Today, the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) revealed the six winners of the third annual Richard Rogers Fellowship residency program. Hailing from the U.S., Italy, and Germany, the fellows will each spend three and a half months at the Richard Rogers, Hon. FAIA–designed Wimbledon House in London to pursue research on a variety of issues. The program will also award each fellow a $10,000 cash prize and cover expenses to and from London.
Launched in October 2016, the fellowship is "inspired by Rogers’s commitment to cross-disciplinary investigation and engagement," according to a GSD press release.
The 2019 fellows are:
Esther Choi, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Research: The Organization of Life: Architecture and the Life Sciences in Great Britain, 1929-1951
Bio and Project Description: Esther Choi is a Ph.D. candidate in the History and Theory of Architecture and the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities at Princeton University. She received a Master of Arts in the History and Theory of Architecture from Princeton in 2014, and a Master in Design Studies from the Harvard GSD in 2008. Her research interests center on the entanglements between architecture and the life sciences in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the intersections between artistic and architectural movements throughout the 20th century.
Her Richard Rogers Fellowship proposal will explore the exchanges that took place between scientists, architects, artists, and designers to reimagine Great Britain as a scientifically ordered world after the economic crash of 1929. Spanning 20 years, four case studies organized according to evolutionary themes—natural selection, adaptation, heredity, and mutation—revisit schemes that championed the belief that the human mind and behavior are thoroughly shaped by the environment.
John Paul Rysavy, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Research: A Brick is a Brick: Material and its Image in Postwar London
Bio and Project Description: John Paul Rysavy is an architect and senior associate at SHoP Architects in New York City, where he has overseen work on the Botswana Innovation Hub, Uber Headquarters, Wave/Cave Pavilion, U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa, and Upper Harbor Terminal Amphitheater. He has been a collaborator with Jenna Dezinski in the design and research practice And-Either-Or and worked previously with Will Bruder, Mathias Klotz, Brian MacKay-Lyons, and David Heymann. Rysavy has been a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome and the Charles Moore Foundation. He received a Master of Architecture and the Henry Adams Medal from the University of Texas at Austin following study at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Versailles and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
With the Richard Rogers Fellowship, Rysavy will explore cultures of brick construction associated with late modern and postmodern architectural practice in and around London. By means of writing and photogrammetric modeling, research expands from a larger study investigating technical and rhetorical applications of the brick following introduction of the cavity wall in Central Western Europe. Through the medium of brick, the project traces antecedent models of material representation as an image and graphic in contemporary architectural production.
Sarosh Anklesaria, Ithaca, N.Y.
Research: Embedded Resistances within Neoliberal Regimes: Activist-Architects and the Contested Spaces of London’s Traditional Markets
Bio and Project Description: Sarosh Anklesaria is an architect and educator. He has worked as an architect with Diller Scofidio + Renfro (New York), Herzog & de Meuron (Basel), and Sangath, the office of Balkrishna Doshi, in Ahmedabad. He is currently a Visiting Critic at Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art and Planning and has taught design studios at The Pratt Institute and Syracuse University. Anklesaria has a diploma in architecture from CEPT University and a Master of Architecture from Cornell University. He runs an independent practice based in New York and Ahmedabad and has been a member of the Architecture and Design panel at NYSCA. His writing, work and research has been published in a variety of media, including Architectural Review, Domus, Architect’s Newspaper, and Design Today, among others.
His proposal stitches together two broad themes of research that have occupied his creative pursuits: architecture’s capacity to generate inclusive forms of public space, especially in the context of the neoliberal city, and the traditional market as the site of these contestations. The primary objective of the research is to study the traditional markets of London as well as the role of activist architects in generating spaces of empowerment within, or of consequence to, traditional markets.
Maria Letizia Garzoli, Trecate, Italy
Research: The Leasehold Uncanny Persistency: Shaping London Great Estates
Bio and Project Description: Maria Letizia Garzoli is an architect and researcher. She holds an architecture degree from the Politecnico di Milano and a Master in Design Studies from the Harvard GSD. She has worked at practices including Machado Silvetti and Johnston Marklee, and is currently a researcher at Foster + Partners. As she argues in her proposal, the leasehold property is a centuries-old form of ownership that corroborated the lasting presence of large aristocratic estates in West London. Today, given the transition of these family holdings into proper corporate investment companies and the increased levels of frustration among small homeowners, the meaning and study of this persistent structure is especially important. The land ownership monopoly entails a monopoly of culture, form, and identity.
Her Richard Rogers Fellowship research seeks to represent how this form of property law shaped and shapes the architectural and social panorama on the lands of the great estates of West London. The final product will consist of an illustrated atlas.
Peter Christensen, Rochester, N.Y.
Research: Materialized: the Global Life of Architectural Steel
Bio and Project Description: Peter Christensen is assistant professor of Art History at the University of Rochester, and earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2014. His specialization is modern architectural and environmental history, particularly of Germany, Central Europe, and the Middle East. His theoretical interests center on issues of geopolitics and multiculturalism. He also maintains a strong interest in infrastructure and its history.
Christensen plans to use the Richard Rogers Fellowship towards research for his forthcoming second book. By following the life of steel from the collection of raw minerals and metals to the distribution of finished goods in the long 19th century, instead of examining heroic architectural forms made from steel, Christenen’s book aims to challenge the traditional narrative that architectural steel was the primary and heroic material responsible for architectural modernism. He intends to achieve this revisionist interpretation by combining the methods of environmental history, which focuses on ecology and the macro scale, with localized sources of business and trade history, especially corporate archives.
Michael Waldrep, Berlin
Research: Finding the Green Belt: Preservation, New Towns, and Development on the Urban-Rural Landscapes of Greater London
Bio and Project Description: Michael Waldrep is a media artist and researcher focused on architecture and urban planning. With degrees in Film Studies and City Planning from the University of California at Berkeley and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, respectively, he was selected as a member of the first generation of Fulbright - National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellows in 2014. Currently, he works in research and filmmaking at Studio Olafur Eliasson.
As a culmination of an ongoing multimedia investigation into the global spread and differentiation of suburban planning and architecture, his proposal for the Richard Rogers Fellowship is to document the edges of Greater London. Waldrep’s practice, as a trained city planner and media artist, has been honed through similar studies of Mexico City, Cape Town, and Berlin. His project will seek to bring to light, through writing, interviews, archival research, and, above all else, first-hand photographic investigation, the myriad interacting factors that permeate the Metropolitan Green Belt and the symbiotic New Towns can be teased apart and brought to light.
Read about the class of 2018 winners here.
This article has been updated since its original publication.