazarus. She was joined by Leddy Maytum Stacy founder Marsha Maytum, UPenn Weitzman School professor Billy Fleming, WUSTL's Shantel Blakely, and All of the Above founding principal Janette Kim on the jury for this year's competition, which was organized by professors Patty Heyda and Chandler Ahrens in coordination with 1973 Steedman Fellow William Wischmeyer.
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