PLAN 72: Article
Yoon Awarded $50K Usa Target Fellowship

She is the Second from SA+P So Honored

J. Meejin Yoon, Associate Professor of Architectural Design, has been awarded a $50K fellowship in architecture and design by United States Artists, a national artists' advocacy organization. She is one of 50 recipients of USA Target Fellowships for 2008, awarded to artists who demonstrate artistic excellence, unique artistic vision and significant contributions to their fields.

Yoon is the second from SA+P to be honored with the award; in 2007, Nader Tehrani was also named a USA Target Fellow in Architecture and Design, along with his business partner Monica Ponce de Leon. Like Yoon, Tehrani is an associate professor of architectural design in MIT's Department of Architecture; he is also co-founder of the Boston-based architecture firm Office dA.

Yoon is the cofounder of Höweler + Yoon Architecture, a partnership with her husband, Eric Höweler. She is also the founder of MY Studio, from which she creates solo conceptual work exploring the intersections between art, architecture and landscape. Her design research investigates the relationship between form and performance, public space and technology, and interactivity and architecture. Her projects include architecture, urban design, installations, concept clothing and artist books.

Her best-known projects include White Noise/White Light (an interactive public space installation for the Athens 2004 Olympics), The 3 Degrees of Felt (the Aztec Empire Exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum), Absence (an artist book published by Printed Matter and the Whitney Museum of Art) and Hover (a solar powered canopy in New Orleans).

Her work has been exhibited at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, the Somerset House in London and the National Art Center in Tokyo. Her recent interactive architecture/landscape projects were featured in the 2006 National Design Triennial at the Cooper Hewitt in New York and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.

Yoon has been recognized with the ACSA Faculty Design Award in 2008, Athena RISD Target Emerging Designer Award in 2008, Architectural Record Design Vanguard in 2007, Architectural League of New York's Emerging Voices in 2007, PS1 MoMA Young Architects Finalist in 2006, Rome Prize in 2005, Architectural League's Young Architect Awards in 2002, and Fulbright in 1997. She received a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University with the AIA Henry Adams Medal in 1995, and a Masters of Architecture in Urban Design with Distinction from Harvard in 1997.

This year marks the third consecutive year of the USA Fellows program. The founding of the program was prompted by a breakthrough study by the Urban Institute which found that while 96% of Americans appreciate the arts, only 27% believe that artists contribute to the good of society. The study also discovered that the median reported income for artists from their artistic work was only $5K and that more than half of America’s two million artists pay for their own health insurance.

In response to those findings, the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Prudential Foundation, and Rasmuson Foundation contributed a total of $20 million to establish USA as a structure through which private philanthropists, corporate donors and other foundations can support individual artists.

The USA Fellows for 2008 range in age from 31 to 82; they were selected from among 362 nominated applicants from 44 states and chosen by panels of experts in eight fields – architecture and design; crafts and traditional arts; dance; literature (fiction, nonfiction and poetry); media (film and video); music; theater arts; and visual arts.

Panelists for architecture and design were Monica Ponce de Leon (Principal, Office dA, and USA Target Fellow 2007, Boston); Brooke Hodge (Curator of Architecture and Design, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles); Mark Robbins (Dean, Syracuse University School of Architecture); Mabel O. Wilson (Associate Professor of Architecture, Columbia University); and Rick Valicenti (Owner/Principal, Thirst, Chicago).

‘This year’s spirited recipients,' they said, 'have taken on the thorny issues and problematic sites that shape our millennial existence: remediation of postindustrial landscapes, experimental energy sources, hybrid craft and industrial techniques, social spheres of networks, and Rust Belt urbanism. Their experimental ethos has opened new avenues of research in their own fields and across other disciplines.'