SA+P community members win 2018 Graham grants

The Graham Foundation has announced over $530,000 in new grants to individuals around the world that engage original ideas that advance our understanding of the designed environment. Six of this year's 74 funded projects were from members of the SA+P community including: PhD candidate Michael Kubo (HTC); Can Bilsel SMarchS ’96 and Juliana Maxim PhD ’06 (HTC); Mimi Hoang ’93 (Architecture), with Eric Bunge; Gary Van Zante, MIT Museum; Ana María León PhD ’15; and Sara Zewde MCP ’10. These diverse projects advance new scholarship, fuel creative experimentation and critical dialogue, and expand opportunities for public engagement with architecture and its role in contemporary society.

Imagining the Modern: Postwar Urbanism and Architecture in Pittsburgh, a publication project from HTC PhD candidate Michael Kubo with Rami el Samahy and Chris Grimley, examines what took place during the Pittsburgh’s urban renewal era, what was gained and lost, and what these histories might suggest for the city's future.

Architecture alumni Can Bilsel SMarchS ’96 and Juliana Maxim PhD ’06 (HTC) were awarded a grant for Architecture and the Housing Question, a publication examining the mechanisms whereby architecture has framed the social and political implications of housing in the second half of the twentieth century, and the architecture profession’s intersections with the evolving discourses of habitation, modernization, welfare, and humanitarianism.

Mimi Hoang ’93 (Architecture) and Eric Bunge’s book Buildings and Almost Buildings explores the work of their studio practice nARCHITECTS as a single project—an anti-monograph with a subtle manifesto about the open-ended, incomplete, and ambiguous in architecture. 

MIT Museum’s Gary Van Zante received a grant for Public and Private: East Germany in Photographs by Ulrich Wüst is the first monograph and first work in English on photographer and urban planner Ulrich Wüst. The book examines his work from the perspective of urban and architectural history (in detailed analyses of the photographers' subjects) and discusses the place of his work in the context of an emerging understanding of art practice under socialism. 

Ana María León PhD ’15 was awarded a grant for her research project “Counter-institutions: Producing Pedagogies of Freedom,” tracing three case studies in which institutions were mobilized in opposition to increasingly aggressive states: a counter-exhibition designed and curated by architect Lina Bo Bardi and playwright Martim Gonçalves in São Paulo, Brazil; the combined narratives of the Open City architecture school and the Ritoque concentration camp in early 1970s Chile, and the work of La Escuelita, an architecture school that operated during the Argentinian dictatorship. 

"Cotton Kingdom, Now," a research project from Sara Zewde MCP ’10, received funding from the Graham foundation to retrace Frederick Law Olmsted’s immersive journey through the Southern slave states, from Virginia to East Texas, in the 1850’s to investigate the relationship between his southern writings and his practice of landscape architecture, and bring this text into the central understanding of the profession.