The Deborah J. Norden Fund 2012

Benedict Clouette and Marlisa Wise: “Forms of Aid: The Architecture of Humanitarian Space in Nairobi, Kenya”
Julian Palacio: “Material tour de force: The work of Eladio Dieste”

The Deborah J. Norden Fund, a program of The Architectural League of New York, was established in 1995 in memory of architect and arts administrator Deborah Norden. The competition awards up to $5,000 annually in travel grants to students and recent graduates in the fields of architecture, architectural history, and urban studies.

In 2012, The Architectural League awarded two grants: one to Benedict Clouette and Marlisa Wise for “Forms of Aid: The Architecture of Humanitarian Space in Nairobi, Kenya,” and another to Julian Palacio for “Material tour de force: The work of Eladio Dieste.”

“Forms of Aid: The Architecture of Humanitarian Space in Nairobi, Kenya”

Benedict Clouette and Marlisa Wise traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, to study the urban and architectural implications of humanitarian aid within the cities and regions it temporarily incorporates. Focusing on a slum upgrading project called KENSUP conducted by the government of Nigeria and UN-Habitat, they came to understand humanitarian space as suggesting “the possibility of a politics beyond the nation-state.”

Benedict Clouette and Marlisa Wise are founding partners of Interval Projects, a design practice based in New York. In 2017 they published the book Forms of Aid: Architectures of Humanitarian Space, which expands upon the research initiated in this project.

“Material tour de force: The work of Eladio Dieste”

Julian Palacio traveled to Uruguay to study the works of the engineer Eladio Dieste. Palacio analyzed the Uruguayan master’s creation of structural systems that addressed the requirements of flexibility of space and economy of means that the projects and context he worked in required. Practicing in Latin America in the second half of the 20th century, Dieste shows an alternate vision of modernism, one tailored closely to its context. In Palacio’s words, “Being acutely aware of the socio-cultural and economic conditions of his country, he was able to formulate an unconventional practice of architecture in tune with this context, establishing the principles of what he called a ‘cosmic economy’—that is, to be in accord with the profound order of the world.”

Julian Palacio, born in Bogotá, Colombia, is a New York-based architect. He received his master’s degree from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University and a Bachelor of Architecture from the Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá. His professional experience includes work with Enrique Norten-TEN Arquitectos and Boston-based Office dA. Julian has been named a MacDowell Fellow by the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire, where he spent his residence continuing the research on structural formalism in Latin American architecture. He has taught at Cornell University, the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies, and Catholic University of America, and has used his Norden travel experience as the basis for research seminars and studios that focus on the transformative potential of structural systems and their capacity to generate new spatial and formal organizations.

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About the Deborah J. Norden Fund

The Deborah J. Norden Fund

An annual competition that awards travel grants to students and recent graduates in the fields of architecture, architectural history, and urban studies

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