Press Files: GAGA - Global Architecture Graduate Award Winners
Press Resources for the Architectural Review’s inaugural Global Architecture Graduate Awards
The Global Architecture Graduate Awards celebrate the achievements of the world’s finest architecture graduates. The awards seek to identify projects with a critical position that advances the role of architecture in an increasingly fractured yet globalised world. The Global Architecture Graduate Awards (GAGAs), are the AR’s exciting new award for outstanding student work. Over 350 students from 38 countries entered the award in its inaugural year.
Does the world really need another student award? We think so, because now more than ever we see a need for students to think radically and propositionally, engaging with wider issues, rather than simply toying with dystopian scenography. Yet for all the evident creativity of the GAGAs, it is evident that architectural education is facing a crisis. In 1989 Peter Buchanan penned a diatribe for the AR entitled ‘What is Wrong with Architectural Education? Almost Everything’. Two decades on, not much has changed. A recent front page splash in the London Evening Standard featured 24-year old Debo Ajose-Adeogun, an architecture graduate with no prospect of work. The aim was to highlight the corrosive effects of the recession on young people, but the focus on someone who had chosen to make a life in architecture seemed emblematic of the schism between architectural institutions and the real world. In England, the new university tuition fee structure that takes effect this academic year will propel architecture, one of the longest and most demanding courses, into a league of stratospheric expense, transforming it into an elitist pursuit for the especially well-heeled. But as the world changes with daunting rapidity, it’s clear that the way architecture is taught has not kept pace with the challenges of epochal or technological change.
The winner will receive a £2500 cash prize and have his or her project published in a special edition of the AR in October.
A group of up to 10 shortlisted students will receive a year’s subscription to the AR and will also have their work featured in the October issue.
Projects can be any programme or scale, and in any location around the world. We are looking for a strong critical position, and this must also be developed into an architectural proposition. The work should engage with its context, while also being relevant to larger architectural discussions. Work produced in academia should not mimic practice, and yet principally we are looking for work that could have a positive effect on architectural production.
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