Jongwan Kwon is the Recipient of the SOM Foundation’s 2016 SOM Prize for Architecture. For his winning research topic, “After Efficiency: Logistics Infrastructure from a Regional Perspective,” Jongwan will visit major international gateways (ports, airports, canals and tunnels) on four (4) continents. The focus of his study will be on the impact these infrastructure projects have on their regional environment and to identify new possibilities for solutions which will be a synthesis of social, cultural, ecological and sustainable design. Interviews with noted Scholars and Practitioners in the Field of Infrastructure Environment will be an essential part of the research, to broaden understanding of the subject.
Having grown up in Daegu, Korea, Jongwan graduated from Hanyang University in 2011, earning his Bachelor of Architecture Degree, summa cum laude, and receiving the Best Thesis Award. As an Exchange Student at the National University of Singapore in 2008, he had the opportunity to explore and design tropical architecture.
Jongwan continued his education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, receiving his Master of Architecture degree and a Certificate in Urban Design in February 2016. While at MIT, he served as a Teaching Assistant in both the undergraduate and the graduate core architecture studios. Along with his academic learning and teaching, Jongwan gained professional experience in internationally recognized offices, including Kengo Kuma & Associates, and Morphosis Architects.
Upon graduation, Jongwan was appointed as a Teaching Fellow in the MIT Department of Architecture, teaching design studio courses and carrying out architectural research. As a Teaching Fellow, he has recently completed teaching a design studio, which is part of an MIT Office of Engineering Outreach Program, introducing minority students to Engineering and Science, through a rigorous six-week residential and academic program for high school seniors, many of whom come from underserved communities. The studio design problem was to develop floating housing prototypes for a village in Cambodia.
Jongwan’s career aspirations include both teaching and practice, with a particular focus on investigating contemporary issues to inspire architecture and urban design