Ajay Manthripragada, Design Critic in Architecture at GSD, and Miranda Mote (MDes HPD ’15) have received a 2023–2024 Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome (AAR). These highly competitive fellowships support advanced independent work and research in the arts and humanities. This year, the gift of “time and space to think and work” was awarded to 36 American artists and scholars. The fellows will each receive a stipend, workspace, and room and board at the academy’s 11-acre campus on the Janiculum Hill in Rome, starting in September 2023.
Ajay Manthripragada is principal of an eponymous design practice, based in Los Angeles. He has taught at several schools, including Rice University School of Architecture, where he was a Wortham Fellow. His writing has appeared in Log, Cite, and Domus, among other publications. In 2018, Manthripragada was nominated for a Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize as an emerging practitioner. Current work includes private and public projects in California and India.
Manthripragada is the recipient of the Lily Auchincloss Rome Prize in Architecture. His project Imbrex and Tegula, which takes its name from the ubiquitous roof tiles of Rome, will forge a dialogue between ancient and new applications of architectural terra cotta. The imbrex (a hollow half-cylinder) and the tegula (flat with raised edges) work together in overlap to create an impervious roofing assembly, versions of which are seen the world over. Manthripragada’s proposal views the imbrex and tegula technology as a means for understanding and leveraging the interplay of environment, craft, and geopolitics in building materials.
Miranda Mote is currently Visiting Assistant Professor in the School of Architecture at Pratt Institute and Lecturer, Program in Architecture, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Pennsylvania. Mote received the Garden Club of America/Prince Charitable Trusts Rome Prize in Landscape Architecture for her project Botanography and Botanic Gardens: The Italian Art of Nature Printing and Its Influence on Early American Gardens and Botanical Language. She will be focused on archival work related to the history of nature printing in Italy as it was brought to Philadelphia before 1720, making a narrative series of botanical prints about the gardens of the Academy in Rome, and working with children of the Academy and local schools teaching nature printing as a part of literacy and botany lessons.
Rome Prize winners are selected annually by independent juries of distinguished artists and scholars through a national competition. The 11 disciplines supported by the Academy are: ancient studies, architecture, design, historic preservation and conservation, landscape architecture, literature, medieval studies, modern Italian studies, music composition, Renaissance and early modern studies, and visual arts.
Established in 1894, the American Academy in Rome is America’s oldest overseas center for independent studies and advanced research in the arts and humanities. It has since evolved to become a more global and diverse base for artists and scholars to live and work in Rome. The residential community includes a wide range of scholarly and artistic disciplines, which is representative of the United States and is fully engaged with Italy and contemporary international exchange. The support provided by the academy to Rome Prize winners, Italian fellows, and invited residents helps strengthen the arts and humanities.
For information on this year’s winners, please visit 2023 Rome Prize Fellowship Winners and Jurors.