The SOM Foundation is pleased to announce the winner of the 2023 Structural Engineering Fellowship. Lydia Moog will receive $20,000 to conduct original research. This year’s topic, “Shaping Our World Through Air,” is a prompt to investigate the impact that air has on our world, from the unequal way pollution affects communities to the way it shapes spatial conditions and material innovations. With her proposal, “Structures that Breathe,” Moog will investigate different interpretations of “airiness” in structures. She will evaluate the notion of what it means for a structure to be lightweight, materially efficient, and sustainable by exploring a range of environments from rural to urban as well as current innovations and past methods through a set of case studies.
Lydia Moog grew up in San Francisco, California, where she first experimented with designing structures as a student of Goranka Poljak-Hoy. Moog left San Francisco to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at Brown University. Throughout her undergraduate studies, Moog explored form and materiality in textiles, glass, metal, and wood. After graduating from Brown, Moog worked as a structural engineer for Odeh Engineers, Inc. in Providence, Rhode Island, where she had the unique opportunity of collaborating on projects ranging from kinetic performing arts spaces to experimental structures designed by architecture students. Moog recently graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a Master of Science in Structural Engineering, Mechanics, and Materials. Looking forward, Moog is interested in applications for structural engineering that both consider and challenge the intertwined regional and global impacts of how space is constructed.
“The SOM Foundation Structural Engineering Fellowship offers a unique opportunity to observe and experience firsthand how structures are shaped by the communities and spaces they inhabit,” said Moog.
This year’s jury was chaired by Alessandro Beghini (Structural Engineering Senior Associate Principal at SOM, San Francisco) and included Sigrid Adriaenssens (Director of the Form Finding Lab at Princeton University), Janet Echelman (Studio Echelman, Brookline, MA), Carlos Gonzalez (Division President, Western Region at Clark Construction Group, Irvine, CA), and Jenny Sabin (Arthur L. and Isabel B. Wiesenberger Professor in Architecture and Associate Dean for Design at Cornell University College of Architecture, Art, and Planning; Principal of Jenny Sabin Studio; and Director of the Sabin Lab at Cornell AAP).
“Lydia Moog’s research on airiness in design has the potential to broaden the way we think about sustainability,” said Alessandro Beghini. “By exploring how lightweight structural solutions relate to local climate, materials, and building practices, she will shed a light on the complex interrelationships between the life of a structure and local communities.”