Taubman College

Fellowships / Former

2009 Fellows Reunion

University of Michigan Program Laid Fellowship Foundation for Architecture, Urban Planning University Community

Taubman College at the University of Michigan announced the anniversary of the 25th year of its Fellowships in Architecture Program at an event held at the Architectural League of New York on March 31, 2009.

The fellowships, as many as four per year, enable architecture and urban planning practitioners and scholars to be in residence at Taubman College during an academic year and engage in research. While engaging the student body through the teaching of studios and/or seminars, these scholars are provided with resources to advance their research.

"The Taubman College's program was the first to grant fellowships in architecture and has become a hallmark of achievement within the architecture community," said Monica Ponce de Leon, dean of Taubman College. "The program provides the brightest and most forward-thinking minds in Architecture and Urban Planning with the supportive environment required to incubate progressive practice and research."

Listen to former fellows thoughts about the fellowship's impact on their careers, teaching, and advancements in architecture and design.

Randall Ott
The Catholic University of America
School of Architecture and Planning Dean
The first William Muschenheim Fellow
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Adam Yarinski
Architecture Research Office (ARO) Principal, NYC
Listen to the podcast
Laura Briggs
Parsons School of Design (NYC)
Undergraduate Architecture Program Director
Listen to the podcast
Martha Skinner
Clemson University
Architecture Assistant Professor
Listen to the podcast

The program originated under the leadership of Dean Emeritus Robert Metcalf, who was the college dean from 1974 to 1986, and Kent Hubbell, currently dean of students at Cornell University and formerly Taubman College's architecture program chair from 1986 to 1993. These fellowships have become a model for other architectural institutions, setting a precedent for energizing architectural curriculum with emerging talent while providing young professionals the opportunity to focus and expand their research and teaching experience.

"The fellowship provides intense opportunity and responsibility at a pivotal point in young careers," said Keith Mitnick, a 2000 Sanders Fellow, author and principal at Ann Arbor, Mich.-based architecture firm Mitnick Roddier Hicks.

The fellowship has served as platform to launch careers for the more than 60 architecture and urban planning fellows who have participated. Former fellows have gone on to become noted figures in the field, including school deans, program chairs or faculty members, in addition to becoming authors and award-winning international design practitioners.

"During my time at the University of Michigan, I valued the generosity, support and discourse amongst the Fellows," said Adam Yarinsky, the 1992 Sanders Fellow and principal of New York City-based Architecture Research Office. "Sharing ideas with each other, the students and the faculty developed my approach to architecture and helped build the framework for my practice."

The four fellowships focus on different aspects of architecture and urban design exploration:

The William Muschenheim Fellowship offers design instructors early in their career an opportunity to develop a body of work in the context of teaching. This fellowship enables the development of a specific project individually or with students, outside of teaching or centered upon a particular set of pedagogical themes leveraged within the studio.

The Willard A. Oberdick Project Fellowship facilitates the development and realization of a significant exploration into architectural speculation and production. Projects range from the exploration of emergent building or environmental technologies to the realization of architectural works and endeavors typically unsupported within conventional models of practice.

The Walter B. Sanders Fellowship supports individuals with significant and timely architectural research issues. Research may involve architectural, urban, landscape, or cultural history and theory, related technologies, or design studies.

The Sojourner Truth Visiting Fellowship brings a scholar or practitioner to the urban and regional planning program who will infuse issues of race, ethnicity, and social justice into the curriculum, research, and practice. The fellow helps to raise awareness in each of these important issues.

"The fellowship helped me confirm my career path at a formative point in my life," said Michael Meredith, a 2000 Muschenheim Fellow and associate professor of architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. "The fellowship is more important than ever as a means to encourage and promote young architects given the current economic climate."

A book commemorating the fellows work will be available in the fall.