April 26, 2021 Students Named Aydelott Award Recipients to Study Architecture across the U.S.

Aydelott Map

Two students in the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Architecture and Design, were named recipients of the 2021 Aydelott Travel Award to study and analyze architecture across the U.S. Gabriel Laos, a student in the Master of Architecture program, and Josie Tunnell, in her fourth-year in the School of Architecture, will each travel to four distinct architectural sites during summer 2021, travel that is fully funded by the $10,000 award.

The Aydelott Travel Award and the Aydelott Prize, an additional monetary award, were established by Alfred Lewis Aydelott, FAIA, and his wife Hope Galloway Aydelott to encourage students to become proficient in the art of architectural analysis by enabling them to conduct firsthand in-depth observation, research and analysis of four unique buildings.

Gabriel Laos plans to use the award to study in Frank Lloyd Wrights’s Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona; the 1934 Doolittle House by Kendrick Bangs Kellogg in Joshua Tree, California; Pueblo Bonito in Nageezi, New Mexico; and Paolo Soleri’s experimental town, Arcosanti, in Arizona. He will explore these projects in the context of the desert and its rough and raw landscape, sweeping views and extreme climate.

“The desert is a place of extremes: hot, penetrating sun, cold nights, altitude, parched valley floors and dunes,” Laos said. “It’s a less-than-subtle reminder of nature’s force. Life, because of limited resources, is less pervasive than in temperate climates. It’s precisely this scarcity that makes the presence of life in the desert that much more precious and an important factor to consider before architects intervene.”

With her award, Josie Tunnell plans to engage the vernacular, native American projects at the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in Collinsville, Illinois; San Estevan del Rey Mission Church in Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico; the Walpi Village in First Mesa, Arizona; and Athabascan House in Anchorage, Alaska. In her research, Tunnell will distill lessons for better aligning contemporary practices to a more sympathetic approach to climate, geographic factors and the larger concern for resource management.

“I wish to travel to four distinct indigenous architectural sites in order to understand the techniques and construction methods that have been passed down from generation to generation and that use local resources,” Tunnell said. “Through the Aydelott Travel Award, I will learn from the first people to build on this land and create a resource that other contemporary, sustainable designers can use.”

Normally awarded to one student to fund travel and study around the world, the Aydelott Travel Award was adjusted in 2021 to support the needs of more students during the COVID-19 pandemic and enable students to continue to expand their design experiences through domestic travel.

Not only does the experience that UT Architecture students gain through the Aydelott Travel Award enrich their academic careers, but it also prepares students for professional practice. Through their travels and subsequent presentations, students learn to identify, research, visit, observe and document buildings as well as practice communicating about their analyses, skills architects constantly practice in the field.

Recipients are chosen through an annual competitive selection process. Students enrolled in a professional architecture degree program at the School of Architecture of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville; the College of Architecture, Design, and Construction of Auburn University; the College of Architecture and Design at the University of Tennessee; and the College of Architecture, Art, and Design at Mississippi State University are eligible to submit proposals.

Submissions for the 2021 Aydelott Travel Award were blindly reviewed by David Karle, University of Nebraska, Lincoln; Katie MacDonald, University of Virginia and former Tennessee Architecture Fellow; and Micah Rutenberg, UT College of Architecture and Design.

Past Aydelott Travel Award Winners:

2019: Mike Lidwin

2018: Cullen Sayegh

2017: Dillon Dunn

2016: Catherine Dozier