Six winners have been announced for the inaugural Richard Rogers Fellowship, a residency program of Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD). Chosen out of over 200 applicants worldwide, the fellows will spend three months at Rogers’s iconic and landmarked Wimbledon House in London to undertake research on how the built environment can improve the quality of human life.
GSD’s dean Mohsen Mostafavi said of the residency, “The spirit of the Fellowship is intended to carry forward and expand on Lord Rogers’s deep commitment to cities not as ends in themselves, but as a fundamental means of bettering human life.”
To that end, the group of professionals and scholars, who hail from Mexico, the U.S., Austria, Norway, and the Netherlands, will address issues like sustainability, urbanism, and affordable housing during their three-month stay. Meet the fellows below.
Namik Mackic (Oslo, Norway) and Maik Novotny (Vienna, Austria) will make up the first group of residents during the spring. Mackic, a research associate with Harvard Mellon Urban Initiative and guest critic at the Rhode Island School of Design, will compare citizen-driven initiatives in two post-Brexit capitals, London and Berlin, highlighting the role of refugees, immigrants, and other disadvantaged populations with those spaces.
Working as a critic in addition to his roles as an architect, planner, and teacher in the Department of Spatial and Sustainable Design at TU Vienna University, Novotny will address the current challenges for public housing in London and Vienna.
The summer will host Jose Castillo and Saidee Springall, principals and cofounders of Mexico City-based architecture firm a|911. Castillo will explore how food and cooking can transform cities and their potential to impact climate change, inequality, and migration. Springall will research affordable housing in London with a focus on the “social contract” established between the state, developers, civic agencies, and citizens.
The fall fellowship was awarded to Shantel Blakely (Cambridge, Massachusetts) and Dirk van den Heuvel (Amsterdam, Netherlands). Blakely is an independent critic and scholar who will continue her research on early-20th-century English poet-educator-anarchist Herbert Read, who believed that aesthetic experiences could confront social problems and achieve harmony.
Van den Heuvel, an associate professor at TU Delft, will continue his research on Alison and Peter Smithson and their Robin Hood Gardens estate to explore the interrelations between architecture, planning, and housing policies.