14 NOVEMBER 2017

Richard Rogers
Call for application


Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) announces the 2018 cycle of the Richard Rogers Fellowship, a residency program based at the Wimbledon House, which was designed by Lord Rogers in the late 1960s. The London-based Fellowship is intended to encourage in-depth, original forms of investigation as a way to expand both practice and scholarship. Open to accomplished professionals and scholars working in any field related to the built environment, the Fellowship seeks research proposals focused on those topics that have been central to Lord Rogers’s life and career, including questions of urbanism, sustainability, and how people use cities. The Fellowship is inspired by Lord Rogers’s commitment to cross-disciplinary investigation and engagement, evident across his prolific output as an architect, urbanist, author, and activist.

“The spirit of the Fellowship is intended to carry forward and expand on Lord Rogers’ deep commitment to cities not as ends in themselves, but as a fundamental means of bettering human life,” said Mohsen Mostafavi, Dean and Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design at Harvard GSD. “At the GSD, our work is organized around the urgent issues cities are facing globally, a pedagogical approach requiring exploration and collaboration across disciplinary lines. We are very fortunate and excited about this opportunity to support, learn from, and promote such cross-disciplinary research internationally, in the context of London’s thriving architecture, design, and art communities and vast institutional resources.”

The Richard Rogers Fellowship activates Rogers’s historic Wimbledon House as a site of collaborative investigation for researchers and practitioners into topics that have been central to Rogers’s life and career, including questions of urbanism, sustainability, and how people use cities. Projects that the six inaugural fellows will bring to the house this year include examinations of public and affordable housing; how food and cooking transform cities; and citizen-driven urban regeneration initiatives.


Past Fellows: Spring


VIEW biography

Namik Mackic
(Oslo + Cambridge)

The Return of the Group Form: A Comparative Speculation
on Radical Urban Regeneration in London and Berlin

Namik Mackic holds a degree in music from the Norwegian Academy of Music, philosophy from the University of Oslo, and Master in Design Studies from Harvard GSD. He is currently a research associate with Harvard Mellon Urban Initiative, and guest critic at the Rhode Island School of Design. He has served as critic and lecturer MIT School of Architecture and Planning, AHO School of Architecture and Design, Pratt Institute, Parsons the New School for Design, among other institutions. Mackic has worked as a researcher, curator, critic, artist, and documentary filmmaker, collaborating with variety of international organizations, including the Norwegian Ministry of Culture, Norwegian Ministry of Research and Education, Nordic Cultural Fund, and the World Wildlife Fund Mediterranean Programme Office.

Mackic’s fellowship research compares trajectories of citizen-driven initiatives in two key capitals of post-Brexit, “migrant crisis”-stricken Europe, London and Berlin. His proposal highlights the role of refugees, immigrants, and other structurally disadvantaged populations, and projectively casts them as drivers of new forms of spatial development.


VIEW biography

Maik Novotny
(Vienna + Stuttgart)

The State of the Estate: A Tale of Two Cities

Maik Novotny studied architecture and urban planning at the University of Stuttgart and TU Delft. Since 2000, he has been living in Vienna, working as an architect, planner, and teacher in the Department of Spatial and Sustainable Design at TU Vienna University. He is the architecture critic for the daily newspaper Der Standard and the weekly magazine Falter, and contributes to a variety of other media outlets. He coedited the books Eastmodern: Architecture and Design of the 1960s and 1970s in Slovakia (Springer Vienna, 2007) and PPAG: Speaking Architecture (Ambra Verlag, 2014).

Novotny’s London research addresses the current challenges for social housing in London and Vienna. His topic contrasts Vienna, which boasts a history of producing high-quality, widely accessibly housing, and postwar social housing in London, which has become stigmatized and frequently condemned as “sink-estates,” ever-threatened with demolition. Novotny’s research will compare both cities’ approaches to public housing, seeking solutions for re-densifying and revitalizing existing aging housing stock.

Past Fellows: Summer


VIEW biography

Jose Castillo
(Mexico City)

On Food, Cooking, and the City: Learning From London

Jose Castillo is the principal of the award-winning Mexico City–based firm a|911. Cofounded by Saidee Saidell in 2002, a|911 was recently named the most visionary architecture office in Mexico by Obras magazine. Its projects include the Spanish Cultural Center (2011), Ara Iztacalco housing project (2011) García Terres Library (2012), and Elena Garro Cultural Center (2013), all in Mexico City. Castillo holds architecture degrees from the Universidad Iberoamericana and Harvard GSD, and has taught and guest-lectured at numerous universities. He has served as a juror on several competitions, including recently Bloomberg’s Philanthropies Mayor Challenge Latin America. He has curated exhibitions in New York, Sao Paulo, Rotterdam, Venice and Brussels, and is member of the editorial board of Arquine, the Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Society, and LSE Cities and Urban Age.

Castillo’s proposal for the Richard Rogers Fellowship extends the research he initiated as a fellow of the Mexican National Endowment for the Arts. Recognizing cooking and eating as cultural, ecological and political actions with territorial and architectural implications, Castillo will investigate the way in which food and cooking transforms cities, drawing connections between urban food economies and pressing global problems such as climate change, inequality, and migration.


VIEW biography

Saidee Springall
(Mexico City)

London and the Challenges of Affordable Housing

Saidee Springall is the principal of Mexico City–based firm a|911. Since cofounding the firm with Jose Castillo in 2002, a|911 has designed and built over 2,000 units of affordable housing in Mexico City, and completed infrastructure and cultural projects as well as large-scale master plans for mixed-use developments. The firm earned the Bronze Medal of the Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction Latin America (2011), Emerging Voices Award from the Architectural League of New York (2012), and the Audi Urban Futures Award (2014). Springall trained at the Universidad Iberoamericana and Harvard GSD and is currently a fellow of the Mexican National Endowment for the Arts. She has lectured in universities throughout Mexico and the U.S., and her work has appeared in Praxis Journal, 2G, Monocle, AD, Wallpaper, New York Times, and Reforma.

Saidell will use her London residency to research affordable housing in London, focusing in particular on the “social contract” established between the state, developers, civic agencies, and citizens. Building on her previous independent research, she aims to analyze policies and financial structures, as well as new models of community participation.

Past Fellows: Fall


VIEW biography

Shantel Blakely
(Cambridge, MA)

Pattern Informed by Sensibility: Herbert Read on Art and Design

Shantel Blakely holds an MArch from Princeton University, a PhD in the history and theory of architecture from Columbia University, and is currently completing an MA in Philosophy at Tufts University. She has taught courses in architectural theory and urban design at Columbia, Barnard College, and Parsons The New School of Design; most recently, she managed the public lectures and conferences program at Harvard GSD. As an independent critic and scholar, she has probed the relationship of architecture and design to ideologies of experiential practice. Her writings have appeared in PLOT, Log, AA Files, Avery Review, and Open Letters, and she has participated in a variety of exhibitions and symposia as an essayist, speaker, and advisor.

With this fellowship, Blakely returns to an intellectual project that begins with meditations on art and philosophy. The premise that “Art is both an individual good and an instrument of education,” articulated by early-20th-century English poet-educator-anarchist Herbert Read, informed a number of claims which intensified in postwar Europe, that aesthetic experiences could confront social problems. Blakely will use her London residency to study Read’s life, ideas, and intellectual milieu, with the aim of tying his ideas to those of others (including John Dewey and Charles Eames) who regarded art, as well as architecture and design, as a means to achieve social harmony.


VIEW biography

Dirk van den Heuvel

Socio-Plastics: Resituating New Brutalism and the British Welfare State

Dirk van den Heuvel received his PhD in architecture from TU Delft, where he teaches as an associate professor. He is the cofounder and head of the Jaap Bakema Study Centre at the Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam. Van den Heuvel was the curator of the exhibition Open: A Bakema Celebration, the official presentation of the Dutch Pavilion for the 14th International Architecture Exhibition at Venice Biennale (2014). He is an editor of the publication series DASH (Delft Architectural Studies on Housing) (nai010publishers) and the architectural theory journal Footprint. He previously served as editor of the Dutch journal OASE (1993–99). His publication credits include Architecture and the Welfare State (Routledge, 2015), Team 10: In Search of a Utopia of the Present 1953-1981 (NAi Publishers, 2005), Alison and Peter Smithson: From the House of the Future to a House of Today (010 Publishers, 2004).

Van den Heuvel will use his residency to continue his research on Alison and Peter Smithson within in the context of the postwar British welfare state. He will focus on the Smithsons’ Robin Hood Gardens estate, examining the interrelations between architecture, planning, and housing policies. He is in the final stages of preparing a book that aims to reconnect the notion of architectural invention with the urgent need for equitable and livable cities.

The Fellowship


The Fellowship is intended for individuals whose research will be enhanced by access to London’s extraordinary institutions, libraries, practices, professionals, and other unique resources. By providing the distinctive facilities of the Wimbledon House and academic support, the Richard Rogers Fellowship’s goal is to encourage in-depth investigation into a wide array of issues that are pertinent to the sustainable and equitable development and transformation of the city.

Open to accomplished professionals and scholars working in any field related to the built environment, the Richard Rogers Fellowship is dedicated to advancing research on a wide range of issues—social, economic, technological, political, environmental—that are critical to shaping the contemporary city. The fellowship is inspired by Rogers’ commitment to cross-disciplinary investigation and social engagement, evident across his prolific output as an architect, urbanist, author, and activist.

In addition to a three-month residency, winners of the Richard Rogers Fellowship will receive round-trip travel expenses to London and a $10,000 stipend.

The House


Rogers designed house in the late 1960s for his parents, Dr. William Nino and Dada Rogers. The pre-fabricated single-story dwelling features a bright yellow painted steel frame, glazed façade, and moveable partitions that allow the easy reconfiguration of the interior space. Considered one of the most important modern houses in the UK, it was granted a UK Grade II Heritage listing in 2013. Rogers has described the house as a “transparent tube with solid boundary walls,” and noted its influence on his subsequent designs of the Centre Pompidou and Lloyds of London.

British architect Philip Gumuchdjian is overseeing
the restoration of the house to its original state.

Residency terms

  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Fall

Fellows will be selected annually for three-month residencies. Lodging includes a private bedroom with a desk and a private bathroom. Residents will share the common living spaces. In the application section, candidates will be asked to indicate their preferred residency term.

Two fellows will share the residence during each term. (Due to the nature of the quarters, partners and families cannot be accommodated.)

The Fellowship is accompanied by a cash prize of $10,000 USD.

Fellows must secure their own necessary travel documents and visas. Visa requirements vary depending on the country of origin and length of stay. Individuals visiting the UK for research purposes most often require a Standard Visitor Visa. The GSD will furnish letters of invitation, if necessary.

CHECK UK VISA requirements

The Richard Rogers Fellowship is available to professionals and scholars working in fields related to The built environment,

including architects, designers, landscape architects, planners, engineers, historians, journalists, curators, economists, policymakers, environmentalist, and other related fields. The focus of the residency program is to provide support to practitioners and scholars engaged in research that addresses alternative and sustainable urban futures.


  • Applicants must demonstrate professional or research experience in a field related to the built environment, and must propose new or ongoing research that would benefit from a residency in London.
  • Preference is given to practitioners and researchers with significant academic credentials or experience in architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning or urban design, as well as applicants who propose ambitious research projects with the potential to make a significant impact on relevant fields of research or practice.
  • The Fellowship is open to applicants residing anywhere in the world.
  • Winners are expected to secure their own travel + visitor’s documents (UK requirements differ depending on the country of origin and length of stay).


Applicants will be asked to submit:

  • Current CV
  • Brief research proposal (700 words), including description of the need for a residency in London
  • Portfolio (up to 10 images or documents), including design work and/or research projects and publications
  • Three references (names and affiliations only; letters will be requested of finalists)


Selection committee


Director, LSE Cities


Eliot Noyes Professor of Architectural Theory and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Harvard GSD


Co-founder AKT II and Professor in Practice, Harvard GSD


Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design and Dean, Harvard GSD


Architect and Professor
in Practice, Harvard GSD


Executive Dean,
Harvard GSD


Architect and Founder, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners


How long is the residency?

Fellows will be awarded a residency of up to three months. Harvard GSD seeks applicants who will make the most of their stay in London.

Will Harvard GSD assist me with my travel documents and visa?

Fellows are required to secure their own valid travel documents and visas; requirements vary depending on country of origin and length of stay. Harvard GSD will furnish letters of invitation, if helpful.

Are Harvard University faculty members, lecturers, and students eligible to apply?

Yes. But the competition is open to applicants anywhere in the world, and an affiliation to Harvard is not needed.

I am currently a student, am I eligible to apply?

The minimum requirement for application is a professional degree in a related design field or a graduate degree in an affiliated area, with the expectation that applicants have some level of demonstrated experience beyond their academic coursework.

Can I select my preferred residency term?

Fellows will be asked to rank their preference: Spring (February 15 to May 15), Summer (June 1 to August 31) or Fall (September 15 to December 15). The Selection Committee will try its best to assign winners to their preferred term. Flexibility is appreciated, and may improve one’s chances of being awarded a fellowship.

How many fellows will share the residence at any given time?


What can I expect from the living arrangement?

The Wimbledon property consists of two buildings—the primary residence and a smaller similar structure that was originally a pottery studio. The studio has been renovated to have two small private bedrooms, each equipped with a desk and private bathroom. Fellows will reside in the renovated studio and share the use of the main house’s kitchen and common spaces. The primary residence will host occasional events, such as lectures and symposia.

Will meals be provided?

No. The Fellowship comes with a cash award, which should help to defray some of the cost of living in London.

Can I bring my partner or family?

Due to the nature of the quarters, partners and families cannot be accommodated.

Will you consider join applications by partners/couples?

Partners/couples wishing to submit a joint proposal must apply individually. If the Selection Committee deems each individual deserving of a fellowship, the partners/couple will have the chance to share a residency term. The Wimbledon House cannot accommodate more than two residents at any given time.

What kind of administrative support might fellows expect during their residencies?

Fellows are expected be independent. They should plan to arrange their own travel and secure their own access to libraries, institutions, et cetera. Harvard GSD will help furnish any letters necessary to access special archives or institutions, if helpful.

Do I need to get letters of recommendation from my references?

You do not need to submit letters at this time. If you are selected as a finalist, we will contact your references. We strongly advise that you notify your references about your application, should they be contacted.

May I submit my application by mail?

No, all applications must be submitted via our online platform.

I am encountering problems with the online application platform, the registration fee, or having other technical difficulties.

Please email if you experience any problems with the online platform or difficulties completing your submission.

What are the obligations of the fellowship winners?

Winners of the Richard Rogers Fellowship are expected to cooperate with Harvard GSD with regards to media outreach, publications, documentation of work, participation in events, and so on. If research undertaken during a residency results in publications or exhibitions, winners must credit the Richard Rogers Fellowship. Fellows will be asked to submit a brief summary of their London work (2 to 3 pages) within six months of completing their residencies.