Germane Barnes Wins 2021 Wheelwright Prize

Germane Barnes Wins 2021 Wheelwright Prize

Germane Barnes has won the 2021 Wheelwright Prize from Harvard University Graduate School of Design. The $100,000 prize will fund two years of travel and research for Barnes’s proposal Anatomical Transformations in Classical Architecture, an examination of classical Roman and Italian architecture through the lens of non-white constructors. Barnes will study how spaces have been transformed through the material contributions of the African Diaspora while creating new possibilities within investigations of Blackness.

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Germane Barnes Wins 2021 Wheelwright Prize - Image 2 of 10
Courtesy of Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Studio Barnes

Barnes was among four finalists selected from more than 150 applicants, hailing from 45 countries. “The past year has shown the world that marginalized communities offer more than a cursory look, but a thorough excavation of their contributions and legacies,” Barnes says. “As a Black architect I have struggled with the absence of my identity in the profession, and there have been moments where I have questioned my talent and ideologies because they failed to gain recognition in prominent architecture circles. To be selected as the winner of this year’s Wheelwright Prize provides credibility that Blackness is a viable and critical discourse, and strengthens my resolve and confidence in my professional trajectory. My hope is that my win and the work that follows it will be a necessary accelerant to provide more opportunities and exposure to Black practitioners and researchers.”

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Courtesy of Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Studio Barnes

The Wheelwright Prize supports travel-based research initiatives proposed by extraordinary early-career architects. Barnes will commence his research project this Northern summer, with archival research geared toward generating an index of the portico typology throughout Italy and Northern Africa, as well as maps that show the spatial mobility of the porch and the portico across continents and cultures. Central to Barnes’s proposal is the idea that porch-as-portico may offer a new frame on the spatial and conceptual terrain through which one finds inventions of race, identity, and the built environment.

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Courtesy of Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Studio Barnes

“Harvard GSD is proud and honored to award the 2021 Wheelwright Prize to Germane Barnes for a research proposal that is at once sweeping and nuanced,” says Sarah M. Whiting, Harvard GSD’s Dean and Josep Lluís Sert Professor of Architecture. “His focus on the classical origins of a familiar type—the porch—is both potently precise and generously speculative. Importantly, Barnes positions his research in terms of overlooked or underacknowledged connections and contributions, focusing upon a specific architectural question and, from there, suggesting a constellation of revelations. Barnes delivers the specificity, the technical skill, the innovation, and the passion that promise to make his project significant both for architecture as a discipline and for architectural culture writ large.”

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Courtesy of Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Studio Barnes

Germane is the Director of Studio Barnes in Miami and the former Designer-In-Residence for the Opa-locka Community Development Corporation, where he led a multi-site urban revitalization project. He is currently the Director of the Community Housing Identity Lab (CHIL) at the University of Miami School of Architecture. Born in Chicago, IL Germane Barnes received a Bachelor's of Science in Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Architecture from Woodbury University.

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Cite: Eric Baldwin. "Germane Barnes Wins 2021 Wheelwright Prize" 10 May 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/961276/germane-barnes-wins-2021-wheelwright-prize> ISSN 0719-8884

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