USA's 2022 Fellows in Architecture and Design

John Hill
26. January 2022
Top: Nina Cooke John, Tom Carruthers and Jennifer Newsom of Dream The Combine, Germane Barnes. Bottom: Rania Ghosn and El Hadi Jazairy of Design Earth, Jing Liu and Florian Idenburg of SO – IL.

Five architecture and design fellows are among the 63 recipients of fellowships for 2022 from United States Artists (USA), an arts funding organization based in Chicago. Each receives a $50,000 cash award.

The full group of 2022 USA Fellows hail from 23 states and Puerto Rico and come from a wide variety of disciplines: craft, dance, film, media, music, theater and performance, traditional arts, visual art, and writing, in addition to architecture and design. For the last, the five A&D fellows are a diverse group, the majority "comprised of BIPOC practitioners who will continue to amplify underrepresented voices in the industry," per a statement from USA. They are:

  • Germane Barnes (Miami, Florida), an architect whose "research and design practice investigates the connection between architecture and identity. Mining architecture’s social and political agency, Barnes examines how the built environment influences black domesticity."
  • Nina Cooke John (Montclair, New Jersey), the founding principal of Studio Cooke John, "a multidisciplinary architecture and design studio that values placemaking as a way to transform relationships between people and the built environment."
  • Design Earth (Cambridge, Massachusetts), a research practice founded in 2010 by Rania Ghosn and El Hadi Jazairy that "engages the medium of the speculative architectural project to make public the climate crisis."
  • Dream The Combine (Minneapolis, Minnesota and Ithaca, New York), the creative practice of artists and architects Jennifer Newsom and Tom Carruthers, partners in work and life who "create site-specific installations exploring metaphor, imaginary environments, and perceptual uncertainties that cast doubt on their known understanding of the world."
  • SO – IL (Brooklyn, New York), the architectural design firm founded in 2008 by Jing Liu and Florian Idenburg. "Liu has led SO – IL in its engagement with the sociopolitical issues of contemporary cities through building practice and interdisciplinary research projects," while Idenburg "has a particularly strong background in institutional spaces."

The USA Fellowships started in 2006 and in the years since have awarded nearly fifty fellowships to practitioners in architecture and design, among them: Ball-Nogues Studio (2007), Julie Bargmann (2008), Neil Denari (2009), Teddy Cruz (2010), Mabel O. Wilson (2011), Kate Orff (2012), Marlon Blackwell (2014), Johnston Marklee (2016), MOS Architects (2020), and Walter Hood (2021). The $50,000 awards are unrestricted, meaning fellows can use them for everything from paying rent and credit card debt to supporting their families — perfect for young artists and architects.

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