The 2021 RAMSA Travel Fellowship jury selected a winning entry after a videoconference deliberation session. The winner, Daniel Hall, a Master of Architecture candidate at the Princeton University School of Architecture, will be awarded $10,000 to travel to Japan to study the architecture and traditional crafts of the Ryōan-ji, a house located in Kyoto and built in 1450. Following an analysis of the house, Daniel will trace the material productions that contribute to its final form by studying metalwork in Yamagata, tatami weaving in Saitama, papermaking in Echizen, indigo dyeing in Aizumi, and ceramics in Arita and Imari.
In his submission titled Sourcing Material Transformations: Restoring Ryōan-ji, Daniel wrote “Over the last 750 years, each element of the Ryōan-ji has been restored or replaced by traditional crafts people. Working backwards, I will visit six sites of production following the path of the material from its extraction from the landscape, refinement in the workshop, tooling by the craftsperson, installation on site, and its role in domestic life.”
The jurors—RAMSA Partners Melissa DelVecchio, Daniel Lobitz, and Grant F. Marani—said, "We were very impressed with Daniel Hall’s submission to explore Japanese building arts through a detailed study of a single house. His portfolio strongly supports the idea of the proposal and shows a real discipline and beauty in craft in his own work.”
The jurors, who review the entries without knowing the authors or their school affiliations, also named as runner-up Master of Architecture candidate at Yale University Morgan Anna Kerber for her proposal Scarcity and Tradition in Hydrological Structures: Agency of Water within Turkish Architectural Nation Building.
Impressed by the quality of this year’s 53 submissions from 25 schools, the jury commends the following finalists:
- Dutra Brown, Harvard University, Typology of Ruins: The Abandoned Volcanic Rock Homes of the Azores Islands
- Adrian Harrison, Harvard University, Elevating the Granary: A Cross-Cultural Study of the Details and Climate Sensitivity of Vernacular Granary Buildings in Western Europe
- Kelly Iacobazzi, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Towards a New Communal Tradition in Scandinavian Collective Housing
- Giuliana Vaccarino Gearty, The City College of New York, Mapping Memory: Linking the Landscape of Sicily’s Tuna Fisheries
- Manuel A. Zermeno, Princeton University, The Architectural Wall as Post-Revolutionary Medium: Process, Politics, and Fragility of Site-Specific Muralism in Central and Southern Mexico
This year the jury recognizes that summer travel may be postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions. If safe travel to the proposed location is not feasible in 2021, RAMSA will work with the fellow to determine an alternate timeline and/or proposal.
About the 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 typically complete their travel in the summer and present their research to RAMSA’s office in New York City the following spring.
The fellowship is open to graduate students in the penultimate year of a professional or post-professional degree program in architecture at a NAAB-accredited school. Now in its ninth year, past recipients have traveled to Austria, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Poland, Romania, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine, and various cities in the United States, where they have studied a wide range of topics. For more information about the RAMSA Travel Fellowship, visit www.ramsa.com/fellowship.