Architecture Student Research Grant Winners Explore Paper, Beekeepers, Sound

In a typical year, the exhibition gallery at Taubman College would be filled with an array of unique, eye-catching work. Last year, for example, the gallery held a series of floor-to-ceiling hair braids and an image of Notre-Dame Cathedral in flames.

While COVID-19 has moved this year’s Architecture Student Research Grant (ASRG) exhibition online, the innovative, whimsical spirit remains.

ASRG, which was seeded with gifts from the Class of 2013 and continues to be funded through the generosity of Lisa Sauvé, M.Arch ’11, M.S. ’14, and Adam Smith, M.Arch ’11 (Synecdoche Design Studio, Ann Arbor), provides a unique opportunity for students to support outstanding research by their peers.

“Taubman College is committed to the idea that architecture is a cultural product that always negotiates a complex plurality of voices and ideas, as well as myriad social, political, and aesthetic concerns,” says McLain Clutter, program chair. “The Architecture Student Research Grant is an excellent example of our experimental mindset in action.”

The 2020 recipients of the grant are:

Towards a Paper Architecture
Team: Lindsay Barranco and Jamie Lee

Embracing the challenge of sustainable design innovation and production with recycled waste paper, our design research aims to discover novel form-finding and prototyping methodologies through a series of fabrication and construction experiments. Through multidisciplinary research and experimentation of computational programming involving lighting devices and sensory responsive technologies, we aspire to curate a sensory experience for the exhibition with a series of scaled architectural objects with specifically-designed programs and functionalities.

Portable Life Kit for Nomadic Beekeepers
Team: Dan Shen

This project intends to showcase the nomadic life of beekeepers in agricultural China, and design a hygienic portable life kit prototype which befits migrant labor living in their temporarily assembled accommodation. In this unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak, people who need to migrate periodically to work are negatively affected by travel restrictions. Moreover, labor in the countryside may face a worse situation that hygienic resources in the countryside may not be as accessible as those in urban areas. In this specific quandary, beekeepers in rural China, who transit 5 to 8 times a year with their bees to chase flower seasons, represent an especially insightful example of the understudied hygienic needs in the countryside.

Music, Architecture, and the Spatialization of Sound
Team: Kaylee Tucker, Tyler Gaeth, and Leonard Bopp

As a performative act, music is temporal and linear; architecture, in contrast, is constructed of matter and can be experienced as a whole. Our research seeks ways to bridge sonic and spatial logics through an intermediary language, one that can be understood without specialty knowledge and can allow the general public to engage the disciplines of music and architecture in new ways, with a deeper capacity to describe and critique what they see and hear.

The ASRG winners presented their work on Wednesday, January 27. Click here to view the recording.