Max Wong is the Recipient of the SOM Foundation 2014 Travel / Research Fellowship.
For his winning research topic, “Finding Common Ground in the Open Plan,” Max posits that the proliferation of the open plan raises questions regarding the relevance of architectural specificity in today’s culture and economies…The project will attempt to leverage the open plan’s capacity to “bridge between traditionally separate modes of architectural production andto cope with a constantly fluctuating present.” Max will visit projects on three (3) continents to study social, cultural and technological conditions in the open plan of three different use types “to establish common ground between them.”
Max grew up in the Bay Area town of Piedmont, California, where he graduated from Piedmont High School and attended the University of California at Los Angeles, where in 2010 he received his BA degree with a double major in Architectural Studies and Art.
Travelling East, Max earned his M Arch degree at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design in May 2014. Awards received during his study at the GSD include the Araldo A. Cossutta Prize for Design Excellence in 2012, awarded annually to “a student of merit who hassuccessfully completed the core program for the professional degree of Master in Architectureand whose design work consistently shows outstanding promise,” and in 2014, Max received the “Faculty Design Award” given to the graduating student who demonstrated “significant achievement throughout the Master of Architecture I program’s design sequence.”
Influential professors during Max’s time at the GSD include his thesis advisor, Professor Preston Scott Cohen, and Rem Koolhaas, professor and academic advisor with whom Max participated in a year-long research project, “ Elements of Architecture”, which culminated in an exhibit at the Venice 14th International Biennale and a book titled “Elements.” Participation with Professor Koolhaas in the research project included study abroad at the AMO/OMA in Rotterdam, Netherlands, during the initial phase of the research project and subsequent continued work as a remote researcher afterward.
Employed at the Boston firm of Howeler + Yoon Architecture / MY Studio, Max notes that his career aspirations are “ ... to gain a deeper understanding of the architectural discipline by both practicing and teaching design.”