RAMSA Travel Fellowship

2020 RAMSA Travel Fellowship

The RAMSA Travel Fellowship is a $10,000 prize awarded annually by Robert A.M. Stern Architects for travel and research. The fellowship seeks to promote investigations into the perpetuation of tradition through invention—key to the firm’s own work—and is given to an individual who has proven insight and interest in the profession and its future, as well as the ability to carry forth in-depth research.

The fellows complete their travel in the summer following the announcement of the award and present their research to RAMSA’s office in New York City in the spring. Tradition and Invention: RAMSA Travel Fellowship 2013–17, a book documenting the first five years of the fellowship, will be available for purchase in fall 2019.

We are now accepting 2020 RAMSA Travel Fellowship applications! Submissions are due March 23, 2020. Email fellowship@ramsa.com if you have any questions.

2019 Fellow – Radu-Remus Macovei

Harvard University


Orthodox Sacred Space in the Rural Imagination

Radu-Remus Macovei traveled to the Carpathian Mountains to document and catalogue the region's Christian wooden churches. The churches were constructed between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries in response to the Catholic Austro-Hungarian Empire's prohibition on masonry construction for Christian churches. “These inventive wooden churches have received very little academic attention to date," explained Macovei. "Given the soft, monumental massing of their curvilinear shingled roofs, which impress with their sheer size and height, the architectural experience is not limited to the building itself but responds to the physical features of the surrounding mountainous landscape."

2018 Fellow – Wilson Harkhono

Harvard University


Rooted Future: Resurfacing Lost Identity

Wilson Harkhono traveled to Indonesia where he catalogued and analyzed the diverse vocabularies of the country's traditional homes—the Rumah Adat. The jurors were persuaded by the geographic focus of the proposal and the clarity of its intent. His proposal “to learn from traditions that have been suppressed and nearly lost speaks to the mission of the fellowship,” said the jury.

2017 Fellow – Kyle Schumann

Princeton University


Alpine Modernism: Sensitive Identities and Regional Placemaking

Kyle Schumann traveled to Austria, Slovenia, and Italy, where he studied the work of architect Edoardo Gellner, Jože Plečnik, Edvard Ravnikar, and Otto Wagner. Examining the ways in which these architects engaged with “complex and often conflicting cultural histories, coupled with the challenging geography and climate of the Alpine region,” Schumann argued “necessitated an architecture intricately sensitive to material, cultural, and programmatic contexts.”

2016 Fellow – Gerald Bauer

University of Notre Dame


Thomson and Wright

Gerald Bauer traveled to Milwaukee, Chicago, and Glasgow, Scotland, where he studied the work of Alexander “Greek” Thomson and Frank Lloyd Wright. “Despite being born at opposite ends of the 19th century,” Bauer wrote in his submission, “and with no evidence of communication in their lifetimes, Thomson’s Greek Revivalism and Wright’s early Prairie Style bear striking resemblances . . . as two strains of an analogous logic which sought an appropriate expression of modernity rooted in historical precedent.”

2015 Fellow – Michelle Chen

Yale University


The Myth of Pure Form

Michelle Chen traveled to India, where she studied the architectural shift from a diverse fabric of expressive design languages to a politically and ethnically neutral vocabulary. “In our world of increasingly ubiquitous gleaming towers, clean in form but cleansed of details, looking to centuries-old traditions might be a means toward reestablishing human attachment to our everyday surroundings,” says Chen. Her research included drawings that attempt to “chart a path to a more balanced architecture – one which does not forsake cultural expression for a shallow conception of political order.”

2014 Fellow – Anna Antropova

McGill University


Japanese Wood Culture

Anna Antropova traveled to Japan, where she studied ancient wood joinery techniques. Her research was driven by the potential transformation and application of ancient timber techniques to modern construction: “This elegant and efficient mode of construction could meaningfully inform our western building industry, an industry addicted to toxic adhesives and an indiscriminate application of metal fasteners. Wood stands to be for our generation what steel and concrete were for the previous two or three, and Japanese joinery offers us a sustainable mode of assembly for a sustainable material with far less embodied energy.”

2013 Fellow – Jonathan Dessi-Olive

University of Pennsylvania


Catenary Vaulting on Mfangano Island

Jonathan Dessi-Olive traveled to Kenya, to introduce timbrel vaulting – a traditional clay building system – to craftsman on the island of Mfangano. He proposed locally-manufactured clay tiles as a sustainable solution to the ecological burden of vernacular wooden architecture in a context of rapid deforestation. Collaborating closely with local craftsman, the result of this nine-week collaboration was a small structure, Ekialo Kiona Radio Studio, constructed entirely of timbrel vaults and envisioned as Africa’s first wind/solar-powered radio station.

Finalists


2019 Runner-up — Will Fu
Princeton University
The English Great Hall: Recuperating Collective Dialog in the Private Room
Click here to view Will's proposal.

2019 Finalist — Dalma Földesi
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Walls As Quarries: Rethinking Spolia
Click here to view Dalma's proposal.

2019 Finalist — Peteris Lazovskis
Harvard University
Brick Gothic: Recovering Atmospheric Versatility
Click here to view Peteris's proposal.