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Wallenberg Awards Symposium, "Agency"

April 27, 2018 at 4:00 pm


Public discussion and presentation of awards will be held in the A+A Auditorium from 4:00 pm–5:00 pm followed by time to visit exhibited work and a public reception from 5:00 pm–6:30 pm in the 3rd Floor Studios. 

The Wallenberg Awards are made possible through the generosity of the Benard L. Maas Foundation and recognize the best conceived and executed studio work by one or more Taubman College seniors. The funds are disbursed in the form of a stipend for international travel to a country of the student’s choosing. Wallenberg Award winners engage in the culture and people of the country they visit, exploring how these shape the experiential qualities of architecture.

Monica Chadha, Civic Projects
Gabrielle Esperdy, New Jersey Institute of Technology
T. Kelly Wilson,  Indiana University Center for Art and Design

Raoul Wallenberg, a 1935 architecture graduate of the University of Michigan, has been called one of the 20th century’s most outstanding humanitarian heroes for his work in saving over 100,000 Jews from death during the Holocaust. The annual Wallenberg Studio honors the legacy of one of our College’s most important alumni through an overall theme focused on broad humanitarian concerns, explored through propositions put forward by studio section faculty. Each year we ask: what is architecture’s relationship to the humanitarian; how does architecture take up a position in the world?

To honor Raoul Wallenberg’s legacy and to embrace the spirit of his work, the 2018 Wallenberg studio delves into the theme of ‘Agency’ in architecture and contemporary discourse. Interrogating as broadly as possible the oft ambiguous and manifold interpretations of architectural agency, we collectively ask: what agency does the architect wield? What should architecture do in the face of inequity, precarity, and brutality? What capacities or obligations does architecture have to act? Using what tools? What new and emergent forms can architectural agency take in shaping the future? Engaging diverse affiliates of the debate, the effort elicits speculative thinking, applied research, and shared reflection about architectural agency and our discipline’s capacity to effect positive change. 

Dawn Gilpin
Craig Wilkins
Neal Robinson
Anya Sirota (Coordinator)

Photo Credit: Matthew Gafsou, Terres compromises series


April 27, 2018
4:00 pm