The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has announced the winners of the annual RIBA President's Awards for Research, which reward and encourage outstanding research in architecture.
The awards have three categories, PhD Thesis, University-located Research and Professional Practice-located Research. This year's winner of the RIBA President's Awards for Research for Outstanding PhD Thesis is Matthew Barac of the University of Cambridge for his PhD, entitled 'From Township to Town: Urban Change in Victoria Mxenge TT Informal Settlement, Cape Town, South Africa'. The thesis examines how symbolic and practical interpretations of city-making compete to transform the post-apartheid terrain into a more democratic living environment.
Professor Jeremy Till and Dr Tatjana Schneider of the University of Sheffield won the RIBA President's Awards for Research for Outstanding University-located Research with their work, 'Flexible Housing'. Their research investigates ways of planning housing that can adapt to different uses and technologies over time. The team collected over 150 historical examples of flexible housing for their research.
The RIBA President's Awards for Research for Outstanding Professional Practice-located Research was won by Short and Associates for their work 'Design for the Warming Environment'. This project, lead by Professor Alan Short, looked to extend the capability of naturally ventilated buildings with minimal additional carbon emission to cope with warming city centres, such as London, and warmer continental type climates. The theories were tested at the UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies in London and the new hybrid natural/mechanically ventilated and cooled Academic Centre at Judson University, Chicago.
The judges were impressed by the quality and diversity of the entries in all three classes. The winners will be presented with awards at the annual RIBA President's Medals Student Awards ceremony on 28 November 2007, at the RIBA, W1.
RIBA President Sunand Prasad, said:
"This is the second year of the RIBA President's Awards for Research, and we are very heartened at the quality and extent of research work, which is now being recognised by these awards. The diversity of the work presented exemplifies the dynamic nature of the practice and theory of architecture. It gives me great pleasure to present these awards and I know there will be many more outstanding achievements in theory and practice to celebrate in the future ."