SWA Group has announced the 2012 winners of our Patrick Curran Fellowship program, an internal research award that seeks to further the art and science of landscape architecture. We received 29 applications and selected 10 proposals (two were merged into one) that support our fellowship mission as well as contribute to the firm’s reputation as a world leader in the landscape architecture field. Fellows will receive paid time off to work in their project in addition to up to $10,000 in expenses. Here are the Fellowship Winners:

Beyond the Bayou — Pavel Petrov

The goal of Beyond the Bayou is to produce a documentary on landscape architecture that highlights the landmark Buffalo Bayou, Brays Bayou and the entire Houston Bayou waterway network. This project will serve as a catalyst for change in an effort to rehabilitate similar struggling ecosystems.

Digital: Real — Mandana Parvinian and Don Xu

The “design process” is undergoing significant change as a result of the new tools of advanced 3D modeling software. This new process offers designers new forms with sophisticated patterns and spatial curvatures that surpass conventional geometric forms. Visually intriguing, these forms are both difficult to represent in technical drawings and manufacture with conventional methods. This project will explore how these forms become a reality.

SWA Graphic Library — Zane Busbee and Jean Casillas

The goal is to collectively strategize and develop a digital library that would speed up the process of rendering illustrations. The idea is to create an updated and expansive library of graphic materials to assist in the efficiency of creating the renderings and other illustrations. The development of a graphics library will greatly improve the production time of rendering in plan, section, elevation and perspective.

Beyond the Green Myth — Youngmin Kim

This project seeks to revisit current sustainable planning and design methods that the field of landscape architecture has regarded as  established principles. Recent scientific articles have refuted these practices, but this project seeks to verify current sustainable planning and design methods based on the most recent scientific data and facts. It also will examine how landscape architecture can incorporate new scientific knowledge to the design.

Hope Initiative — Huicheng Zhong

The goal of this project is to design a courtyard and prepare design development drawings for the Gongxing School, a Hope School in the Sichuan Province. The project also seeks to promote a sense of social responsibility for Chinese young professionals through the media. YOUTHLA, a nonprofit organization cofounded by Zhong, will recruit and direct volunteers to support the project.

Material Research in China — Shuang Yu

The goal of Material Research is to determine materials, local manufacturers and suitable construction methods for the most common material in China. The research will also emphasize on finding construction potentials for local/traditional materials as well as for the use of new contemporary materials in China. Following the research, an open database with this data will be accessible for SWA staff.

Material Reuse — Michael Hee and Alec Hawley

Material Reuse is geared towards providing a better understanding about reuseable material availability/sourcing, costing and implementation. The project seeks to create a template that can provide valuable information to SWA employees regarding investigated materials as well as a structured format for further investigation and reporting in an effort to streamline and encourage greener practices within SWA.

Social Entrepreneurship — Andrew Watkins

As the world’s population shifts to urban cities in the developing world, how can SWA develop a business model that is flexible enough to interact in this exploding market, a market that is 2.5 billion people strong and growing?  As designers, we have skills that can affect change in these environments. This project seeks to develop a business model for SWA that can engage in a profitable practice of social entrepreneurship, effectively responding to challenges faced by cities in the developing world.

SWApp and Place App — Yu-Peng Hu and Jihyun Qu

Originally two submissions, the following project is a combination of two similar submissions. The goal of both projects is to connect SWA to the community, professionals, clients and potential clients.

The SWApp seeks to create an app exclusive to SWA that will provide a map service of all SWA projects around the globe. The app will act as an interactive projects tour guide, helping potential clients who seek to visit the firm’s public projects but do know how to get there.

The Place App will allow you to browse through the firm’s current portfolio of design and architecture. It will provide exclusive access into its award-winning buildings in the form of interactive guides when visiting the buildings.

Urban Villages — Judy Qu

This project seeks to observe the changes of urban villages in Guangzhou under the background of urbanization. This project will entail visits to redeveloped and under-redeveloped urban villages, develop case studies on urban and landscape design and create potential business opportunities in China for SWA.




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Sarah Peck

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