Eyes on the Prize

Eyes on the Prize

The Harvard GSD Building.
Courtesy Harvard GSD

Each year Harvard Graduate School of Design awards a recent graduate with a $100,000 traveling fellowship, the Wheelwright Prize, bestowed on a young designer showing remarkable potential. Since 1935 the Arthur W. Wheelwright Traveling Fellowship has emphasized Harvard GSD’s commitment to field research to strengthen architectural advances and broaden the approaches to modern design. Beginning in 2013, the prize will be available to all young architects.

Originally established in memory of Wheelwright, Class of 1887, to promote architectural studies abroad, the fellowship was previously reserved for GSD alumni. But under Dean Mohsen Mostafavi this is the first year the fellowship is open to any early-career architect. “The GSD is a truly global design school, based at one of the leading research universities in the world,” Dean Mostafavi said in a statement. “It is clear that today’s fluid movement of people and ideas necessitates new approaches towards the understanding of architecture and urbanization. I am excited that in the coming years the Wheelwright Fellowship will be able to have a significant impact on the intellectual projects of young architects and, in turn, on the future of architecture and the built environment.”

The Wheelwright Prize is the first of its kind to award such a generous sum to young architects. The Pritzker Prize similarly awards $100,000 to recognize the work of an architect’s entire career. Instead the Wheelwright Prize is dedicated to architects who have graduated within the last 15 years from a professionally accredited degree program. Previous fellows include Paul Rudolph, Eliot Noyes, William Wruster, Christopher Tunnard, I.M. Pei, John Haro, Klaus Herdeg, Fares el-Dahdah, Adele Santos, and Linda Pollak.

To apply entrants are required to submit a portfolio and a research proposal for a project with a travel itinerary. An organizing committee is composed of Dean Mostafavi, Assistant Dean Benjamin Prosky, and Professors K. Michael Hays and Jorge Silvetti. An international jury will be announced later this month. Applicants are free to apply online through February 28. A winner will be announced on May 15, 2013.