The 2013 RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship has been awarded to Sigita Burbulyte of Bath School of Architecture for her proposal, ‘Charles Booth Going Abroad’. She will be granted £6,000 to develop her research study, which takes the poverty maps of Victorian social reformer Charles Booth as the starting point for an exploration of slum communities across four continents.
The jury was chaired by Lord Foster and included Roz Barr, RIBA Vice-President Elect Education, architecture critic Ellis Woodman, architect Zohra Chiheb and Spencer de Grey, Stefan Behling and Narinder Sagoo of Foster + Partners. Applications were received from 40 universities in 13 countries.
The jury also highly commended ‘Room for Improvement’ by Tom Haworth of the University of Cambridge – a critical analysis of global approaches to flood protection and land reclamation, with implications for the Cambridge area.
Lord Foster said:
'Once again, the jury was impressed by the quality of all the entries. However, we were unanimous in choosing Sigita Burbulyte’s highly original approach to urban analysis, which learns from the past and recognises the importance of infrastructure, in physically shaping a community. Perhaps most interestingly, the mapping of the relationship between slum areas and their wider urban context is a move toward defining and transforming these informal settlements. She has set herself an ambitious task, which I expect will absorb her in years to come – I am delighted that the scholarship can support her as she embarks on this fascinating journey.'
RIBA President Angela Brady said:
'The RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship continues to set the bar high with innovative and impressive winning projects. Our 2013 winner, Sigita Burbulyte excels in this with her project ‘Charles Booth Going Abroad', which will set her off on a journey around the world visiting modern cities like Hanoi, Nairobi, La Paz and Sofia, building on Booth’s pioneering research and aiming to better understand poverty in our cities.'