CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Harvard GSD 2017 Wheelwright PrizeInternational competition for early-career architects to win $100,000 traveling fellowship,
now accepting applications
Cambridge, MA — The Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) is pleased to announce the fifth cycle of the Wheelwright Prize, an open international competition that awards $100,000 annually to a talented early-career architect to support travel-based research. The 2017 Wheelwright Prize is now accepting applications. Deadline for submissions is January 31, 2017. This annual prize is dedicated to fostering new forms of architectural research informed by cross-cultural engagement.
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 (after 2002). Applicants are asked to submit a portfolio, a research proposal, and a travel itinerary that takes them outside their country of residence. Applicants will be judged on the quality of their design work, scholarly accomplishments, originality and persuasiveness of their research proposal, and evidence of ability to fulfill the proposed project.
In 2013 Harvard GSD revamped the Arthur W. Wheelwright Traveling Fellowship, which was established in 1935 in memory of Wheelwright, Class of 1887. The original fellowship was intended to encourage the study of architecture outside the United States, giving outstanding GSD alumni a classic Grand Tour experience at a time when international travel was rare. In the 81-year history of the prize, fellows have included Paul Rudolph, Eliot Noyes, William Wurster, Christopher Tunnard, I. M. Pei, Klaus Herdeg, Farès el-Dahdah, Adele Santos, and Linda Pollak. The new Wheelwright Prize invites architects to imagine a Grand Tour for the 21st century, to propose travel itineraries propelled by compelling research agenda.
“The overwhelming response to the prize reflects the strong desire of an emerging generation of architects to push the boundaries of the profession,” remarked Harvard GSD Dean Mohsen Mostafavi. “Having reviewed hundreds of applications from around the world, it’s clear that young architects everywhere are interested in alternative practices tied to a global spectrum of political, social, cultural, and environmental concerns.”
An international jury will be announced in January 2017. Standing members of the Wheelwright Prize Organizing Committee include Dean Mostafavi and Professors K. Michael Hays. Applications are accepted online only, at wheelwrightprize.org. Finalists for the 2017 prize will be invited to present at Harvard GSD in April 2017, and a winner will named shortly thereafter.
Previous Wheelwright Prize winners:
2016, Anna Puigjaner, Barcelona (BArch 2004, MArch 2008 and PhD 2014, Escola Tècnica Superior d’Arquitectura de Barcelona-Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya), for her proposal to study collective housing models in Russia, Brazil, Sweden, China, Korea, and India, and their varied approaches to organizing domestic spaces; click here to view the presentations of 2016 finalists including Samuel Bravo (Santiago, Chile), Matilde Cassani (Milan), and Pierpaolo Tamburelli (Milan).
2015, Erik L’Heureux, Singapore (BArch 1996, Washington University in St. Louis, and MArch 2000, Princeton University), 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).
2014, Jose M. Ahedo, Barcelona (BArch 2005, Escola Tècnica Superior d’Arquitectura de la Universitat de Catalunya), for his research on the architecture and organization of structures related to animal farming;
2013, Gia Wolff, Brooklyn (MArch 2008, Harvard GSD), for her study of the spectacular, temporary, urban-scale float structures that transform Rio de Janeiro during carnival. (Click here for the link to her GSD lecture.
General Information on the Wheelwright Prize
The Wheelwright Prize is a $100,000 travel-based research grant that is awarded annually to early-career architects who have demonstrated exceptional design talent, produced work of scholarly and professional merit, and who show promise for continued creative work.
Throughout its history, Harvard GSD has had a strong global outlook, attracting deans, faculty, and students from all over the world. Moreover, a mainstay of the Harvard GSD curriculum is its traveling studio, which emphasizes the acceptance of ideas and practices with a diversity of origins. The Wheelwright Prize extends the school’s ethos, encouraging a broad-minded approach to architecture that seeks inspiration from unexpected quarters.
The Wheelwright Prize is intended to spur innovative research during the early stage of an architect's professional career. Now open to applicants from all over the world—no affiliation to Harvard GSD required—the prize aims to foster new forms of research informed by cross-cultural engagement. "The idea is not just about travel—the act of going and seeing the world—but it is about binding the idea of geography to themes and issues that hold great potential relevance to contemporary practice," says Harvard GSD Dean Mohsen Mostafavi.
The winner will be selected via an open call for proposals and a rigorous review process. The winner of the Wheelwright Prize will receive:
- $100,000 cash prize to support travel and research-related costs
- 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 2002 are ineligible.) Holders of multiple degrees may apply, provided they received their professional degrees between 2002 and January 2017. 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.
- Winners are expected to spend a minimum of 6 months (cumulative) outside of their countries of residence in order to conduct their proposed research.
- Proposed research itineraries must not include sites in the United States. Research and travel must commence within 12 months of receiving the Wheelwright Prize and must be completed within two years of receiving the prize.
- 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 2017 Wheelwright Prize is now accepting applications. Deadline for submissions is January 31, 2017. There is a $10 service fee to submit applications (charged by the online platform, not by Harvard GSD).
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 project to contemporary practice, paying attention to the prize’s emphasis on research that holds potential impact on architectural production. The essay should describe the applicant’s experience or familiarity with his/her proposed subject, and his/her suitability to conduct the proposed research. The essay should also address the need for direct or hands-on research as opposed to archival research (i.e., justification for travel), and the benefits they anticipate for their personal and professional development. Applicants will also be asked to write a short summary (maximum 700 characters) of their proposal. This summary is a crucial text as it is the basis for the first phase of judging.
- A travel itinerary, including list of sites to visit, contacts, and other resources that support the proposed research agenda. Itineraries may include multiple destinations, in multiple countries, excluding the United States. A budget is not required.
- List of three professional references (full name, affiliation, contact information, and relationship to the applicant). Letters are not required at this time.
An international jury will select a winner based on the quality of the applicant’s portfolio, scholarly accomplishments, originality or persuasiveness of the research proposal, evidence of ability to fulfill the proposed project, and the potential for the Wheelwright Prize to impact his or her future development.
Eva Franch i Gilabert, Jeannie Kim, Kiel Moe, Rafael Moneo, Benjamin Prosky,
K. Michael Hays, Mohsen Mostafavi
Craig Evan Barton, Preston Scott Cohen, Sarah Herda, Elisa Silva, K. Michael Hays
Iñaki Ábalos, Sílvia Benedito, Pedro Gadanho, Linda Pollak, Shohei Shigematsu,
Mohsen Mostafavi, Jorge Silvetti
Yung Ho Chang, Farès el-Dahdah, Farshid Moussavi, Zoe Ryan,
Mohsen Mostafavi, K. Michael Hays, Jorge Silvetti
Press 20172017 Wheelwright Prize General Release
Press 2016Anna Puigjaner Wins 2016 Wheelwright Prize
Harvard GSD Announces 2016 Wheelwright Prize Finalists
2016 Wheelwright Prize Announces Jury
2016 Wheelwright Prize General Release
Press 2015Erik L'Heureux Wins 2015 Wheelwright Prize
Harvard GSD Announces 2015 Wheelwright Prize Finalists
2015 Wheelwright Prize Announces Jury
2015 Wheelwright Prize General Release
Press 2014Jose M. Ahedo Wins 2014 Wheelwright Prize
Harvard GSD Announces 2014 Wheelwright Prize Finalists
2014 Wheelwright Prize Announces Jury
2014 Wheelwright Prize General Release
Press 2013Gia Wolff Wins 2013 Wheelwright Prize
2013 Wheelwright Prize Announces Jury
2013 Wheelwright Prize General Release
For more information about the Wheelwright Prize or access to high-resolution images for press purposes, please email:
Cathy Lang Ho
FAQs — Frequently Asked Questions
I’m uncertain if my degree qualifies me to apply.
The Wheelwright Prize is intended to support research that will impact practice. For this reason, we are making it available to those who have received a degree from a professionally accredited architecture program—in other words, a program that is the prerequisite to take licensure exams. Because degree programs vary from country to country, we do not specify the degree name or number of years in a program, but we expect applicants to hold the international equivalents of the U.S. professional architecture degree, the 5-year BArch or MArch I. Applicants must have received this degree in the 15 years prior to the prize cycle. (For example, applicants to the 2015 Wheelwright Prize cycle must have completed their degrees between 2000 and the prize deadline.) Holders of multiple degrees may apply, provided the architecture degree was conferred within the past 15 years. Professional degrees in landscape architecture, urban planning, Ph.Ds, post-docs, et cetera, do not alone satisfy the eligibility requirement. There are other fellowships available for doctoral or post-doctoral research. This prize is intended for young practitioners.
Do I have to be licensed?
Do I have to have completed any built projects?
Can I apply with a partner?
No. The original terms of the fellowship specifies that the prize be awarded to single individual each year. Jurors review portfolios to assess personal talent and potential. Prizewinners may opt to collaborate with partners after the prize is conferred.
What does the registration entail?
The registration involves simply starting your application. You may opt not to complete or submit your application, of course. The $10 submission fee is the last step of the process. It costs nothing to register.
The portfolio requirement states that each slide should contain one image each.
Can I combine images?
The jury reviews the submissions as a projected slideshow. Slides that include several images are less legible than single images. We strongly advise against complicated portfolio-style layouts on single slides. If you must combine images, we recommend that you do not include more than 2 or 3 images. You will not be disqualified but please be aware that the jury has a limited amount of time to understand your work and legibility should be a priority.
How do I secure “copyright and permissions” related to my artwork?
We reserve the right to use any aspect of your submission to promote the Wheelwright Prize. Applicants are expected to secure reprint permission for the images they include in their applications. If you are submitting professional photographs, you must secure the photographer’s consent in the event that Harvard GSD decides to publish the work in conjunction with news about the prize. If the work belongs to a firm, the firm should be aware that it is included in your submission and may be reproduced in conjunction with news about this prize. We will ensure that all published images are captioned to include appropriate credits, as provided by applicants.
What do you mean by “personal” work?
We encourage you to submit work that demonstrates your personal design interests, approach, and “voice.” We understand that young architects are not likely to have a significant body of completed work. Speculative and student work are not only acceptable but expected! We also expect that many young architects may have spent extended periods working in firms. It is fine to submit firm work, though please include only projects with which you were substantially involved, and specify your role (preferably with respect to design).
May I submit materials by mail?
No, all applications must be submitted via our online platform.
If I have applied in the past, may I reapply?
Yes! We encourage people to reapply. Every year, the jury changes as does the applicant pool. Please try again! The application platform makes it easy for those reapplying to import their previously entered information. When you log in, you will see the information related to your previous application. Be sure to select the current prize program.
Do I need to get letters of recommendation from my references?
You do not need to submit letters at this time. If you are selected as a finalist, we will contact your references. We strongly advise that you notify your references about your application, should they be contacted.
I am encountering problems with the online application platform, the registration fee, or having other technical difficulties.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you experience any problems with the online platform or difficulties completing your submission.
What are the obligations of the prizewinner?
The winner of the Wheelwright Prize is expected to commence his/her research project within 12 months of winning the prize, and to complete it within 2 years. He/she is expected to spend a minimum of 6 months (cumulative, over the course of the two-year period) outside his/her country of permanent residence. Winners are not required to submit a report, but they will be invited to participate in programs at Harvard GSD (lecture series, publications, exhibitions).
BArch 2004, MArch 2008, Ph.D. 2014,
Escola Tècnica Superior d’Arquitectura de Barcelona-Universitat
Politècnica de Catalunya
Research Kitchenless City:
Architectural Systems for Social Welfare
Finalists: Samuel Bravo, Santiago, Chile; Matilde Cassani, Milan;
BArch 1996, Washington University in St. Louis
MArch 2000, Princeton University
Research Hot and Wet: The Equatorial City
and the Architectures of Atmosphere
Finalists: Malkit Shoshan, Amsterdam; Quynh Vantu, London
|2014||Jose M. Ahedo,
MArch II 2008, Harvard GSD
Research Domesticated Grounds: Design and Domesticity
Within an Animal Farming System
Finalists: Ana Dana Beros, Zagreb; Alison Crawshaw, London; Masaki Iwamoto, Ho Chi Minh City; Jimenez Lai, Chicago; Sean Lally, Chicago; Kaz Yoneda, Tokyo
MArch 2008, Harvard GSD
Research Floating City: The Community-Based
Architecture of Parade Floats
|Interpreting Design Knowledge Through Latin American Slum Upgrading Efforts|
|Urban loopholes and pragmatist landscapes: spatial productions and the Shanghai Expo 2010|
|Meltdown: Thawing Geographies in Arctic Russia|
|Four Experiments in Urbanism: The Modern University City in Latin America|
|Post-Disaster Architecture and Urbanism: 3 Cities along the Ring of Fire|
|The Archaeology of Afro-Modernism|
|The Roundabout Spectacle|
|A City in Miniature|
|Stuck in the Middle Again|
|2001-2002||Sze Tsung Leong
|Endangered Spaces: The Casualties of Chinese Modernization|
|Utopian Superblocks: The Evolution of Brasilia's 1,200 Housing Slabs since 1960|
MAUD '89 DDES '92
|Cartesian Grounds: The Extended Planes of Modernism|
|The Influence of Underground Transportation on the Development of Cities|
|Seam: Connecting Spatial Fabric|
|1994-1995||Edwin Y. Chan
|The Glass Building Revisited|
|1993-1994||Richard M. Sommer
|Traces of the Iron Curtain: A Creative Redescription|
|1992-1993||Jeffrey A. Murphy
|Housing Courtyards of the Amsterdam School|
|The Simulation of Nature: Alvar Aalto and the Architecture of Mis en Scene|
|Conventions of Representation and Strategies of Urban Space from the 18th to the Early 20th Centuries: Juvarra, Repton, Schinkel, Le Corbusier
|The Walled City Reconsidered: A Study of Roman Passage Architecture|
|1988-1989||Elizabeth A. Williams
|Event, Place, Precedent: The Urban Festival in Western Europe|
|The Picturesque Promenade: Temporal Order in the Space of Modernism|
|Sequence and Microsequence: Urban Drama in Baroque Italy|
|Transformation of the Landscape in Modernism: Gardens of Alvar Aalto and Le Corbusier|
|1985-1986||Paul John Grayson
|Housing and Lifecare Facilities Planning and Design for the Elderly in Japan, Israel, Europe|
|American Gardens and the European Precedent: A Design Analysis of Public Space and Cultural Translation|
|1981-1982||Hector R. Arce
|The Grid as Underlying Structure: A Study of the Urbanism of Gridded Cities in Latin America|
|1979-1980||Nelson K. Chen
|Indigenous Patterns of Housing and Processes of Urban Development in Europe and Southeast Asia|
|Time-Lapse Architecture in Sicily|
|Leon J. Goldberg
|Housing Facilities for the Elderly: A Cross-Cultural Study|
|An Investigation of the Relationship between Architecture and Urban Design of Significant European Urban Centers and their Exploration of Formal, Spatial, Geometric, Proportional, and Scalar Characteristics
|Formal Structure of Public Architecture in Persia and Turkestan|
MArch '61, MAUD '63
|1968-1969||Adele Marie de Souza Santos
|1967-1968||William H. Liskamm
|1962-1963||B. Frank Schlesinger
|Water and the Urban Image|
|1960-1961||Donald Craig Freeman
|1959-1960||John C. Haro
|1956-1957||George F. Conley
|1955-1956||Dolf Hermann Schnebli
|1954-1955||Ferdinand Frederick Bruck
|1953-1954||Royal Alfred McClure
|1952-1953||William J. Conklin
|Gottfied Paul Csala
|1951-1952||Frederick D. Holister
|Donald Emanuel Olsen
|1950-1951||Ieoh Ming Pei
|Jacek von Henneberg
|Jerry Neal Leibman
|1949-1950||Henry Louis Horowitz
|Jean Claude Mazet
|Edward Chase Weren
|George Elliot Rafferty
|1948-1949||Vaughn Papworth Call
|1947-1948||Joseph Douglas Carroll, Jr.
|1946-1947||Jean Paul Carlhian
|Noel Buckland Dant
|Martin Daniel Meyerson
|1945-1946||William Lindus Cody Wheaton
|Kurt Augustus Mumm
|1944-1945||Robert William Blachnik
|Theodore Jan Prichard
|1942-1943||Albert Evans Simonson
|William W. Wurster
|1941-1942||Phillip Emile Joseph
|1940-1941||Leonard James Currie
|1939-1940||Eliot Fette Noyes
|1938-1939||Walter H.Kilham, Jr.
|1937-1938||Constantine A. Pertzoff
|1936-1937||Newton Ellis Griffith
|Paul Marvin Rudolph
|Walter Egan Trevett
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