There are four finalists competing for the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) international travel fellowship this year. For the uninitiated, the Wheelwright Prize is almost like a Fulbright research grant, but for young international architects. Aimed at architecture graduates of the past 15 years, the winner will receive a sweet deal: they’ll take home $100,000 towards research outside of the United States (or if living internationally, outside their country of residence). Additionally, there are opportunities to lecture at the Harvard GSD and publish research in a GSD publication. The four finalists are presenting their work at the Harvard GSD this April 20th. Last year’s award went to Erik L’Heureux, an architect and assistant professor based in Singapore. His proposal centered on studying architecture in equatorial zone cities like Jakarta and São Paolo. The prize was founded in 1935 in memory of Arthur W. Wheelwright, and originally awarded to top graduates of Harvard’s GSD program. The prize opened up four years ago to young international architects beyond GSD. The prize has gone to a roster of notables that include I. M. Pei, Paul Rudolph, and Eliot Noyes. Here is a rundown of the four finalists and images of their past work. The GSD selected the four finalists from a pool of over 200 entrants from 45 countries. Samuel Bravo Chilean architect and assistant professor Samuel Bravo has a background working on earthquake reconstruction in historic areas in South America. His proposal is titled Cultural Frictions: A Transference, From Traditional Architecture to Contemporary Production. Matilde Cassani Architect, designer, and curator, Matilde Cassani, from Milan, has worked on sustainable developments in Germany and rebuilding after tsunamis. Her studies have focused on public space, migrant communities, and modern sacred/religious spaces. Her proposal is titled Once in a Lifetime: The Architecture of Ritual in Pilgrimage Sites. Anna Puigjaner Barcelona-based architect Anna Puigjaner (MAIO) focuses on the impacts of flexibility in architecture and design. Her past work has explored adaptable, site-specific installations, as well as the connections and tensions between urban and domestic life. Her proposal is titled Kitchenless City: Architectural Systems for Social Welfare. Pier Paolo Tamburelli The fourth finalist is architect and visiting professor Pier Paolo Tamburelli, cofounder of baukuh architects (based in both Genoa and Milan). He has worked on mixed-use and public buildings, as well as masterplans and historic renovations. His proposal is titled Wonders of the Modern World.
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SXSW Eco's Place by Design (PxD) competition recently announced an ambitious list of finalist projects. Each design represents the competition's belief in the impact of quality design and the utilization of space to develop the interactive relationship between people and place. "The Place by Design Finalists envision public space as something greater than a backdrop for human activity," the SXSW Eco website explains. "These projects push everyday places to become an integral part of a community and a force for social, economic and environmental change." The finalists fall into five categories—Art + Interaction, Data + Tech, Resilience, Social Impact, and Urban Strategy. Each is composed of a centralized theme that integrates a responsive environment. One of the projects, presented by Mouna Andraos and Melissa Mongiat, showcases musical swings activated by playground enthusiasts all of ages. When all swings are used, it creates a harmonious tune that promotes community engagement and invites singing swingers everywhere. Another project, Ribbon Gardens, aims to address food scarcity in food deserts. Ribbon Gardens, made through a "customized, easy to assemble kit of parts" to create "functional food production areas." "Design profoundly shapes how we interact with and care for the places we inhabit," the Place by Design competition page states. "Good design fosters vibrant, well-maintained communities, while poor design can lead to fractured urban landscapes that lack a sense of place." The Place by Design finalists will present their projects at the SXSW Eco on October 5th through the 7th at the Austin Convention Center. View a full list of finalists on the Place by Design website.
Through Stormproof, an open international design competition for building resilient cities, Terreform One has pursued many viable solutions for a stormproof future. Students and professionals were challenged with preparing cities for imminent confrontations of extreme climate change. Twenty finalists were chosen from 168 teams comprised of 310 participants based in over fifteen countries, and by employing complex designs such as barrier islands to mitigate storm and flood impact, participants have recommended solutions that revive and repurpose present infrastructure. Finalists include SLIDE, a resilient scheme for stabilizing mudslides in Los Angeles by recycling debris to produce an opportunity for open ended growth, and Hybrid Edge, an approach that suggests the re-invention of the coastline edge of Dowtown Miami by conflating urban and wetland ecologies. Others, such as A Working Waterfront for NY Harbor utilize shipping infrastructure as coastline defense through an ecologically-minded tactic. The jury involves a renowned panel of designers including Stan Allen, Principal, SAA, former Dean of Princeton University School of Architecture, Michael Arad, partner of Handel Architects, and Dan Barasch, Co-Founder of The Low Line, among several others. Jurors will meet to select the winners by the end of the month. Explore all of the finalists here.