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Michigan-Mellon Project: Fellows

Application Deadline:
Design Fellowship - April 1, 2018
Humanities Fellowship - March 15, 2018

Apply for the Design and Humanities Fellowships here

Michigan-Mellon Design Fellows in Egalitarianism and the Metropolis

The Michigan/Mellon Project on Egalitarianism and the Metropolis is a 4-year academic and research initiative focused on architecture, urbanism and humanities research in Detroit, Michigan, is made possible by a $1.3 million grant from the A. W. Mellon Foundation. The project allows theory and practice to inform and be informed by questions of social justice, social movements and transformative creative arts movements - both past and present. The emphasis on cities and their specificity will focus humanists on linking theories of human interaction and collective life with the physical space of a city and its histories. The increased expertise in urbanism allows for humanists to better understand the market forces and economic constraints that inform design decisions that directly affect human life. Designers benefit from direct engagement with humanities scholarship that can more amply critique the structural inequalities driven by, for example, racial or socio-economic disparities (arising out of ideological biases) that have been impediments to urban development. The project, launched in Fall 2014, includes lecture and seminar courses, research fellowships, symposia, colloquia and films, exhibitions and publications. 

Design Fellows are expected to pursue independent research projects at the intersection of architecture, urbanism and the humanities, with particular emphasis on the role of egalitarianism in shaping metropolitan regions. Through faculty mentorship, colloquia and symposia, Fellows will join an intellectual community in which work in progress is shared and interrogated by a community of designers and scholars. Design Fellows will teach two design studios per term in the Michigan Architecture Prep Program - a semester-long architecture enrichment program for high school juniors in the metro Detroit area. Each Fellow will receive work space at the Michigan Research Studio, a 3,700sf space in midtown Detroit. Fellows are encouraged to seek support from external agencies if it appears that their scholarly and creative work will be enhanced by such grants. At the end of each fellowship year, Fellows are required to submit a written report on their activities and are encouraged to present their work to a public audience.

Michigan-Mellon Humanities Fellows in Egalitarianism and the Metropolis

The Michigan/Mellon Project on Egalitarianism and the Metropolis is a 4-year academic and research initiative focused on architecture, urbanism and humanities research in Detroit, Michigan, is made possible by a $1.3 million grant from the A. W. Mellon Foundation. The project allows theory and practice to inform and be informed by questions of social justice, social movements and transformative creative arts movements - both past and present. The emphasis on cities and their specificity will focus humanists on linking theories of human interaction and collective life with the physical space of a city and its histories. The increased expertise in urbanism allows for humanists to better understand the market forces and economic constraints that inform design decisions that directly affect human life. Designers benefit from direct engagement with humanities scholarship that can more amply critique the structural inequalities driven by, for example, racial or socio-economic disparities (arising out of ideological biases) that have been impediments to urban development. The project, launched in Fall 2014, includes lecture and seminar courses, research fellowships, symposia, colloquia and films, exhibitions and publications.  

Humanities Fellows are expected to pursue independent research projects at the intersection of architecture, urbanism and the humanities, with particular emphasis on the role of egalitarianism in shaping metropolitan regions. Through faculty mentorship, colloquia and symposia, Fellows will join an intellectual community in which work in progress is shared and interrogated by a community of scholars and designers. Humanities Fellows will teach three seminar/discussion sections per year - these sections may be affiliated with a lecture course on the Program themes and/or large seminar courses focussed on aspects of post-industrial and megacity issues. Each Fellow will receive work space at the University of Michigan. Fellows are encouraged to seek support from external agencies if it appears that their scholarly and creative work will be enhanced by such grants. At the end of each fellowship year, Fellows are required to submit a written report on their activities and are encouraged to present their work to a public audience.  

2017 - 2018 MICHIGAN-MELLON FELLOWS IN EGALITARIANISM AND THE METROPOLIS

Design Fellows:

Sara Timberlake

Sara Timberlake recently completed her masters studies at Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. During her time at the University of Michigan, she served as the Vice President of the National Organization of Minority Architecture Students and was instrumental in raising the chapter’s reach and recognition: co-organizing the MLK architectural symposium and helping earn the prestigious Martin Luther King Spirit Award. She received her Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she built capacity for the UIUC NOMAS chapter with dynamism and ardor. Sara’s design research is situated at the intersection of architecture, cultural production, and community-led urban phenomenon. Prior to joining the Michigan Research Studio, she contributed to the Architecture Preparatory Program as a teaching assistant.

Young-Tack Oh

Young-Tack Oh is an architectural designer based in New York City. He is a founding member of the experimental architecture studio Archipleasure, and a recipient of a number of international awards for his critical explorations, including the UK’s Creative Conscience Award for his project “Endangered Communities Act”, the Lille Design for Change Merit Award for “Guide to Counter-Foxiness”. His speculative research and practice look broadly at contemporary issues of architecture, urbanism, and policy through the exploration of tactical hacks in the built environment. In parallel, he has worked professionally for Shared Studios in Washington D.C. and Mapos in New York City. Young-Tack holds a Bachelor of Arts from Washington University in St. Louis and a Master of Architecture from University of Michigan.

Humanities Fellows:

Nora Krinitsky

Nora Krinitsky is a historian of the modern United States, who specializes in urban history, African American history, the history of racial formation, and the history of the American carceral state. Her research examines the role of law enforcement and crime control policy in the governance of modern American cities with close attention to the relationship between local policing and racialization. Her book manuscript, "The Politics of Crime Control: Race, Policing, and Reform in Twentieth-Century Chicago," explores those issues through a case study of early-twentieth-century Chicago law enforcement, finding that crime control policy represented the central mode through which city leaders and reformers sought to order the rapidly growing and diversifying city.

Krinitsky earned her PhD from the Department of History at the University of Michigan in 2017. She was the Postdoctoral Fellow in African American Studies at Case Western Reserve University from 2017 to 2018. As a Michigan Mellon fellow, she will use mapping tools and an online exhibition platform to create a digital humanities project documenting the history of police violence in Detroit and other major American cities since the early twentieth century.

Manuel Shvartzberg Carrió

Manuel Shvartzberg Carrió is an architect and scholar based at Columbia University, where he runs the Thesis for the Masters program in Critical, Curatorial, and Conceptual Practices in Architecture. At GSAPP he is also a candidate in the PhD in Architecture program, and a Graduate Fellow of the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society. His dissertation, “Designing ‘Post-Industrial Society’: Settler Colonialism and Modern Architecture in Palm Springs, California, 1876-1973”, examines the role of architecture in developing a discourse and a techno-politics of economic growth under U.S. hegemony.

Shvartzberg is a graduate of UCL’s the Bartlett (BArch and Diploma), and CalArts (MA in Aesthetics and Politics). Previously, he was project architect for David Chipperfield Architects in London, where he led a number of international projects between 2006 and 2012. He has also worked at OMA in Rotterdam and with Barozzi/Veiga in Barcelona, among others.

Recent publications include: “Complexity and Contradiction in Infrastructure: On the Schumacher-Trump Hegemony” (The Avery Review); “Contracts” (The Art of Inequality: Architecture, Housing, and Real Estate); "Foucault's 'Environmental' Power: Architecture and Neoliberal Subjectivization" (The Architect as Worker); The Politics of Parametricism: Digital Technologies in Architecture; “Securitizing the Demos: Constructing the First U.S. Real Estate Financial Index, 1975–1983” (ARQ); and “Automated Architectures of Leisure”, in the Dutch pavilion’s catalog Work, Body, Leisure for the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennial.

His work has been supported by RIBA, the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture, The Huntington Library and Archives, and the Graham Foundation.

View past Michigan-Mellon fellows

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