The 2023 RAMSA Fellowship jury is pleased to announce Neha Garg as the recipient of this year's travel award. Neha, a Master of Architecture candidate at Cornell University, will be awarded $15,000 to travel throughout Egypt to study the architectural styles and construction techniques of earthen buildings from salt houses in the Siwa region to mudbrick houses in Aswan.
In her submission, titled Egypt’s Earth Architecture, Neha proposes to document and analyze the traditional crafts through drawing, photography, and digital modeling with a specific focus on the production of detailed construction drawings to compare building methods. Neha will receive an additional stipend for a two-week-long residency at RAMSA’s office in New York City to further develop her research project with the support of RAMSA staff and resources.
The fellowship jury was impressed by the quality and breadth of this year’s 83 submissions from 25 schools. The jurors—RAMSA Partners Bina Bhattacharyya, Johnny Cruz, and Preston Gumberich—unanimously supported Neha's proposal due to its tight geographic focus and resonance with the spirit of the brief, tradition and invention. The jury stated the project “aims to study a local typology that goes back thousands of years and yet still exists today. There are clear sustainable and resilient qualities of the materiality under investigation that span multiple programmatic uses from single-family houses to urban planning."
The jury also designates Ava Violich Kennedy, a Master of Architecture candidate at Harvard University, as this year's finalist. Her submission, titled Kath-Kuni Construction in Himachal Pradesh, proposes a study of the striking forms and various functions of the Kath-Kuni towers located throughout the diverse terrain of the western Himalayas. Captivated by the buildings and strong narrative of the proposal, the jury will award Ava $1,500 to continue to pursue her research interests.
About the RAMSA Fellowship
The RAMSA Fellowship is a $15,000 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 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. Past recipients have traveled to Austria, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Morocco, Poland, Romania, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine, and various cities in the United States where they have studied a wide range of topics.
The fellowship now includes an optional residency program, in addition to the travel and research prize. The program provides fellows with a stipend to fund a two-week-long residency at RAMSA’s office in New York City before or after their travel. During the residency, fellows continue to develop their research project with the support of RAMSA staff and resources.
Students in the penultimate year of a graduate-level degree program in architecture or a related discipline at a NAAB-accredited school are eligible for the prize. For more information about the fellowship, read our recently published article “A Discussion About Travel, Research, and the RAMSA Fellowship” on RAMSA Storyboard. To view the proposals of previous recipients, visit www.ramsa.com/fellowship. The fellowship is administered by RAMSA Research, email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.