The Boston Society of Architects recently announced Elle Gerdeman, an associate at Höweler + Yoon, as the 2018 Rotch Travelling Scholar. Attracting over 95 applicants this year, six finalists were selected in the first rigorous round of the competition and presented to the jury in Boston. In the end, Elle Gerdeman won with her project “Pixels to Pulp”, pictured below. She'll receive $38,500 to fund at least six months of travel in the coming year.
The project brief imagines the consolidation of the Museum of Fine Art, Boston in a single building, located along the Emerald Necklace cultural corridor between the Museum of Fine Arts and the he School for the Museum of Fine Arts.
Project text for “Pixels to Pulp”: Are libraries accountable for collecting in the digital era? With so much digital and informational noise, how is information curated? And, at a time when library books are put on hold with a mobile phone and picked up, why would we need a physical library and not a warehouse? This speculative library proposal is meant as a siphoning of noise. Here, archives are curated into a continuous experience - a labyrinthian loop of bookshelves, crenellated to produce individualized spaces and data cold spots. Patrons are invited to wander, to discover, to indulge, while librarians are asked to navigate. Each of the collection categories are strung together as a campus around a public garden, an extension of the adjacent emerald necklace. As a speculation, this formal arrangement points to the contemporary condition of information overload and to the luxury of chance discover.
This year's runner-up title went to Charles Sharpless — a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Texas Tech University College of Architecture — for his project, “Frame for Books”. As the runner-up, he'll automatically be a part of next year's final competition.
The 2018 jury included: Grace La, principal, La Dallman Architects; Alex Anmahian AIA, principal, Anmahian Winton Architects; Rania Ghosn, principal, Design Earth; Steven Foote FAIA, vice president of the Rotch Travelling Scholarship Committee; and Peter Wiederspahn AIA, graduate programs coordinator, Northeastern University School of Architecture, and secretary of the Rotch Travelling Scholarship Committee
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