Announcing the 2018 Richard Rogers Fellowship winners

Photo by Iwan Baan

Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) is pleased to announce the six winners of the 2018 Richard Rogers Fellowship, a residency program at the Wimbledon House, the landmarked residence designed by Lord Richard Rogers for his parents in the late 1960s. Now entering its second cycle, the Fellowship is inspired by Lord Rogers’s commitment to cross-disciplinary investigation and engagement, evident across his prolific output as an architect, urbanist, author, and activist. Harvard GSD introduced the Fellowship in October 2016, and named its inaugural class of fellows in February 2017. Learn more about the inaugural class of Richard Rogers Fellows at

“From property guardianship to large-scale prototyping of urban environments, the diversity of subjects taken up by the 2018 cohort of fellows is extraordinary, and the way they propose to engage their projects with London is very exciting to see,” says Mohsen Mostafavi, Dean of Harvard GSD and member of the Fellowship Selection Committee. “We look forward to the second year of this important program, and are eager to witness the consequences of this research.”

The 2018 Richard Rogers Fellows hail from Switzerland, Japan, Australia, and the United States. They are:

Spring Fellows

Irina Davidovici (Zurich, Switzerland)

Peter Buš (Zurich, Switzerland)

Summer Fellows

Aleksandr Bierig (Cambridge, US)

Alexis Kalagas (Zurich, Switzerland)

Fall Fellows

Kaz Yoneda (MArch ’11; Tokyo, Japan)

Cathy Smith (Newcastle, Australia)

The 2018 Fellowship Selection Committee includes: Richard Burdett, K. Michael Hays, Hanif Kara, Mohsen Mostafavi, Farshid Moussavi, Patricia Roberts, and Lord Richard Rogers. (Full juror biographies appear at In addition to a three-month residency, Richard Rogers Fellows receive travel expenses to London and a $10,000 cash purse.

The 2019 Richard Rogers Fellowship cycle will begin accepting applications in October 2018.

About the 2018 Richard Rogers Fellowship Fellows and Proposals

Spring 2018 Fellows

Irina Davidovici (Zurich, Switzerland)

Housing as Urban Commons: Social Practices for Collective Dwelling

irina.davidoviciIrina Davidovici obtained her doctorate in the history and philosophy of architecture at the University of Cambridge. Before that, she qualified as an architect and practiced in the London offices of Herzog & de Meuron and Caruso St. John. Drawing upon her dual foundation, Davidovici pursues research in the field of modern and contemporary architecture, with a focus on Switzerland and Britain, as well as the history of social housing, with emphasis on ideology and urban planning. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at ETH Zurich, where she is finishing her Habilitation thesis on the integration of early residential estates in European cities and working on the research project Flora Ruchat Roncati at ETH Zurich, 1985–2002. She has lectured at ETH Zurich, the Accademia di Architettura Mendrisio, EPFL Lausanne, and Kingston University, and has served as jury member for the Swiss Pavilion at the Venice Biennale since 2014. Her publications include the monograph Forms of Practice: German Swiss Architecture 1980–2000 (2012, second edition 2018), the edited volume Colquhounery: Alan Colquhoun from Bricolage to Myth (2015), as well as articles in OASE, AA Files, Casabella, archithese, ARCH+ and Werk, Bauen + Wohnen.

Davidovici will use her residency to conduct a comparative study of London co-housing schemes and Zurich housing cooperatives, viewed through the common criteria of citizen participation, self-governance, sustainability, and social inclusion. The topic is developed from an architectural perspective, focusing on the impact of communal living and participative processes on the design of innovative prototypes for collective housing.

Peter Buš (Zurich, Switzerland)

Large-scale Urban Prototyping for Responsive Urban Environments: Towards Distinctive and Customized Future Cities

PeterPeter Buš is a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the Chair of Information Architecture at ETH Zürich. In his research and teaching agenda he concentrates on the development of custom-based computational environments, design workflows and simulation strategies within the scope of Responsive Cities focusing on end-users’ perspective. This includes the development of cognitive design computing frameworks for urban and participatory design activities linked with current advancement in digital technologies. His contributions appeared in variety of conferences and events, including CAADRIA, eCAADe and CAAD Futures.

After he graduated with a Master of Arts in Architecture degree from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava in Slovakia, he founded a design research platform Peter Buš | Architecture | Computational Design | Research, where he explores the usage of generative computer coding and advanced modelling techniques for architecture and urban environments. Prior to obtaining his PhD degree in Architecture Theory and Design from the Department of Architectural Modelling (MOLAB) at the Czech Technical University in Prague, he gained experience as a practicing architect and as a researcher at the Future Cities Laboratory SEC in Singapore.

Through the Richard Rogers Fellowship, Peter will investigate potentialities of computation, digital fabrication methods, and prototyping practices for their applications of construction deliveries in large-scale urban contexts and their capacities to respond to citizens’ necessities. Within this scope, the research aims to reveal, examine, and define to what extent the return of workshop models through digital making is capable to deal with large quantities of bespoke productions, considering the current advancements in a building industry and fabrication technologies as well as a position of citizens in on-site participation. 

Summer 2018 Fellows

Aleksandr Bierig (Cambridge, United States)

The Ashes of the City: Energy, Economy, and the London Coal Exchange

BierigAleksandr Bierig is a PhD candidate studying architectural and urban history at Harvard GSD. His research focuses on the intersection of architecture, economy, and environment, particularly between the mid-seventeenth and mid-nineteenth centuries in Britain and its empire. This work is concerned with how it came to pass that buildings began to be conceived environmentally—that is, as an interior space of often purified comfort set apart from the threatening vicissitudes of the external world, as well as an instrument that might serve to manage environmental, economic, and social risks. His dissertation investigates the interaction between coal use and architecture in London between the Great Fire of 1666 and the construction of the second London Coal Exchange in 1849. Other recent work includes investigations into the late eighteenth-century English cottage, the early nineteenth-century plantation in the American south, and changing concepts of building ventilation between 1650 and 1850. Prior to his PhD studies, Bierig completed his MArch from Princeton University and his BA in Architecture from Yale University. He has worked for a number of architectural firms in the United States and Europe, and has published articles and essays in LogClogArchitectural RecordThe Architectural Review, and Pidgin.

During the Richard Rogers Fellowship, Bierig will be advancing his dissertation research, exploring the architectural, infrastructural, and commercial regulations of the eighteenth-century coal trade, including documentation on coal taxation, records of debates on the London Coal Trade, and designs for metropolitan improvements. This work will take place at several archives and institutions, including the London Metropolitan Archives, the National Archives, and the British Museum.

Alexis Kalagas (Zurich, Switzerland)

Deflating the London Bubble: Non-Profit Housing Strategies

Kalagas-(Head-Shot)Born in Sydney, Kalagas is a writer and urban strategist currently based in Zürich, Switzerland. Most recently, he spent four years at the interdisciplinary design practice Urban-Think Tank, working on a range of research, design, exhibition, and media projects focused on housing and inclusive urban development in Europe, Latin America, and sub-Saharan Africa. Previously, following graduate studies in Geneva and Boston, he was involved in an early stage print and digital media start-up dedicated to in-depth coverage of international affairs and global policy. He began his career in Canberra, Australia, serving as a foreign policy advisor with the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Kalagas co-edited the book Reactivate Athens (Ruby Press, 2017), and has guest edited three issues of SLUM Lab magazine. His writing on cities and urban design has appeared in numerous publications, including Architectural Design (AD), Perspecta, trans, Migrant Journal, a+t, the Journal of Visual Culture, and Harvard Design Magazine, as well as the edited volumes CARTHA on Making Heimat (Park Books, 2017) and Re-Living the City: UABB 2015 (Actar, 2016). He has also taught at the Department of Architecture at ETH Zürich and the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne.

A decade on from the subprime crisis, Kalagas notes, cities worldwide are again contending with risky housing bubbles. During the fellowship, Kalagas intends to explore how alternative models of affordable housing could be adapted and scaled in places like London that are reckoning with this acute challenge. In particular, Kalagas is interested in whether non-speculative, rental-based developments could succeed in cities shaped by a persistent dream of homeownership, and take root in an overheated property market.

Fall 2018 Fellows

Kaz Yoneda (Tokyo, Japan)

Growing Pains: Comparative Analyses of Un/Fulfilled Potentials and Legacies of Two Olympiads

kaz-6_modKaz Yoneda (MArch ’11) is the principal and founder of bureau 0-1, a practice for architecture, urbanism, and research based in Tokyo. Born in Seattle and raised in California, Kaz went on to receive a BArch with Honors from the Cornell University College of Architecture, Art, and Planning. After a two-year collaboration with Sou Fujimoto, he attended Harvard GSD and received his MArch II with Honors in 2011. Thereafter, he was appointed to run Harvard GSD’s Studio Abroad with Toyo Ito in Tokyo. After serving as an inaugural director of space design for takram design engineering from 2011 to 2014, Yoneda launched bureau 0-1. Currently, he serves as an adjunct assistant professor of Architecture and Urban Design at Keio University, as well as a visiting lecturer at Japan Women’s University. He has previously taught at Cornell University and Nihon University College of Fine Arts, and has lectured at various institutions. In 2017, he began the Praxis Lecture series with A+U and currently serves as its advisor. His interviews and written pieces have been published in Shinkenchiku, GA Japan 138, The Architectural Review, Redshift, and Built. His works have been exhibited at dOCUMENTA 13, SAIC Sullivan Gallery, and 21_21 Design Sight. Yoneda has contributed to or featured in WIRED, Motherboard, ICON, and Architecture Boston.

Yoneda’s Richard Rogers Fellowship research will focus on the design protocols of mega-scale developments, and “Tokyoism,” which he calls a projective manifesto for a city without one. His fellowship research takes a topical and critical look at the 2012 London Olympics, in comparison to Tokyo’s forthcoming 2020 Olympics, to conduct analyses of its transparent process, innovation, and design evaluation. It is the greater ambition of this project to imagine what Tokyo could have become if its enabling system endowed much of what should have been learned from London.

Cathy Smith (Newcastle, Australia)

The Rise of the (Property) Guardians: Urban Tenure and Temporary Occupation in the Twenty-First Century City 

smith-imageCathy Smith is an Australian architect, interior designer, and academic. With professional and research qualifications and experience in architecture and interior design along with a PhD in architectural theory and history, Smith operates at the theory-practice nexus. She is particularly interested in issues of equity and social agency in the built environment, and her own practice is focused on small scale, low-budget, and temporary DIY (Do It Yourself) installations. As an academic, she has taught in the subject areas of design, history, and theory and construction at several Australian universities, including the University of Newcastle (current), the University of Queensland, and the Queensland University of Technology. She is also the inaugural Turnbull Foundation Women in the Built Environment scholar at the University of New South Wales (2018-2020). Her scholarly research appears in a number of international journals including Australian Feminist Studies, Architectural Histories, Interstices, Architectural Theory Review, and IDEA. In parallel with her recent research on the temporary occupation of vacant commercial buildings by artists and artisans, she participated in the Renew Newcastle property guardianship scheme, which ignited her interest in the benefits and challenges of the phenomenon more broadly.

Smith’s interdisciplinary research will develop an ethical and theoretical framework for engaging with the emergent phenomenon of London “property guardianship,” a term used to describe the sanctioned, temporary occupation of vacant commercial and residential buildings in Europe, North America and Australia. This research will focus on the stakeholder experiences of the London “model” of property guardianship by situating them in a broader international and critical scholarly context.