The SOM Foundation is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 SOM Foundation China Fellowship. Three fellows, Chang Guo, Han Tu, and Yunhan Zhu will each receive $5,000 to conduct original research. This year’s topic, “Examining Social Justice in Urban Contexts,” encouraged applicants to explore and identify long-term policies, immediate actions, and comprehensive plans have the potential to shape a more equitable and sustainable future.
This year’s jury was led by SOM Foundation Cochair Leo Chow and included James Shen (Principal and Founding Partner of People’s Architecture Office), He Wei (Principal Architect of 3andwich Design / He Wei Studio), and Chen Yifeng (Partner and Principal Architect of Atelier Deshaus). All the proposals submitted were evaluated independently by each of the jurors, who then submitted their individual recommendations. Shortlisted proposals were subsequently discussed as a group. Reflecting on the three winning projects, Yifeng commended the awardees for “responding well to this theme, despite their diverse perspectives and methods.”
Chang Guo is an undergraduate student in architecture at Southeast University. This fall, she will go to the National University of Singapore to continue her postgraduate studies in urban design. Guo is interested in community life and wants to work as a professional architect in the public realm. She believes that examining social justice beneath the surface will help reduce the inequality of public space aggravated by the epidemic and make more people aware of the importance of this kind of community intimacy. Her proposal is titled “Examining Social Justice Beneath the Surface: Taking European Public Swimming Pools as a Clue.” Chen Yifeng commented that Guo’s proposal “considers these ordinary public facilities as a mirror to test social justice. The research is closely attached to community daily lives, seeing a world in a grain of sand, and shows great practicality.”
Han Tu was born and raised in Fuzhou, a city in the coastal Province of Fujian located on the north shore of the Taiwan Strait. Tu received her Bachelor of Engineering in Architecture degree from Tongji University, Shanghai in June 2019 and Master of Architecture degree from Tsinghua University, Beijing in June 2021. Starting in September, she will join the SMArchS program at MIT. Tu’s future research interests include urbanism, computational design, and how to become an urban designer and researcher with social responsibility. She wishes to observe the embodiment and function of emotional justice in urban design during her China Fellowship. He Wei mentioned that Han Tu’s travel plan, titled “Emotional Justice: Emotional Design of Urban Public Space,” is “practical and effective. The concerns responded well to the theme of this year, with regional characteristics.”
Yunhan Zhu was born in Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province. Zhu is currently a postgraduate student majoring in urban planning at Shandong Jianzhu University. She enjoys traveling around the city by bus and especially likes to focus on urban fringe areas and the daily life of people in them. Her proposal is titled “Spatial Reproduction in Industrial Areas—Study on Chinese Workers’ Spatial Production in Europe.” He Wei mentioned that Zhu’s proposal “is a difficult research topic that should not be ignored in the era of globalization,” adding that “it takes skill and courage to complete such a complex topic in such a short travel time.”
The jurors would like to congratulate the three winners of the 2021 China Fellowship and we all look forward to seeing the results of their research in the near future.
Oil tank brick factory transformation, Jinan, China, 2018. © Yunhan Zhu and Ting Wang.
Planning and design of Yinchen Village, Jinan, China, 2018. © Yunhan Zhu and Ting Wang.