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GSAPP Incubator Prize

2020-2021 Incubator Prize Recipients

Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020-2021 GSAPP Incubator Prize. Dedicated to the topic of Climate, Health, and Cities, the Prize offers direct financial support of $10,000 each to GSAPP alumni who are developing projects that engage these pressing issues through a range of approaches spanning critical discourse, research, and active practice in architecture and its related fields.

The Prize was established in 2019 as an extension of the GSAPP Incubator, a project that seeks to expand the territory between academia and the profession, and promotes new models of practice by supporting alumni in the development of a wide range of new ideas and projects about architecture, contemporary culture, and the future of the city. The cohort of Prize recipients will meet in closed workshops during the course of the year, and will present their projects at a public event at the School during the Spring 2021 semester. This year the School received submissions from over 100 alumni who graduated between 2005 and 2020, and with the generosity of donor support GSAPP is delighted to be able to offer additional prizes. We are grateful for the opportunity to be able to assist recent alumni graduating in this time of professional uncertainty. An additional 25 prizes are being distributed over two years in 2020 and 2021, and the School is awarding sixteen prizes this year to the following recipients:

Sean Ansanelli ‘13 MSUP
Carlo Bailey '15 MARCH
Zoe Kauder Nalebuff '20 MSCCCP
Palvasha Sophia Khan '20 MSAUD
Maider Llaguno-Munitxa '10 MSAAD
Einat Lubliner ’20 MSAUD
Frank Mandell '20 MARCH
Kate McNamara '20 MARCH
Eduardo Meneses '20 MARCH
Rafaela Olivares '20 MSAAD
James Piacentini '20 MARCH, '20 MSUP
Linda Schilling Cuellar '18 MSAUD
Amewusika Sedzro '13 MSUP
Alexandra Tell '20 MSCCCP
Lorenzo Villaggi '15 MARCH
Yile Xu '20 MSAUD

Read descriptions of the winning proposals and learn more about these and the prior year’s recipients here.

About the GSAPP Incubator Prize

The GSAPP Incubator is for alumni who are developing new ideas and projects about architecture, contemporary culture, and the future of the city. The Incubator was a co-working space at the New Museum’s NEW INC. in Lower Manhattan from 2015 through 2019, at which time it transitioned to the GSAPP Incubator Prize in order to help the development of innovative alumni-led projects by offering direct financial support to selected recipients. In this form, the Prize advances domestic and international alumni projects dedicated to critical modes of practice that engage the challenges and opportunities facing the built environment today.

The Prize encourages a wide range of experiments initiated by Columbia GSAPP graduates while focusing on a specific topic of inquiry each year. In 2019, the School awarded six alumni prizes of $10,000 each to advance projects dedicated to Climate Change at the Building Scale, spanning a range of creative approaches to tackling environmental urgencies through architecture and urban thinking, design, and practice—from material explorations to novel agricultural systems to resilient coastlines. As a platform for entrepreneurship and expanded modes of practice, the Prize supports projects that bridge critical discourse and active practice and engagement.

The Prize is open to recent Columbia GSAPP graduates from across its programs. Recipients develop their work independently and can be based internationally. Operating within the broader ecosystem of Columbia GSAPP’s commitment to new forms of design research and practice, GSAPP Incubator Prize recipients participate in exchanges throughout their one-year award period, and present the outcome of their work at the end of the cycle. With the generosity of donor support, an additional 25 prizes of $10,000 each are being distributed over two years in the the 2020–21 and 2021–22 awards cycles to particularly assist the GSAPP alumni graduating in a time of professional uncertainty.

GSAPP Incubator History

The GSAPP Incubator was founded by Dean Amale Andraos to provide recent graduates with a collaborative environment to explore new ideas and projects at the intersection of culture, technology and the city. Located in the heart of the downtown creative scene at 231 Bowery from 2014 until 2019, the GSAPP Incubator was an anchor tenant of NEW INC., the first museum-led cultural incubator for art, technology, and design founded by the New Museum.

It blends a professional setting and a culture of entrepreneurship with the communal creative energy and rigorous discourse experienced by students during their time at GSAPP. The program expands the territory between academia and the profession, and it allows members to share experiences and skills while building their professional networks and connecting to critical issues in New York and beyond. A unique university-led initiative, the GSAPP Incubator spans multiple disciplines and draws on the strengths of the school, its faculty, the resources of the New Museum and NEW INC, and the proximity to Lower Manhattan’s technology industry.

Directed by Assistant Professor David Benjamin, the co-working space encourages discovery and open exchange among a diverse group of participants who are engaging in topics and interdisciplinary methods that expand the possibilities of architecture. It supports experimental and alternative modes of practice that encompass both research and production. During the first four years, member groups have developed a variety of cutting-edge projects involving virtual reality and digital technology, critical discourse and publishing, civic issues and public spaces, urban regeneration, emergency response, and more.

GSAPP Incubator
Four Year Report
GSAPP Conversations: Bonus Episode

Michelle Young (‘12 MSUP) of Untapped Cities speaks with four recent members of the GSAPP Incubator: Mustafa Faruki (‘10 M.Arch), Nile Greenberg ('16 M.Arch), Marcelo López-Dinardi ('13 MSCCCP), and Jieun Yang ('08 M.Arch). They discuss their experiences working at the Incubator over the past year, and the challenges and opportunities facing architecture students and practitioners within the current cultural and economic landscape.

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