CRIT Scholar is a research-based fellowship program funded by the AIA in partnership with several prominent architecture firms. The program aims to support student research and serves as an exclusive opportunity for students to receive further guidance in their own research. The long-term objective is to encourage students to be actively involved in furthering architectural innovation in support of the design profession through mentored research projects embedded in academia and practice. CRIT Scholar will be the third program included in the AIAS CRIT brand portfolio, alongside CRIT Journal and CRIT Live.
The program is targeted towards students passionate about architectural research. Each CRIT Scholar will receive a $1,000 grant to fund their research. In addition, they will be personally matched with an architect advisor who is specialized in their topic area of research. Mentors will be from the following firms: Payette, HKS Architects, Sasaki. Applicants do not need to have a completed project in order to apply and proposals in various stages of research will be reviewed. Those interested in applying must be an active AIAS member.
The application process for the 2018 year is now closed.
Participant Value & Expectations
Value to Students
- Direct mentorship from top research experts
- Direct funding ($1,000) to further research
- Opportunity to see how research can be applied in practice, beyond university
- Opportunity to publish and present research project/paper through multiple platforms — wide exposure
Expectation of Student
- Hold first communication call in January
- Set up a calendar for regular communication with mentors and progress reports
- Meet sprint deadlines set by mentor
- Grant funding is allocated directly towards student research
- At the conclusion of the program, final research project/paper will be: published in AIAS CRIT Journal, published through AIA Research, presented by student at host firm, and presented by student at AIAS CRIT Live: Research Symposium
*Disclaimer: Student retains all intellectual property rights and ownership to their research project/paper
Mentor Value & Expectations
Value to Firms & Mentors
- Opportunity to see the trends of research within universities
- Showcase the value of research in practice, and how it is applied to ongoing projects
- Interface with leading architecture students and research faculty
Expectation of Mentor
- Hold first communication call in January
- Regular communication and direct mentorship based on the need of the student
- Guide research process, provide resources, etc.
- Mentors should provide milestones for students (Mid-review in March/April, Final review in July)
- Support students in process and production of deliverables
- At the conclusion of the program, student’s final research project/paper will be: published in AIAS CRIT Journal, published through AIA Research, presented by student at host firm, and presented by student at AIAS CRIT Live: Research Symposium
- Mentors are invited to attend AIAS CRIT Live: Research Symposium (Fall 2019 & Spring 2020)
2017-2018 CRIT Scholars
University of Cincinnati
Megha is a recent graduate of the University of Cincinnati where she received a Masters in Architecture. She submitted her project, Living Plane: Regenerating Roofscape of Old Delhi, to the AIAS CRIT Scholar program in her second and final year of graduate school. The project investigates the potential of existing underutilized rooftops in a dense urban fabric of the city of Shahjahanabad- The walled city within Delhi; to explore the opportunities to reintroduce urban green space for the improvement of ecological conditions while integrating it with the socio-cultural life of the community.
University of Oregon
Chelsey received a Bachelors in Architecture from the University of Oregon College of Design and Robert D. Clark’s Honors College where she was the recipient of the Giustina Presidential Scholarship. She focused her thesis research on the quality of post-disaster architecture in Kenscoff, Haiti. The CRIT Scholar program helped fund Chelsey’s research travel and gave her an extensive network of research assistance and guidance. She currently works as a Design Professional at PIVOT Architecture in Eugene, OR.
Carnegie Mellon University
Sinan is currently a candidate for a Master of Design Studies in Technology at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. His undergraduate thesis, entitled “Mycelium as a Remediator of the Anthropocentric Condition,” probed the ways in which future architects might challenge the brute force implications of progressive assembly with mycelial self-assembly. In addition to continuing his investigations into material complexity at Harvard, Sinan hopes to explore novel approaches to storytelling and teaching. He currently holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University, where he was awarded the AIA Henry Adams Medal, the Alwin Cassens Jr. Memorial Prize in Architecture, and the John Knox Shear Memorial Traveling Scholarship.
Morgan State University
Kristen is currently an undergraduate student in the School of Architecture + Planning at Morgan State University. She was the 2015-2016 AIAS Chapter President and was the recipient of Baltimore Architecture Foundation/AIA Baltimore Fellows Leadership Award as well as ULI Baltimore’s Etkin-Johnson Leadership Scholarship. During her tenure at Morgan, she has focused on researching processional architecture and how spaces can be used to lead people through an experience. She used her time as an AIAS CRIT Scholar to further this research and also critically look at public spaces and what types of experiences they create for its users.
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Samantha Pires is a fifth-year Bachelor of Architecture student at New Jersey Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on third-party certification systems, greenwashing in architecture, and the role of third-party incentives in sustainable design. Her time as a CRIT Scholar has enabled her to visit the Bullitt Center, the world’s greenest office building, and the headquarters for the International Living Future Institute, the creator of the world’s most stringent building standard. The result was a tool for understanding the Living Building Challenge as well as a series of questions reframing what is possible and what is greenwashing in the world of modern sustainable design.
University of Texas at Arlington
Kevin is a recent graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington where he received a Bachelors in Architecture. His research Can the Integration of Waterways Promote a Positive Shift in Urban Re-development? is an analysis on the current condition of the urban city and its relationship to landscape. Urban landscapes and civilizations that historically ensured human survival were closely related to “living with water” in a way which tied urbanization patterns closely to the underlying aquatic conditions.
University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Evan is a recent graduate of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln where he received a Masters in Architecture. Evan’s research investigates an approach towards design that engages materiality through an open-ended process of inquiry, utilizing agile techniques to induce transformations of a specific object for which design iterations should follow. Specifically, his interests occupy the branch of bending action in wooden structures, while examining the module and its aggregation.
Past & Present Mentors
Andrea Love, AIA, LEED Fellow
Andrea has received a Master of Science in Architecture Studies in Building Technology from MIT where she was the recipient of the Tucker-Voss Award, and focused her thesis on the thermal performance of facades. She is also a Lecturer at MIT in the Department of Architecture’s Building Technology group where she teaches a class on building envelope performance. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the USGBC Massachusetts Chapter, on the national USGBC Chapter Steering Committee and Education Steering Committee and is a member of the COTE Advisory Group to the Board.
Dr. Upali Nanda is a published author, speaker, and researcher with extensive experience in designing, spearheading and implementing research projects in design practice. Her research focuses on the impact of design on human health, organizational effectiveness and systemic well-being. She is the Director of Research for HKS, responsible for spearheading and implementing research projects globally. She also serves as the Executive Director for the non-profit Center for Advanced Design Research and Education. She is a member of the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture (ANFA) Advisory Council, the AIA Research Advisory for Design& Health, and the AAH research council. Her doctoral work on “Sensthetics” has been published as a book available on Amazon.com, and she has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and mainstream media. Her research has been awarded the European Healthcare Design Research Award and two EDRA CORE awards, and she has been the recipient of numerous national grants. In 2015 Dr. Nanda was recognized as one of the top 10 most influential people in Healthcare Design for research, by the Healthcare Design Magazine.
Colin Booth, Assoc. AIA
Colin Booth is a Designer and Director of Sustainability at Sasaki, contributing to a number of award-winning teams since joining Sasaki in 2006. His diverse experience ranges from graphic branding, to architectural design and construction, to campus and urban planning. As an Associate of Sasaki and as the Chair of the Hideo Sasaki Foundation, Colin coordinates interdisciplinary research initiatives internally and with external partners. Colin teaches Advanced Comprehensive Architecture Studios at the Boston Architectural College, and has previously taught workshops or lectured at institutions including MIT, Harvard, Tufts, Wentworth, MassArt, as well as institutions in Zhuhai and Guangzhou, China.
Tate Walker, AIA, LEED Fellow
Tate Walker is the Director of Sustainability at OPN Architects and leads projects and initiatives across the firm’s four offices. His experience is rooted in the architectural design process, but also includes program and project management, and the development of technical guidelines for high performing buildings. He has served many organizations over the course of his career, including cities and universities, AIA’s Committee on the Environment (COTE), and the USGBC’s Energy & Atmosphere Technical Advisory Group. Tate firmly believes that the nexus between architecture and energy provides leadership opportunities for architects as creative problem solvers, particularly for those willing to stretch their practice beyond its traditional boundaries.