Amanda Rivera, a student of the Universidad del Bio Bio, Chile, has been awarded the 2009 RIBA Norman Foster Travelling scholarship for her entry entitled, 'Ancestral Cities, Ancestral Sustainability'. Her proposal –to undertake a two-and-a-half-month research trip through Bolivia, Peru, Mali, Turkey, Iran, Indonesia and China – will focus on living examples of indigenous cultures in the developing world, where she will examine vernacular traditions and the residents' efficient use of natural resources.
The annual scheme is open to more than 100 RIBA-accredited schools worldwide, and entries were received from 9 different countries. The jury, which comprised Norman Foster, Sunand Prasad, President of the RIBA, Richard Cork, Farshid Moussavi of Foreign Office Architects and Mouzhan Majidi, Chief Executive of Foster + Partners, were unanimous in their decision.
Lord Foster said:
"The standard of entries was very impressive indeed and resulted in a lively jury debate. However, Amanda Rivera's proposal emerged as a clear winner. To make sustainable choices for the future, it is essential to learn from the past and to combine the wisdom of vernacular traditions with contemporary technology. I wish her the very best of luck with her research and look forward to learning more about her findings in due course."