The SOM Foundation has announced the recipients of the 2016 SOM Foundation Fellowships, which have been conferred annually since 1981 to graduating students in architecture, design, urban design, and structural engineering. Funded through an endowment established by the partners of SOM, the awards are internationally recognized for their mission to nurture future leaders in design.
This year, Jongwan Kwon, a graduate of MIT, was awarded the $50,000 SOM Prize for Architecture, Design and Urban Planning. Lindsey Wikstrom, a graduate of Columbia University, was selected to receive the $20,000 Travel Fellowship for Architecture, Design and Urban Planning. Nathan Collin Brown, an MIT graduate, received the $20,000 Structural Engineering Travel Fellowship. Each year's fellows are selected by independent juries composed of prominent, multi-disciplinary professionals and SOM Foundation officers.
SOM Prize and SOM Travel Fellowship for Architecture
The SOM Prize and Travel Fellowship are two annual awards that are administered as a single competition. This research and travel fellowship enables the winners to meet with other professionals in the field and pursue study outside the realm of established patterns, while carrying out in-depth research on a subject of their choosing.
Jongwan Kwon is the recipient of the SOM Foundation’s 2016 SOM Prize for Architecture. The focus of his study will be to understand the impact that infrastructure projects have on their regional environment and to identify new possibilities for solutions, which will synthesize social, cultural, ecological, and sustainable design. Interviews with noted scholars and practitioners in the field of infrastructure environment will be an essential part of his research.
The SOM Travel Fellowship is a $20,000 fellowship that offers the winner an opportunity for an expanded professional education beyond the classroom through the observation of buildings, design, culture, and history through travel.
This year's Travel Fellowship recipient, Lindsey Wikstrom, will pursue her independent research topic, "An Immersive Catalogue of Housing Systems." She will visit key architectural sites in Europe, Asia, and North America to create a comprehensive visual report of housing systems, occupants, and typologies. Through interviews with individuals who have engaged in rethinking the role of domestic space and urban housing, Wikstrom aims to produce a “tangible cross-cultural basis to speculate on the history and viability of distinct forms of housing.”
Co-chaired by SOM Design Partner Roger Duffy, the SOM Prize and Travel Fellowship jury comprised distinguished practicing professionals in the New York area: Karen Fairbanks, Principal at Marble Fairbanks; Hilary Sample, Principal at MOS Architects; and Julie V. Iovine, Architectural Columnist at The Wall Street Journal.
SOM Structural Engineering Travel Fellowship
The SOM Structural Engineering Travel Fellowship is a $20,000 award that aims to foster an appreciation of the aesthetic potential in the structural design of buildings and bridges by enabling a gifted graduate to experience works of architecture and engineering first-hand. This year's recipient, Nathan Brown, will travel extensively to locations in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand to carry out the research for his winning proposal.
Co-chaired by SOM Structural Engineering Director David Horos, the distinguished jury included William Bast, Principal at Thornton Tomasetti, Inc.; Martin Furrer, Principal at Parsons Corporation; Catherine Wetzel, Associate Professor, at IIT School of Architecture and Principal at ZED Architects; and Todd Zima, Design Principal at Studio Gang Architects.