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
Lindsey Wikstrom is the recipient of the SOM Foundation 2016 Travel Research Fellowship for Architecture.
Lindsey received her Master of Architecture Degree in May 2016 from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation and Planning (GSAPP) where she was awarded the Charles McKim Prize for Excellence in Design, a Visualization Award for innovative use of immersive media, and the Avery 6 Award presented by her peers for work that questions the standards of architecture and promises to change the profession. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture Degree from Arizona State University, received in May 2010.
For her independent research topic, “An Immersive Catalogue of Housing Systems,” Lindsey will visit key architectural sites in Europe, Asia and North America where, “the living environment is a product of a convergence of markets, demand and social vitality.” In a comprehensive visual report of the systems, occupants, and typologies, the catalogue will be formatted and disseminated for the public. Interviews with individuals who have critically engaged in rethinking the role of domestic space and urban housing, along with occupant interviews, will be an “immersive experience,” providing a “tangible cross cultural basis to speculate on the history and viability of distinct forms of housing.”
Lindsey has worked in multiple architecture firms before co-founding LeeLABS, a company in Brooklyn, NY where she is based. What began as an effort to synthesize digital tools typically used in architecture, mass customization, and traditional methods of making, grew into a practice of understanding and representing the impacts of design at global and local scales.
For the last two years, she has worked with architects, activists, scholars, and educators in a coalition called Who Builds Your Architecture?, examining the links between labor, architecture and the global networks which form around building buildings. In 2015, she participated in a workshop in Shenzhen interrogating the future of urban development in rural areas, where she presented her findings at the International Low Carbon City Forum. Her passion for research and teaching as it relates to architecture has brought her again to Shenzhen where she is now co-teaching a workshop focused on mapping social activation in unmapped urban villages. At the completion of her fellowship, Lindsey intends to pursue her architecture license.
Nathan Brown is the recipient of the SOM Foundation 2016 Structural Engineering Fellowship. For his Research Proposal, entitled, “Integrating Secondary Goals into Structural Design.” Nathan notes that, “The design of modern buildings and other structures demands the ability to synthesize multiple design goals simultaneously. This is largely true because of an increased emphasis on overall performance and design sustainability, of which structural material efficiency is only one consideration.” In carrying out the research on his winning Proposal, Nathan will travel extensively to locations in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia / New Zealand.
Nathan is a currently a student in the Building Technology program within the MIT Department of Architecture. He is from Spring Mills, Pennsylvania, where he graduated from Penns Valley Area High School in 2008. He earned his undergraduate degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Princeton University in 2012, along with certificates in Architecture and Urban Studies. At Princeton, Nathan received the W. Mack Angus Prize for an outstanding academic record and high achievement in engineering, the highest award in his department. His senior thesis on the geometry and structure of hypar shells was advised by Prof. Sigrid Adriaenssens. Prior to attending MIT, Nathan worked on building energy retrofit projects for Elevate Energy in Chicago.
While at MIT, Nathan has been advised by Prof. Caitlin Mueller as part of the Digital Structures research group, where he studies interactions between structural considerations and other architectural performance criteria in conceptual design. He has also worked with Prof. John Ochsendorf and the Structural Design Lab, an interdisciplinary research group in Civil Engineering and Architecture. Nathan’s research in the area of computational multi-objective optimization for structural and architectural design has been presented at both design and technical venues, including conferences for the International Association of Shell and Spatial Structures, the Engineering Mechanics Institute, and the Boston Society of Architects.
Nathan plans to graduate in June 2016 with a Master of Science in Building Technology, specializing in structures. Upon completing the fellowship, he hopes to apply what he has learned about design and computation to a variety of structural engineering projects.
Li Dai is the recipient of the SOM Foundation 2016 China Prize for Travel/ Research. Having grown up in Wuhan, China, Li received her Bachelor of Engineering Degree in 2016 from Huazhong University of Science and Technology.
Having had previous travel experiences in South Asia as well as several stays in temples, Li has been interested in under-represented groups and inspired by Critical Regionalism in Asia. Li’s Travel/ Research project – “The relationship between public space and religions in urban South Asia”- will provide her an opportunity to explore how the three elements - religion, space and user - influence each other and more specifically, to study the relationship between Delhi with Hinduism, Colombo with Buddhism and Dhaka with Islamism. These case studies will serve as an inspiration for the development and design of public spaces of similar conditions in South Asia.
Since August 2016, Li has been pursuing her master’s degree in Landscape Architecture at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) where she will spend the next two years. Based on the attention to materials and fundamental technologies, she has been working on human-experience design in landscape architecture on different scales. Moreover, the various selections of open electives at RISD will give her the opportunity to expand her interests in illustration, web design and graphic design.
Following completion of her studies at RISD, Li plans to gain professional experiences in design and management at landscape architecture offices around the world, with long-term career aspirations focused on setting up an independent landscape architecture office concerning Asian ecological and cultural identities.