Celebrating DISCOVERY and advancement of architectural education to graduates and practitioners through foreign/domestic travel-study

First awarded in 1989, the Ralph Rapson Traveling Study Award honors Ralph Rapson, FAIA. On the basis of a weekend juried design competition, this partially endowed fund grants young Minnesota architectural graduates or practitioners $12,000 to $16,000 to advance their education in architecture through foreign or domestic travel-study. Donations and fundraisers continue building this fund, which was initiated with a 1984 fundraiser.

2022 Ralph Rapson Traveling Study Award

Congratulations to Derek Maher, AIA, who has been announced as the recipient of the 2022 Ralph Rapson Traveling Study Award! The competition was held March 10-15, 2022 and competitors were challenged to create a community commons and theatre space with supporting functions located on the site of the Cass Gilbert Memorial Park in St. Paul, MN.
During the initial process, the jury chose the following five finalists from among the 27 entrants:

Katie Blaisdell, AIA
Teddy Gustafson, Assoc. AIA
Kat Hughes, Assoc. AIA
Oleg Kozlovskii, AIA
Derek Maher, AIA
Click on the individual name to see their submission boards.

This year’s jurors were Gary T. Anderson, AIA (Ai + Architecture, LLC), Ted Lentz, AIA, and Michael McElderry, AIA (KPF). On Friday, April 8, each of the five finalists virtually presented their design schemes to the jury and Derek Maher, AIA was named the 2022 Ralph Rapson Traveling Study Award recipient. 

A Project Designer with JLG Architects, Maher received his Master of Architecture from North Dakota State University in 2008. Through this fellowship, Maher plans to study Renaissance Architecture throughout Italy. He will explore the relevancy of Tradition in Architecture and the possibility of reinvigorating contemporary work with a similar discipline, order, and attention to detail that the Renaissance masterpieces embody. The experience will be documented through film, photography, and drawing. Special attention will be given to how the grandiose can be effectively mediated to respond to the human scale and how different scales affect our perception, emotions, and overall wellbeing.

2021 Ralph Rapson Traveling Study Recipient

Congratulations to David Wilson, AIA, who has been announced as the recipient of the 2021 Ralph Rapson Traveling Study Award! The competition was held March 4-9, 2021 and competitors were challenged to design a community-based hub, located in Willmar, MN, that provides the infrastructure to support the multi-faceted health of the whole person, and by extension, the local community.

During the initial process, the jury chose the following five finalists from among the 35 entrants:
Katie Blaisdell, AIA
Oleg Kozlovskii, AIA
Justin Wang, AIA
David Wilson, AIA
Theodore Wright, AIA
Click on the individual name to see their submission boards.

A Project Designer and Senior Associate with HGA Architects and Engineers in Minneapolis, Wilson received his Master of Architecture from the University of Minnesota in 2008.  Through a lens on sustainability, Wilson plans to study the deep connection between architecture and nature in Japan.  Using drawing and photography, he plans intensive study of varying natural environments and the corresponding architectural response in terms such as materiality, building systems, resiliency, health, and wellness. 

2020 Ralph Rapson Traveling Study Recipient

Congratulations to Matthew Tierney, AIA, who was named the recipient of the 2020 Ralph Rapson Traveling Study Fellowship! The competitors were challenged to design a year-round place of food preparation and sharing coupled with a regional destination for orienting its visitors to Bde Maka Ska, the Uptown area, and to serve as a celebratory entrance into the Chain of Lakes Regional Park. The proposed site was the northeast edge of the Bde Maka Ska park area.
During the initial process, the jury chose the following five finalists from among the 36 entrants:

Molly Dalsin, AIA
Brett Gustafson, Assoc. AIA
Beth Koeppel, AIA
Susan Morgan, AIA
Matthew Tierney, AIA
Click on the individual name to see their submission boards.

Tierney is the Director of Research at Snow Kreilich Architects, and Executive Director of the non-profit ASK. He holds a Master of Science in Architectural Research Practices from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Architecture from the University of Oregon. Through this Fellowship, Tierney plans to travel along two river systems, (one domestic and one abroad, travel permitting) from source, through city, to estuary. His primary focus will be to explore and document the myriad ways architecture, infrastructure, and people interact with water. Using drone photography/videography, digital mapping, audio interviews, writing, and sketching, he will create an online resource for others to draw from when designing the moments where architecture meets water.

2019 Ralph Rapson Traveling Study Recipient

Michael Hara, AIA, is the 2019 Ralph Rapson Traveling Study Fellowship recipient! The competition asked competitors to give their best thinking and design energy to the issue of healthy, stimulating green environment as a foundational design in our community. The proposed site was the intersection of Nicollet Avenue and Lake Street in Minneapolis, MN.  Designers were asked to consider the Six Biophilic Design Elements and the more than 70 associated Biophilic Design Attributes.
The jury chose the following five finalists from among the 53 entrants:
Jesse Zeien, AIA
Ted Wright, AIA
Nicholas Wallin, Assoc. AIA
Aishwarya Karunanidhi, Assoc. AIA
Michael Hara, AIA
Click on the individual name to see their submission boards.  
 
A project designer at HGA Architects and Engineers, Hara graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2010 with a Master of Architecture. With the Fellowship, Hara is planning to travel to Spain and France to study the work of Gaudi and Le Corbusier, with a special emphasis on staying and studying at the convent of La Tourette. He plans to document the trip through drawing, writing, photography and making.

2018 Ralph Rapson Traveling Study Recipient

In 2018, Shida Du, AIA, named the recipient of the Ralph Rapson Traveling Study Fellowship. The design competition challenged competitors to give their best thought and design energy to the issue of affordable housing in our communities.  The program brief invited competitors to design affordable housing for a focused, or mixed, residential need on a site of their choosing.  The jury chose five finalists from among the 53 entrants including:

Elizabeth Kalin, AIA
James Kehl, Assoc. AIA
Michael Hara, AIA
Jesse Zeien, AIA
Shida Du, AIA
Click on the individual’s name to see their submission boards.
 

A project architect at BWBR, Du graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2011 with a Master of Architecture. With the Fellowship, Du used his photography, drawing and writing skills to study and document how communities rebuild from catastrophic natural disasters.  He visited Nepal and Sichuan, China to learn more about how ordinary life endures physical erasure and reinvents itself through rebuilding.

2017 Ralph Rapson Traveling Study Recipient

Hans-Christian Karlberg, Assoc. AIA, was the recipient of the 2017 Ralph Rapson Traveling Study Fellowship! The competition held March 9-14, 2017 was to create a public interest design center, corner food market, and a makerspace that explored the weaving of reinvigorated community purpose into the fabric of an existing residential neighborhood intersection located in the Harrison Neighborhood of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Hans-Christian graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2010 with a Master of Architecture. With the Fellowship, Hans-Christian experienced and explored Native American historic sites throughout the United States. He plans to document his trip with sketches and drawings.

The jury chose five finalists from among the 47 entrants including:
Michael Hara, Assoc. AIA
Elizabeth Turner, AIA
Don Vu, Assoc. AIA
Jesse Zeien, AIA
Hans-Christian Karlberg, Assoc. AIA
Click on the individual’s name to see their submission boards.