Samuel Bravo has been named as the 2017 winner of the Wheelwright Prize by the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD). He is the fifth awardee of the open international competition that supports research proposals with a travel grant being given to the winner.
The Chilean architect intends to unearth the architectural vernacular of visited sites and work out how to amalgamate these with contemporary approaches to design. Formal architecture only caters for the minority, Bravo argues. The rest live in the informal built environment. The idea of such an environment has been considered before: “There is no such thing as bad architecture; only good architecture and non-architecture,” stated Ernesto Nathan Rogers and that notion was later echoed by Reyner Banham. In light of this, Bravo will look into how project-less environments exist and how formal architecture can inhabit and operate within such confines. In his proposal, Bravo also referenced how design must be sensitive to the potential “cultural frictions” associated with restructuring problematic settlements.
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