Marilyn Moedinger has been selected as the Recipient of the prestigious 2010 SOM Prize, a $50,000 Research and Travel Fellowship. She received her Master of Architecture degree from the University of Virginia in 2010, and also received a BS in Architecture and a BA in History from the University of Virginia in 2005. Ms. Moedinger plans to travel to countries on four continents, carrying out her research on the topic, “Portraits of Climate Mediation in Vernacular Residential Architecture,” addressing the global challenge of climate change and the identification of cost effective strategies for climate mitigation to add to the canon of contemporary, affordable design methods and materials. Her research topic is a direct outgrowth of her experience managing the ”ecoMOD” House, a design/build/evaluate project at the School of Architecture during her undergraduate studies, her work experiences doing emergency home repair in the coalfields region of West Virginia, and her Master’s thesis work on rural affordable housing in Appalachia. A Pennsylvania native, Marilyn was born and raised on the family farm near Lancaster. Social responsibility informs her goal to “continue throughout her career to work toward solving issues of sustainability and affordable housing with a mix of vision, common sense, whimsy, and practicality."
Azra Dawood is the recipient of a $20,000 Travel / Research Fellowship. Ms. Dawood graduated in June 2010 with a Master of Science in Architectural Studies from the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her Master’s Thesis, “Failure to Engage: The Breasted-Rockefeller Gift of a New Egyptian Museum and Research Institute at Cairo,” won a “2009-2010 John Taylor Herget Award for Academic Excellence.” Through a combination of archival work and travel in the Middle East, England, France, Ireland and the United States, Ms Dawood plans to utilize her Fellowship to carry out further research on her larger topic, “Rockefeller Philanthropies: The Construction of U.S. Identity.” Ms Dawood also holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Texas at Austin (2001) and has worked for architecture firms and research organizations in Karachi (her home town), Austin and New York.
Adam Nizich is the recipient of the SOM Foundation’s 2010 Structural Engineering Travel Fellowship. A December 2009 graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago with a BS degree in Civil Engineering, Adam has now commenced graduate studies at the University of Nevada, Reno, with a focus on Structural Engineering. The $10,000 prize for Mr. Nizich's award winning essay, “Iconic Form: High-Speed Railroad Structures,” and travel itinerary will be used for travel to China, Japan, Western Europe and across the US, to study stations and bridges associated with high speed rail systems. Following graduation from high school in Burbank, California, Adam’s study at IIT included a semester of study abroad at the University of Sydney, Australia, and involvement with the Engineers Without Borders and the NGO Haiti Outreach, participating in a group project, working on a portion of a water supply and distribution network for rural Haiti. The project won an Honorable Mention in the EPA’s P3 sustainable design competition in Washington, DC. Adam later led a student project at IIT to raise funds primarily from the Chicago community to fund a solar energy system for a public secondary school in rural Pignon, Haiti. The student group subsequently traveled to Haiti to assist the professional solar installer in the successful installation of the solar energy system, which provides lighting for the school.
On the occasion of the annual RIBA President’s Medals, William Gowland, from the University of Nottingham, received the SOM Foundation 2010 Fellowship Award given to a student who has completed the RIBA Part 1 course of study at a school of Architecture in the United Kingdom. William explains his winning submission, entitled “ Augmented Reverberation,” as follows:
“As our environment, culture and economy continues to become increasingly transient, the British Isles struggles to produce its own industry. The Isle of Sheppey, which owes its name to the Saxon’s “Sceapige,” meaning Isle of Sheep, hosts an isolated marshy landscape, where the atmosphere is quiet and haunting. Scarred by the intermittent presence of heavy industry, rivers, ditches and dereliction, it is here, away from the distraction of our visually dominated western culture ,that the mind is allowed to wander and our senses that are constantly suppressed begin to awaken. On Rushenden Marsh, “Augmented Reverberation” seeks to integrate a poetic landscape of light industry through the revival of a gut string industry that was once a thriving British venture. Bespoke natural strings are produced from sheep intestines for various instruments, including the violin. Building, landscape, and instrument are intertwined to create functional pavilions on the marsh that form Aeolian harps (instruments played by the wind .) The complex arrangement of accommodation, abattoir, workshops, studios, and performance spaces create an interesting challenging juxtaposition between the roughness of industry and the delicacy of art, while celebrating its connection and fragile relationship with the landscape through seasonal music festivals and events.”
In fulfillment of his RIBA Part 1 Year Out, William, who is from Catsfield, East Sussex, is currently working for a firm in Shanghai and plans to develop and pursue the theme of his award winning project which questions our interpretation and perception of the image of “Landscape “ by travelling back to the UK overland via Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Russia.
Looking ahead to completing his RIBA Part 2 program in architecture, William plans to live and study in London, with the ultimate ambition of setting up his own architectural firm.
On the occasion of the annual RIBA President’s Medals, James Wignall, from the Royal College of Art, received the SOM Foundation 2010 Fellowship Award, which is given to a student who has completed the RIBA Part 2 course of study at a school of Architecture in the United Kingdom. James' submission is entitled "Port of London Authority (The Rise and Fall of the Icon)". James describes his background as follows:
"I grew up in the North of England starting out at a Catholic school in Yorkshire. I then went on to train in Architecture at The Royal College of Art, The University of New South Wales and The University of Nottingham. I have been lucky enough to win numerous awards and scholarships during this time including the SOM Travelling Fellowship, the 2010 RIBA Silver Medal Commendation, and the RCA Sustain Award. I have also had work featured in the V&A, RIBA and The RA Summer Show 2010."
"With my fellowship, I am planning on spending some time at the Portland Sculpture and Quarry Trust. This will give me an insight into the traditional craft of stone carving and give me an understanding of the unique material that was used to build the great St Paul's Cathedral. My creative interest lies in combining the three disciplines of Architecture, Design and Sculpture. My primary focus is on materials, both natural and man-made, newly invented and recycled. I am also interested in mixing traditional craftsmanship with modern technologies, and try to produce pieces of great originality and beauty through thoughtful and inventive experimentation and manipulation of a wide variety of materials, from stained glass to cast iron."
"I am currently looking for further design commissions through my newly established design studio Wignall&Moore , which has just had its first US commission in New Hampshire. I aim to take my creative understanding of materials and space into works of a grander scale and hopefully around the world."