RAMSA Travel Fellowship

2018 RAMSA Travel Fellowship

The RAMSA Travel Fellowship is a $10,000 prize awarded annually by Robert A.M. Stern Architects for the purpose of travel and research. More specifically, the RAMSA Travel Fellowship seeks to promote investigations into the perpetuation of tradition through invention – key to the firm’s own work. The prize is intended to nurture emerging talent and is awarded 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. Robert A.M. Stern Architects has awarded the prize since 2013. For questions, please contact fellowship@ramsa.com.

Congratulations Wilson Harkhono, a Master of Architecture candidate at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, winner of the 2018 RAMSA Travel Fellowship!

2017 Fellow – Kyle Schumann, Princeton University

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: Tradition Reinterpreted

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,” Mr. 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

Learning from Wood: Tradition and Innovation in 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

Vaulting on Mfangano Island, Kenya

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.

2017 Finalists

Dimitri Brand, Yale University
Architecture at the Center and Edge of Empire
Click here to view Dimitri's proposal.

Ying Qi Chen, Princeton University
Grafting on Traditions
Click here to view Ying's proposal.

Yanling Deng, Columbia University
In the Context of Tropical Asia: Vernacular, Colonial, Modernism, and Neo-vernacular
Click here to view Yanling's proposal.

Claire Haugh, Yale University
Narratives of Our Ancient Past: The Greek and Roman Frieze
Click here to view Claire's proposal.

Ellie Ziaie, University of Minnesota
Union through Resurrection
Click here to view Ellie's proposal.