RAMSA Travel Fellowship

2019 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. A book documenting the work of the 2013–17 fellows will be available for purchase in spring 2019!

The fellowship is administered by the RAMSA Research Department. Please email fellowship@ramsa.com if you have any questions.

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.


2018 Finalist — Osehikhueme Etomi
Cornell University
Rethinking Colonial Africa: Investigating Indigenous African Architectural Practices and Cultures
Click here to view Osehikhueme's proposal.

2018 Finalist — Daniel Kiser
University of Notre Dame
California Style: The Romance of Spain in America
Click here to view Daniel's proposal.

2018 Finalist — Grace McEniry
Harvard University
Section Matters: Walking to Reveal a Region
Click here to view Grace's proposal.