Announcing the Recipients of the Spring 2024 Carnegie Mellon Architecture Awards

blue poster with white and yellow text "Spring 2024 Awards"

Carnegie Mellon Architecture is proud to announce the student recipients of our spring 2024 awards program. These awards provide over $45,000 of funding support to undergraduate and graduate students. Awards recognize student work in public interest design, design and representation, and sustainability, as well as professional promise. We extend our thanks to EPIC Metals for sponsoring the reception following the ceremony.

Please join us in congratulating the recipients on their tremendous accomplishments, and thanks to all of those who applied. We appreciate the generous support of our donors for making these awards available to our students, the juries for their work evaluating the applicants, and extend our thanks to EPIC Metals for sponsoring the reception following the ceremony.

2023-24 Awards Committee: Meredith Marsh (Chair), Joshua Bard, Christi Danner, Omar Khan



EPIC Metals Competition
Third-Year B.Arch Student Award
The EPIC Metals Corporation sponsors the EPIC Metals Competition for third-year Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) students in the Praxis II Studio to design an innovative project incorporating metal deck systems. The project brief for the 19th annual competition in 2024 was Margaret Morrison Corridor Campus Improvements.

Spring 2024 Jury: Michael Schuyler, AIA (Manager of Estimating, EPIC Metals Corporation); Steve Lee; Praxis II Studio faculty Jeremy Ficca (coordinator), Vicki Achnani, Erica Cochran Hameen, Jeff King, Jongwan Kwon

First Place: Benni Guo, B.Arch ‘26 & Patrick Zheng, B.Arch ‘26
Award: $3,000

Jury Comment: The design proposal is assertive in its structural language and inviting to the campus community through openness. The design thoughtfully incorporates various EPIC Metals products at appropriate scale and utility.

Second Place: Tina Han, B.Arch ‘26 & Angela Yang, B.Arch ‘26
Award: $2,600

Jury Comment: The design proposal achieves dynamic structural expression through lively and kinetic groupings of forms and materials.

Third Place: Zoe Liu, B.Arch ‘26 & Jack Zhu, B.Arch ‘26
Award: $2,200

Jury Comment: The design proposal presents a delicate and elegant solution that thoughtfully combines translucent and perforated canopy materials to achieve a light canopy structure.


George W. Anderson, Jr. Award
Graduate Student Award
This award recognizes graduate students who demonstrate through their work an exceptional level of attention to detail or dedication to beneficially impacting the community. The 10 finalists presented Pecha Kucha presentations of their work to fellow students and faculty on March 25.

Spring 2024 Jury: Joshua Bard (Chair), Nina Baird, Kristen Kurland

First Place: Jil Berenblum, MSSD ‘24; Nandan Bhusury, MSSD ‘24 & Rovina George, M.Arch ‘24
Title: MYCOFLAME: In care of forest biomes and wild fire resiliency
Award: $2,500

Jury Comment: This project demonstrates a great combination of empirical study, physical prototyping and projective design thinking.

Runner-up: Valeria Duque Villegas, MUD ‘25
Title: Enhancing the Social Impact of Natural Rehabilitation: Harnessing Natural Recomposition as a Catalyst for Social Transformation
Award: $1,500

Jury Comment: The jury was impressed with the project’s multi-scalar approach and the entwining of social and ecological systems in the project.

Runner-up: Trevor Orgill, M.Arch ‘24 
Title: HomeCraft Workshop: The Expandable House - Studies in Recycling, Repurposing Building Materials In Urban Villages of Chiang Mai
Award: $1,500

Jury Comment: The jury appreciated the project’s commitment to multiple modes of design exploration, in particular photography, drawing and physical modeling of very high quality.

Runner-up: Koushik Srinath, MUD ‘24 
Title: Reclaiming Platform Futures: Towards Alternative Models of Cities and Data
Award: $1,500

Jury Comment: The jury appreciated this project and how it made the abstract and systemic legible and concrete through a close read of the physical practices and built realities of the city.

David Lewis Community Engagement Design Scholarship
Student Award
This award provides financial support to students who demonstrate a commitment to working within diverse communities through participatory architectural design processes and who demonstrate commitments to social justice and community service.

Spring 2024 Jury: Stefan Gruber (Chair), Tuliza Sindi, Francesca Torello, An Lewis

Recipient: Seyoung Choo, MUD ‘25
Title: Continued Interest in Working with the Korean Community
Award: $2,500

Jury Comment: The work demonstrates the designer’s sustained commitment to spatial justice and repair across their research, design and practice endeavors, and engages the importance of everyone’s shared role in the production of just spaces. The selected work effectively deploys representation in ways that communicate with and touch a diverse range of audiences, and the work explores expansive definitions of community engagement, from artistic, to social, to scientific.


Stewart L. Brown Memorial Scholarship
Fourth-Year B.Arch Student Award
This award recognizes professional promise in terms of attitudes and scholastic achievement. Applicants submit a design portfolio and a statement articulating their interest in professional practice. A jury convened by the Pittsburgh AIA reviews the portfolios, interviews finalists and selects the awardee.

Spring 2024 Jury: Pittsburgh AIA Chapter leadership: Sean Sheffler (President), John Ryan (Immediate Past President), Bob Shelton (First Vice President)

Recipient: Neha Chopra, B.Arch ‘25
Award: $10,000

Jury Comment: The jury was quite taken with the demeanor and character displayed by Neha Chopra. Her "fursat" project, completed independently in India, represented to us the true spirit of architectural practice – scale, material, budget and leadership – that we feel that this award was intended to recognize.


John Knox Shear Award
Fourth-Year B.Arch Student Award
The John Knox Shear Award recognizes exceptional design and representation as demonstrated through studio work.

Spring 2024 Jury: Laura Garófalo (Chair), Jongwan Kwon, Jackie McFarland, Vernelle A. A. Noel

Recipient: Chengming (Jacky) Jia, B.Arch '25
Award: $14,000

Jury Comment: Chengming (Jacky) Jia's strong focus on craft and material production is clearly evident in his portfolio and well defined in his statement. This exploration is strongly enhanced by his capabilities as a designer and evident love for craft. The committee hopes to support his investment in the craft or architecture and promote continued exploration with this award.


Payette Prize in Building Science
Student Award 
This award recognizes the accomplishments of a student who has achieved exceptional performance by integrating the fundamentals of building science in their design work.

Spring 2024 Jury: Azadeh Sawyer (Chair), Nina Baird, Anne Chen, Kristen Kurland

Recipient: Jeffrey Li, B.Arch ‘25
Award: $4,500

Jury Comment: The committee selected Jeffrey Li for his exceptional achievement in integrating sustainable design principles, both passive and active, resulting in a net-zero energy building that elegantly aligns with aesthetic considerations. His extensive attention to physics, building science, and high-performance envelope and systems distinguish his work, demonstrating a commendable level of development and systems integration.


Master of Architecture (M.Arch) Travel Awards
The Master of Architecture program grants travel awards each spring for selected students who have submitted a travel proposal and project plan.

Connor Gates, Iceland (Reykjavik): Landscapes as Infrastructures 
Riddhi Gugale, Japan: Bottom-up, Adaptive and Emergent Ways - Transforming Public Spaces in Japan’s Urban Context
Parikshit Kalavadia, Spain (Barcelona, Palamos, Olot): Investigating the work of RCR Arquitectes
Claire Laux, Canada (Toronto): Architecture and Time - A Study of Brigette Shim and Howard Sutcliffe Architects

Clara Martucci, England (London), USA (New York City): Next gen Theatres - Exploring Shape-Shifting Theatres, Automation and Adaptive Reuse
Abirami Periakaruppan, Spain (Barcelona, Tarragona, Calpe): Urban Living - A Redefinition: Learning from the tangible reminders of architectural versatility through the work of Ricardo Bofill 
Daria Svintsova, Spain (Barcelona): Sheltering Humanity - Architectural responses to the Global Refugee Crisis
Jenish Thakkar, Portugal (Porto, Braga, Lisbon): Spatial Dialogues - Materiality, Minimalism, and Plastic Form Making through Abstraction in Eduardo Souto De Moura’s Works