April 5, 2021

AIANY and the Center for Architecture awarded a total of $50,000 to research projects by mid-career architects.

April 5, 2021, New York, NY – The Center for Architecture, in partnership with AIA New York, is proud to announce the recipients of the 2021 Arnold W. Brunner Grant for Architectural Research.

2021 Recipients

Rachel Dickey, Architectural Acoustic Solutions for the Everyday, $15,000

Gypsum is one of the most commonly used architectural materials and is very prevalent in architectural acoustics. However, despite its ubiquity, the reliance on added layers of gypsum wallboard for noise control has generally been viewed solely as a material solution to an acoustical problem instead of as a design opportunity to enhance the visual and auditory qualities of a space. Rachel Dickey’s project proposes to address this issue by developing a catalogue of acoustical designs and fabrication strategies for unique wallboard surface finishes that can be incorporated into typical methods of construction.

Dickey is an Assistant Professor at the School of Architecture at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte and founder of Studio Dickey, a public art and design practice.

Ivi Diamantopoulou, Jaffer Kolb, and Samuel Stewart-Halevy, Testbeds: Mockups for Public Space, $15,000

Testbeds: Mockups for Public Space aims to reuse architectural mockups as public works in community gardens throughout New York City, beginning with a pilot program developed with the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation. Mockups are full scale, fragmentary models constructed to test performance and visual qualities before building projects officially break ground. Used mockups are typically discarded or left to deteriorate in “mockup graveyards” at architectural testing sites and façade manufacturers. This project proposes that mockups be repurposed as greenhouses, casitas, toolsheds, cold frames, and shade canopies in order to mitigate their carbon footprint. The Edgemere Coalition Garden in Queens will serve as the site of the Testbeds pilot project.

The Testbeds team is made up of Ivi Diamantopolou, Visiting Assistant Professor at Syracuse University and co-founder of New Affiliates; Jaffer Kolb, Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia GSAPP and co-founder of New Affiliates; and Samuel Stewart-Halevy, designer and doctoral candidate in architectural history at Columbia University.

Rosalyne Shieh, AIA, NCARB, Listening So We Might See: Architecture and Oral History in Taiwan, $15,000

The architectural traditions of places and people oft-excluded from the architectural canon taught in American and European architecture programs offer a variety of innovative design solutions and lessons. Rosalyne Shieh’s Listening So We Might See addresses this urgent need for architects to decolonize their practices by proposing an oral history of Taiwan—a state in East Asia with a layered colonial history, observable in its architecture and urbanism. Taiwan’s elderly population, who lived through an agrarian past and bore witness to the rise of urbanization and democracy, are an invaluable intellectual resource. Shieh will collect conversational oral histories, alongside mapping, filming, and photographing the built environment to investigate place through memory, migration, and class and revise notions of site and context.

Shieh is an architect and educator. She is the Marion Mahony Emerging Practice Fellow at MIT and is part of a collaborative architecture practice SCHAUM/SHIEH, with offices in Houston and New York City.

Peter Zuspan, AIA, Performance of Shame: The Desegregation Renovations of Downtown Atlanta, $5,000

Performance of Shame investigates the desegregation renovations of public and commercial architecture in downtown Atlanta in the 1960s, leading up to and after the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The primary objective of the project will be to understand how architecture intersects with the history of American racism at the scale of the individual building. The project will result in a digital archive of historical documents and a long-form essay, documenting insights from these renovations—their successes and their failures—to understand architecture’s role in contributing to and attempting to overcome our racist past.

Peter Zuspan, AIA, is founding principal of Bureau V Architecture, a design and architecture studio based in Brooklyn. Zuspan is a licensed architect in the states of New York and Georgia. He is also the Secretary of the Board of Directors of National Sawdust, a nonprofit organization dedicated to new music.


About the Arnold W. Brunner Grant

The Arnold W. Brunner Grant is awarded to mid-career architects for advanced study in any area of architectural investigation that will contribute to the knowledge, teaching, or practice of the art and science of architecture. AIANY and the Center for Architecture’s join Scholarship Committee assesses projects based on their engagement with contemporary local and global architectural issues and the usefulness of the research’s end product.

Past recipients include Lynnette Widder (2020); Karen Kubey (2019); Joel Sanders (2018); Peggy Deamer (2015); and Susannah Drake, FASLA, AIA (2013).


About Center for Architecture Grants and Scholarships

The Center for Architecture, in partnership with AIANY, awards scholarships and grant awards throughout the year for architectural students, architectural student journals, and practicing architects. Scholarships are open to New York City students and grants are open to applicants nationwide.

To find out more about our upcoming deadlines, please visit: www.centerforarchitecture.org/scholarships-grants.

2021 grants and scholarships are awarded by the 2021 Scholarship Committee:
Kim Yao, AIA, Architecture Research Office (co-chair)
Barry Bergdoll, Hon. AIA, Columbia University (co-chair)
Nina Cooke John, Studio Cooke John
Eve Klein, Assoc. AIA, User Design Information Group, The Graduate Center, CUNY
Carol Loewenson, FAIA, LEED AP, Mitchell Giurgola Architects
Sara Lopergolo, AIA, Selldorf Architects
Hilary Sample, AIA, MOS Architects
Catherine Seavitt Nordenson, AIA, Catherine Seavitt Studio
Sharon Sutton, FAIA, Parsons School of Design and Columbia University
Gia Wolff, Princeton University School of Architecture


About the Center for Architecture
The Center for Architecture is the premier cultural venue for architecture and the built environment in New York City, informed by the complexity of the City’s urban fabric and in dialogue with the global community. The Center shares a home with the AIA New York Chapter and has the unique advantage of drawing upon the ideas and experiences of practicing architects to produce thought-provoking exhibitions, informative public programs, and quality design education experiences for K-12 students. It also leads New York City’s annual month-long architecture and design festival, Archtober. The Center for Architecture’s aim is to further public knowledge about New York City architecture and architects, foster exchange and collaboration among members of the design, development, building, scholarly, and policy sectors, and inspire new ideas about the role of design in communities by presenting contemporary and practical issues in architecture and urbanism to a general audience. www.centerforarchitecture.org