2015 Wheelwright Prize
Harvard Graduate School of Design
Above: Gia Wolff (Wheelwright Prize 2013 winner), Canopy, 2014. Installation view: BMW Tate Live: Up Hill Down Hall–An Indoor Carnival, Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, August 2014. Photograph: Oliver Cowling. © Tate 2014.
Above: Gia Wolff (Wheelwright Prize 2013 winner), Canopy, 2014. Installation view: BMW Tate Live: Up Hill Down Hall–An Indoor Carnival, Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, August 2014. Photograph: Oliver Cowling. © Tate 2014.

The Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) is pleased to announce the third edition of the Wheelwright Prize, an open international competition that awards 100,000 USD to a talented early career architect to support travel-based research. The 2015 Wheelwright Prize will begin accepting applications online on January 5; the deadline for submissions is January 30. This annual prize is dedicated to fostering new forms of architectural research informed by cross-cultural engagement.

In 2013, Harvard GSD revamped the Arthur W. Wheelwright Traveling Fellowship, which was established in 1935 in memory of Wheelwright, Class of 1887. Intended to encourage the study of architecture outside the United States at a time when international travel was difficult, the award was available only to GSD alumni; past fellows have included Paul Rudolph, Eliot Noyes, William Wurster, Christopher Tunnard, I. M. Pei, Farès el-Dahdah, Adele Santos, and Linda Pollak. 

Today’s Wheelwright Prize is open to emerging architects practicing anywhere in the world. The primary eligibility requirement is that applicants must have received a degree from a professionally accredited architecture program in the past 15 years (after 2000). An affiliation to the GSD is not required. Applicants are asked to submit a portfolio, a research proposal, and a travel itinerary that takes them outside their country of residence.

“Since relaunching the prize two years ago, we have seen hundreds of extraordinary proposals from every corner of the globe, exhibiting an admirable ambition among young architects to define new territories of concern for the profession,” remarked Harvard GSD Dean Mohsen Mostafavi. “We look forward to the 2015 competition and anticipate responses that address an equally impressive range of spatial, technological, urban, social, and political issues.”

The winner of the 2013 Wheelwright Prize was Gia Wolff, a Brooklyn-based architect whose project, Floating City: The Community-Based Architecture of Parade Floats, focuses on the elaborate temporary constructions created for carnival festivals around the world, identifying a new type of performance space that ties together notions of community, spectacle, and the city. In the past year, she spent extended periods embedded in the samba schools of Rio de Janeiro, and created a site-specific installation in the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern in London for Up Hill Down Hall: An Indoor Carnival in August 2014.

Earlier this year, Barcelona-based architect Jose M. Ahedo was named the 2014 winner. His project, Domesticated Grounds: Design and Domesticity Within an Animal Farming System, proposes the study of various architectural and organizational models of animal farming. His research will bring him to New Zealand, Mongolia, Germany, and China, to examine firsthand a selection of structures that support dairy production, livestock farming, and aquaculture. In 2014, the Wheelwright Prize jury also recognized six finalists: Alison Crawshaw (London); Ana Dana Beros (Zagreb); Masaaki Iwamoto (Ho Chi Minh City); Jimenez Lai (Chicago); Sean Lally (Chicago); and Kaz Yoneda (Tokyo). For more information about the finalists’ proposals, please visit

An international jury will be announced in January 2015. The Wheelwright Prize’s organizing committee includes Harvard GSD Dean Mohsen Mostafavi, professors K. Michael Hays and Jorge Silvetti, and Assistant Dean Benjamin Prosky. Please refer to the website for updates. Finalists and a winner will be named in April 2015.


Harvard Graduate School of Design announces the 3rd annual Wheelwright Prize competition will open in January


December 9, 2014