The winner of the inaugural Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)
Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship was announced today, with £6,000
awarded to Ben Masterton-Smith for his proposal titled, Emerging East: Exploring
and Experiencing the Asian Communist City. The grant, administered by the RIBA,
will fund Ben's international research on this topic, and will be presented
in a report at the 2007 RIBA President's Medals Student Awards exhibition.
Currently a fourth year student at the UCL Bartlett, Ben aims to start his
exploration in North Korea, examining the effects of communist ideologies on
post- Korean War architecture. He then plans to conduct research in China, building
on previous studies carried out in this country. Ben's journey will conclude
in Vietnam where he will look at the contrasting cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi
Minh City as a counter point to China's rapid growth.
Isaac Maina Njeru of the University of Nairobi and Dean Munford of the University
of Westminster also received £1000 each and commendations from the judges
for their excellent submissions.
The judging panel comprised Lord Foster, Jack Pringle, President of the RIBA,
Fiona McLachlan, Edinburgh University School of Architecture and Spencer de
Grey and Stefan Behling of Foster + Partners.
Lord Foster said: "We were delighted to receive a wide range of submissions
from around the world for this inaugural competition, so many of which were
of an extremely high standard. Of especial note was the emphasis that many placed
on seriously addressing the complex design problem of a sustainable contemporary
city. We congratulate Ben Masterton-Smith for his winning entry and look forward
to seeing the results of his endeavour later this year."
Jack Pringle, President of the RIBA said: "The RIBA Norman Foster Travelling
Scholarship is inaugurated with an impressive research project which involves
a student travelling from Pyongyang to Beijing, Shanghai, ChongQing, Guangzhou,
Hanoi and Ho Chi Min City. Ben Masterton-Smith will use a travel journal and
his design skills to describe and order a 'cultural experience' of communist
cities in very different circumstances. I can barely wait to see the result.
I was also delighted that the projects about Transportation Technology (from
Nairobi) and Modernisation in Bhutan (from Westminster) were commended."