Tanya Southcott wins 2017 Moriyama RAIC International Prize Scholarship


Published: 13Aug2017

PhD student Tanya Southcott has won one of three 2017 Moriyama RAIC International Prize Scholarships.  Southcott won a $5,000 scholarship for writing an illustrated 1,000-word essay on the following topic: Please describe the moment—the circumstances, the nature of the event—when you decided to become an architect, or when you knew that your decision to become an architect was the right one.

From the RAIC website:

The Moriyama RAIC International Prize Scholarships are presented in conjunction with the $100,000 Moriyama RAIC International Prize. The prize winner will be announced on September 19 at a gala in Toronto, where the scholarship recipients will also receive their cheques.   The RAIC received 180 eligible entries in both English and French from students enrolled in Canada’s 11 accredited schools of architecture as well as students at Laurentian University, the RAIC Centre for Architecture at Athabasca University, the RAIC Syllabus Program and the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM).

“These essays involve a return to some of the authors' formative experiences,” says RAIC President Ewa Bieniecka, FIRAC. “Travel, work opportunities, and education make incredibly strong impressions, as each entrant begins to understand the diversity that exists in this world. They know that to complete their journey as architects will require deep commitment. As such, each of this year's winning essays speaks of social relevance.”

Tanya Southcott was at McGill University when a slide of the rooftop of Le Corbusier's Unité d'habitation in Marseilles was shown without mention that Canadian architect Blanche van Ginkel had worked in Le Corbusier’s office, and the roof was her project. This and so many stories of women in architecture are not widely known. At that moment, Southcott saw the need and opportunity to tell those stories that “threatened to slip through the cracks of architectural history… I sensed my own potential to collect some of these fractured, falling pieces and to rebuild them in a different form.”

Jury Comment: “The piece is deeply personal in the experiences it recounts, and in Southcott’s determination to address historic wrongs through her work as an architect-turned-architectural historian.”