2017 Wallenberg Studio Award goes to Karen Duan

2017 Wallenberg Studio Award goes to Karen Duan

Announced on Friday, April 28, 2017 at the annual Wallenberg Symposium, the 2017 Wallenberg Studio Awards:

First-Place winner ($6,000):

Karen Duan

Second Place (tie) ($4,000 each):

Sasha Pfeiffer 
“Flutterby: A Memorial to Migration Across the US Mexico Border” (Studio: Anca Trandafirescu)

Sarah “Jordan” Turkomani 
Under the Counter (Studio: Craig Wilkins)

Third Place (tie) ($3,000 each):

Taylor Boes 
“Not Mine” (Studio: Neal Robinson)

Jiashi Yu 
“Chicken Republic” (Studio: Neal Robinson)

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 annually. The funds are disbursed in the form of a stipend for international travel to a country of the student’s choosing.

Thank you to the distinguished 2017 Wallenberg Studio Competition Jurors and Symposium Participants:

  • Tobias Armborst, Vassar College / Interboro Partners
  • Yolande Daniels, Parsons School of Design / studioSUMO
  • Grace La, Harvard University / LA DALLMAN Architects
  • Jonathan D. Solomon, School of the Art Institute of Chicago / Forty-Five

View more photos of the work and the 2017 symposium

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. A citizen of Sweden, as a young man he traveled to and around the United States to obtain his formal college education and to experience a culture that, as his grandfather Gustaf Wallenberg saw it, would allow him to become “a citizen of the world.” He continued his informal studies after graduation working in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. The 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?
This year, to honor the memory of Raoul Wallenberg, we look to the methods of his mission in Budapest. Beyond his determination for justice and his proficiency with limited resources, Wallenberg’s real legacy lies in the fact that he acted. We celebrate his acts of improvisation as agents of hope, compassion and resistance. These spontaneous performances of creativity offer exceptional examples that speak to the deep connections possible between improvisational action, design, and human rights.
Acts of Improvisation invites students to embrace extemporaneity, invite risk, trust themselves, seek surprise, value process, ditch the manual, really listen, and make it up as they go along!