The Royal Institute of British Architects has awarded Politecnico di Milano's architecture student Weronika Zdziarska the 2021 RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship, for her project ‘Don’t Stay Out Alone: addressing women’s perception of safety and freedom in cities by design’. The jury unanimously gave Zdziarska the award for her exploration of gender in the public spaces of Latin America, which "demonstrated a sophistication in her early research which differentiated her work from that of her worthy fellow applicants".
Zdziarska's winning project evaluates previous interventions carried out by international, regional, and local organizations in South America to provide safety for women living and working in cities. The architect chose to work on five cities, each representing different responses to her particular field of research: Medellín, Colombia; Quito, Ecuador; Santiago, Chile; Montevideo, Uruguay, and Curitiba, Brazil. Her proposal demonstrated the relationship between gender inequality and design, and outlines the best practices for building more inclusive cities.
The scholarship is awarded annually and offers £7,000 to fund the research of one architecture student with outstanding demonstration of original and critical thinking on issues related to the survival of cities and towns, and how people react to built spaces.
Related ArticleIulia Cistelecan, from the London School of Architecture, Wins the 2020 RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship
Zdziarska’s proposal was very well structured and presented, with her focus on exploring and learning from South American urban environments that have improved inclusion and safety and increased gender equality in design. As a judging panel we were inspired by her initial research and pertinence of the proposal, and her drive to investigate and address these issues on an international scale. Congratulations on this winning project - I look forward to seeing the findings of this important research. -- Professor Alan Jones, RIBA President
The 2021 jury comprised of:
- Norman Foster, Lord Foster of Thames Bank (Founder and Executive Chairman, Foster + Partners; President, Norman Foster Foundation)
- Elena Ochoa, Lady Foster of Thames Bank (Publisher and curator; Vice-President, Norman Foster Foundation)
- Professor Ricky Burdett (Professor of Urban Studies, and director of LSE Cities and the Urban Age Programme; Trustee, Norman Foster Foundation)
- Sofie Pelsmakers (Assistant Professor Sustainable Architecture and Sustainable Housing Design, Tampere University; Co-founder & Director, Architecture for Change (AfC))
- Professor Alan Jones (President, RIBA).
Past recipients of the RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship include:
- Iulia Cistelecan - London School of Architecture, UK 'Life Between Shelters: Refugee camps of today becoming cities of tomorrow' - 2020
- Siti Nurafaf Ismail - University of Malaya, Malaysia - 'Architecture of Humility' - 2019
- Steven Hutt – University of Greenwich, UK 'East of Eden' - 2018
- Chloe Loader - University of Lincoln, UK ‘Emerging Cities: Sustainable Master-Planning in the Global South’ - 2017
- Abel Feleke - University of Western Australia, Australia ‘Weaving the Urban Fabric: Examining the Significance of Community’ - 2016