International competition for early-career architects to win $100,000 traveling fellowship
now accepting applications; deadline January 31, 2021
Cambridge, MA — The Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) is pleased to announce the 2021 cycle of the Wheelwright Prize, an open international competition that awards 100,000 USD to a talented early-career architect to support new forms of architectural research. The 2021 Wheelwright Prize is now accepting applications; the deadline for submissions is Sunday, January 31, 2021. This annual prize is dedicated to fostering expansive, intensive design research that shows potential to make a significant impact on architectural discourse.
The Wheelwright Prize is open to emerging architects practicing anywhere in the world. The primary eligibility requirement is that applicants must have received a degree from a professionally accredited architecture program in the past 15 years. An affiliation to the GSD is not required. Applicants are asked to submit a portfolio and research proposal that includes travel outside the applicant’s home country. In preparing a portfolio, applicants are encouraged to consider the various formats through which architectural research and practice can be expressed, including but not limited to built work, curatorial practice, written output, and other manifestations of research.
The winning architect is expected to dedicate roughly two years of concentrated research related to their proposal, and to present a lecture on their findings at the conclusion of that research. Throughout the research process, Wheelwright Prize jury members and other GSD faculty are committed to providing regular guidance and peer feedback, in support of the project’s overall growth and development.
In 2013, Harvard GSD recast the Arthur W. Wheelwright Traveling Fellowship—established in 1935 in memory of Wheelwright, Class of 1887—into its current form. Intended to encourage the study of architecture outside the United States at a time when international travel was difficult, the Fellowship was available only to GSD alumni. Past fellows have included Paul Rudolph, Eliot Noyes, William Wurster, Christopher Tunnard, I. M. Pei, Farès el-Dahdah, Adele Santos, and Linda Pollak.
Harvard GSD awarded the 2020 Wheelwright Prize to Daniel Fernández Pascual, whose winning proposal Being Shellfish: The Architecture of Intertidal Cohabitation examines the intertidal zone—coastal territory that is exposed to air at low tide, and covered with seawater at high tide—and its potential to advance architectural knowledge and material futures.
An international jury for the 2021 Wheelwright Prize will be announced in January 2021.
Applicants will be judged on the quality of their design work, scholarly accomplishments, originality or persuasiveness of the research proposal, evidence of ability to fulfill the proposed project, and potential for the proposed project to make important and direct contributions to architectural discourse. Applications are accepted online only, at wheelwrightprize.org; questions may be directed to email@example.com.
Winners of the prize since 2013 are:
2020, Daniel Fernández Pascual (London) for his proposal to examine the intertidal zone and its potential to advance architectural knowledge and material futures
2019, Aleksandra Jaeschke (Austin, Texas) for her proposal to investigate greenhouse architecture and typologies around the world
2018, Aude-Line Dulière (Brussels) for her proposal to examine construction methods and supply systems in the global film industry
2017, Samuel Bravo (Santiago) for his proposal to examine traditional architectures and informal settlements, revisiting the subject of “architecture without architects”
2016, Anna Puigjaner (Barcelona) for her proposal to study exemplars of collective housing in Brazil, Sweden, Russia, Korea, and elsewhere
2015, Erik L’Heureux (Singapore) for his proposal to study architecture in five dense cities in the equatorial zone; click here to view the presentations of 2015 finalists including Malkit Shoshan (Amsterdam) and Quynh Vantu (London). L’Heureux presented his research as part of the GSD’s Fall 2017 lecture series; click here for a link to L’Heureux’s lecture.
2014, Jose M. Ahedo (Barcelona) for his research on the architecture and organization of structures related to animal farming; click here for a link to Ahedo’s lecture.
2013, Gia Wolff (Brooklyn) for her study of the spectacular, temporary, urban-scale float structures that transform Rio de Janeiro during carnival; click here for a link to Wolff’s lecture.
Previous juries have included Anna Puigjaner, Sarah M. Whiting, Mark Lee, Megan Panzano, Tom Emerson, Wonne Ickx (2020 jury); Tatiana Bilbao, Loreta Castro Reguera, Eric Höweler, Erik L’Heureux, Megan Panzano (2019 jury); Jose Ahedo, Edward Eigen, Frida Escobedo, Mark Lee, and Michelle Wilkinson (2018 jury); Gordon Gill, Mariana Ibañez, and Gia Wolff (2017 jury); Rafael Moneo, Kiel Moe, Jeannie Kim, Benjamin Prosky, and Eva Franch i Gilabert (2016 jury); Craig Evan Barton, Preston Scott Cohen, Sarah Herda, and Elisa Silva (2015 jury); Iñaki Ábalos, Sílvia Benedito, Pedro Gadanho, Linda Pollak, and Shohei Shigematsu (2014 jury); Yung Ho Chang, Farès el-Dahdah, Farshid Moussavi, and Zoe Ryan (2013 jury), in addition to standing jury members Mohsen Mostafavi and K. Michael Hays.
For information regarding Wheelwright Prize application
and administration, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
For media inquiries, please contact:
Travis Dagenais, TDagenais@gsd.harvard.edu
General Information on the Wheelwright Prize
The Wheelwright Prize is an open international competition that awards $100,000 to a talented early-career architect to support an expansive, intensive design research project. The Prize is dedicated to advancing original architectural research that shows potential to make a significant impact on architectural discourse. We seek individual applicants who are accomplished but emerging, who are resourceful and risk-taking, and who can make the most of this extraordinary opportunity to advance a research project that will have a significant impact on his or her own professional development, and on the discipline of architecture as a whole.
The winner of the Wheelwright Prize will receive:
- $100,000 prize to support the proposed research project
- invitation to lecture at Harvard GSD
- possibility to publish research in a Harvard GSD publication
Background on the Arthur W. Wheelwright Traveling Fellowship
Established in 1935 in memory of Arthur W. Wheelwright, Class of 1887, this traveling fellowship has afforded extraordinary experiences for generations of Harvard GSD alumni. The fellowship was conceived at a time when foreign travel was out of reach for many. The prize enabled several early Wheelwright fellows—including Paul Rudolph (1937–38), Eliot Noyes (1939–40), William Wurster (1942–43), and I. M. Pei (1950–51)—to embark on expeditions that largely followed the tradition of the Grand European Tour.See a full list of past winners of the Arthur W. Wheelwright Traveling Fellowship.
- Applicant must have graduated from a professionally accredited architecture degree program in the past 15 years. (Graduates prior to January 2006 are ineligible.) Holders of multiple degrees may apply, provided they received their professional degrees between January 2006 and January 2021. Applicants need not be registered or licensed.
- Applicants may not have received the Arthur Wheelwright Traveling Fellowship previously.
- Winners of the Wheelwright Prize may not hold other fellowships concurrently.
- The Wheelwright Prize is available to individual entrants only; teams or firms will not be considered.
- Current Harvard GSD faculty, instructors, and staff are not eligible.
- For winners based in the United States, some amount of research must be undertaken outside the country.
- The Wheelwright Prize is intended for independent study and may not be applied to university tuition. However, the grant may be applied to fees for workshops and conferences.
The application process is entirely online. No submissions will be accepted by mail. The 2021 Wheelwright Prize is now accepting applications. Deadline for submissions is January 31, 2021. There is no fee to submit an application.
Applicants must submit the following. (Materials must be in English.)
- Current CV.
- Portfolio (maximum of 10 images); each uploaded file should contain a single image, not spreads of multiple images. Each image must be dated and captioned. The jury is looking for personal work that demonstrates design talent; student projects may be included. If work is collaborative and/or generated by a firm, the applicant’s contribution to the work must specifically involve conceptual development and/or design, and the applicant’s role must be precisely identified.
- The portfolio may be supplemented by published articles or research papers written by applicant. Authored works should appear in their original format, with publication name and date clearly indicated (maximum 3, each clipping to be saved as a separate PDF). If original publication is not in English, please attach an English-language summary (maximum 2,500 characters) as an addendum to each PDF. If the clipping exceeds 15 pages, please create a compact PDF (no more than 10 pages) including a cover, sample pages, and brief summary (2,500 characters) of the text.
- A written description of proposed research project (maximum 6,000 characters). Applicants should articulate the relevance of their proposed research to the contemporary discipline of architecture. What are the consequences of the research project? How might it impact practice? Applicants should describe their proposed methodology and special insight, ability, and skill to execute your proposal. Strong proposals will demonstrate how the resources of the Wheelwright Prize will enable the project to be successful.
- List of three professional references (full name, affiliation, contact information, and relationship to the applicant). Letters are not required at this time.
2021 Wheelwright Prize Jury will be announced in January.
For more information please open this link