From the News webpage of the Robert A.M. Stern Architects website:
The winner of the 2014 RAMSA Travel Fellowship was announced this evening [April 25, 2014] at an event in RAMSA's New York office. The winner, Anna Antropova, a Master's candidate at the McGill University School of Architecture, will be awarded $10,000 to fund travel to Japan, where she will study ancient wood joinery techniques. Her research is driven by the potential transformation and application of ancient timber techniques to modern construction: “This elegant and efficient mode of construction could meaningfully inform our western building industry, an industry addicted to toxic adhesives and an indiscriminate application of metal fasteners. Wood stands to be for our generation what steel and concrete were for the previous two or three, and Japanese joinery offers us a sustainable mode of assembly for a sustainable material with far less embodied energy.” Ms. Antropova aims to reintroduce these techniques, ultimately uniting “old and new, east and west, tradition and modernity.”
The jurors were impressed by the clarity and academic rigor of Ms. Antropova’s proposal, and its applications for contemporary building practices. Ms. Antropova’s proposal was very well researched and planned, and will produce a substantial continuation to the body of research on sustainable timber frame construction. The jury consisted of RAMSA partners Melissa DelVecchio, Dan Lobitz, and Grant F. Marani. Margaret Marsh facilitated the discussion and process.
The RAMSA Travel Fellowship is a $10,000 prize awarded annually by the Partners of Robert A.M. Stern Architects for the purpose of travel and research. More specifically, the Fellowship seeks to promote investigations of the perpetuation of tradition through invention—key to the firm's own work. The prize is intended to nurture emerging talent and will be awarded each year to an individual who has proven insight and interest in the profession and its future, as well as the ability to carry forth in-depth research. The program is open to M.Arch. degree candidates in their penultimate year at the 16 schools attended by current RAMSA partners and senior associates [Columbia, Cornell, MIT, McGill, Pratt, Princeton, Rice, Syracuse, UCLA, Michigan, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Yale]. In this the program's second year, Ms. Antropova was selected from a field of 20 applicants preselected by their educational institutions.