Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (GSD) has announced the three finalists for the 2015 edition of the Wheelwright Prize, a $100,000 fellowship for travel-based research. Selected from a field of nearly 200 applicants, this year’s finalists are Malkit Shoshan, Erik L'Heureux, AIA, and Quynh Vantu. These three designers and early-career architects will present their work and proposals at the GSD on April 16, and a winner will be announced at the end of April.
“The strength and diversity of the applications are growing each year, making the jury’s job increasingly difficult,” jury chair K. Michael Hays said in a release. “It is gratifying to see so many young architects approach their work as part of larger intellectual projects.”
Quynh Vantu is a doctoral candidate at London's Bartlett School of Architecture and past recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to study in the United Kingdom as well as founder of a London-based practice, Studio Quynh Vantu, which is devoted to spatial experimentation. Her Wheelwright Prize proposal is Movement: The Threshold and Its Shaping of Culture and Spatial Experience.
Malkit Shoshan, who founded Amsterdam-based architectural think-tank Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory (FAST), is a current Ph.D. candidate at Delft University of Technology whose doctoral studies focus on the architecture and landscapes of war and peace. Shoshan entered a proposal called Architecture and Conflict: Pre-Cycling the Compound for the Wheelwright Prize.
Erik L'Heureux is an American architect teaching and practicing in Singapore. He heads a firm called Pencil Office, and is an assistant professor at the National University of Singapore, where he researches building envelopes in equatorial climates. His proposal for the Wheelwright Prize is titled Hot and Wet: The Equatorial City and the Architectures of Atmosphere.
The Harvard GSD announced the 2015 Wheelwright Prize jury in January. This year’s jury was led by K. Michael Hays, professor and associate dean of academic affairs at Harvard GSD, and included Mohsen Mostafavi, Intl. Assoc. AIA, dean of Harvard GSD; Craig Evan Barton, Assoc. AIA, director of the design school at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University; Preston Scott Cohen, professor and former chair of architecture at Harvard GSD; Jorge Silvetti, a principal of Boston-based firm Machado and Silvetti Associates and professor at Harvard GSD; Elisa Silva, founder of Enlace Arquitectura as well as professor at the Simón Bolívar University in Venezuela; and Sarah Herda, director of Chicago's Graham Foundation for Advanced Study in the Fine Arts.
The Wheelwright Prize was established in 1935 as the Arthur C. Wheelwright Traveling Fellowship, and was open only to alumni of the Harvard GSD until 2013, when the grant was renamed and reformatted to become an international competition for early-career architects who have graduated from an professionally accredited architectural program within the last 15 years.
Jose Ahedo won the 2014 Wheelwright Prize with a proposal aimed at studying agricultural architecture. Gia Wolff won the inaugural Wheelwright Prize in 2013, and will also showcase the results of her research in an exhibition titled Floating City: The Community-Based Architecture of Parade Floats at the April 16 presentation.