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The SOM Foundation's 2018 Research Prize will focus on "Humanizing High Density"

United States Architecture News - Aug 06, 2018 - 08:50   16095 views

The SOM Foundation's 2018 Research Prize will focus on

The SOM Foundation has announced this year's topic for the 2018 Research Prize focusing on "Humanizing High Density", this year’s award will fund research on creating sustainable and resilient spaces in response to rapid urbanization. Deadline to submit grant proposals is August 31, 2018. 

The SOM Foundation, funded through an endowment established by the partners of the architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), holds five types of awards and fellowships to supports individuals with the highest design aspirations and enables them, through research and travel, to broaden their horizons and achieve excellence in their professional or academic careers. 

These awards and fellowships include: SOM Research Prize, Structural Engineering Travel Fellowship, UK Award, China Prize and History of Awards, which receives entries in different periods of the year. 

The SOM Foundation's 2018 Research Prize is awarded to a faculty-led interdisciplinary design research proposal with active student participation that addresses a topic identified each year by the Foundation Board. 

The Research Prize is organized to advance the design profession’s ability to address the key topics of our time through the support of groups and individuals with the highest design aspirations to undertake rigorous interdisciplinary research and design exploration.

This year's topic will focus on "Humanizing High Density" to create livable and humanized environment in high-density structures.  Recipients will be provided with an award of $40,000 to support research which provides a deeper understanding of the topic and proposes solutions with the potential to advance the practice of architecture, structures, urban design and related design disciplines.

The SOM Foundation's 2018 Research Prize will focus on

SOM's new proposal for a new mixed-use tower in Hangzhou. Image © SOM/Brick Visual


The jury panel will be composed of leading professionals, academics and/or public advocates, and SOM Foundation Directors, will be responsible for selecting a submission most suited to the topic profiled in the SOM Foundation Research Brief.

"Humanity is undergoing the greatest mass migration in history as people across the world move into urban areas. There has been significant effort to draw attention to the estimates that as of 2009 more than half the world’s population lived in cities. This number is expected to rise to nearly 70% in approximately the next 30 years," said The SOM Foundation.

"According to a 2014 United Nations Study, 1 in 4 people live in a city of over 1 million people and importantly, nearly 1 in 8 (453 million people) live in one of 28 megacities with populations of over 10 million. The result has been a global demand for high-density structures and urban environments that support places to live, to work and to socialize."

Grant Proposals

Grant proposals should address the challenge facing design professionals to create a built environment that optimizes urban density while simultaneously best supporting human comfort and need for renewal, human performance and strong social networks that bind communities while also advancing approaches to sustainability and resiliency.

To advance viable solutions it is crucial that design professionals develop a deeper more rigorous understanding of human psychological and physiological responses to our physical environment, and how we can best shape the human experience within these high density urban environments. Submission proposals should focus on research that draws from other disciplines that seek to scientifically understand these topics.

To see evaluation criteria, eligibility and application procedures, please visit the Foundation's website.

Top image: SOM/42nd Ward, image courtesy of SOM

> via The SOM Foundation