February 18, 2022 Four Countries, One Life-changing Experience: Graduate Student Awarded to Study Architecture Across the World

Sarah Kenney Headshot

A 3rd-year graduate student in our Master of Landscape Architecture and Master of Architecture dual degree program was named the recipient of the 2022 Aydelott Travel Award. With the award, Sarah Kenney will travel to four unique architectural sites around the world during summer 2022, travel that is fully funded by the $20,000 award.

The Aydelott Travel Award was 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.

Kenney’s winning proposal, entitled “Liquid Architecture,” identifies the four sites: the Acqua Vergine aqueduct in Rome, the island enclave of Mont-Saint-Michel on the Normandy coast, the amphibious architecture in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam and the Blue Lagoon Geothermal Baths in Iceland.

Kenney plans to visit, document and analyze these four sites to understand more about how water interacts with architecture at the scale of both building and city. She also will study the broader landscape holistically to create “proto-landscapes”—semi-aquatic landscapes that are not fixed but are subject to change over time.

“The one-of-a-kind nature of each of these buildings is not understood to be replicated in everyday design,” said Kenney. “Instead, an evaluation of the most extreme cases of liquid architecture can help push design forward. In order to speculate about future versions of liquid architecture and its landscape byproduct, a study of rogue individualism in fluid building design can reveal not only relevant themes but also creative appropriation for future scenarios.”

blue lagoon iceland

By studying ancient methods in Italy, France and Vietnam, Kenney will evaluate the sites and their fantastical relationships with water to better understand the success of the Blue Lagoon Geothermal Baths, a unique and responsive instance of design.“Especially in the context of water, a resource that is unchanging in its importance, this project will prove invaluable for connecting theory to practice,” said Kenney.

Recipients of the Aydelott Travel Award 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 Aydelott Travel Award were blindly reviewed by Andrew Parks, alumnus of the M.Arch program of the UT School of Architecture, design architect at Archimania in Memphis and a faculty member at the University of Memphis’s Department of Architecture; Erik Herrmann, an alumnus of our B.Arch program, who also holds a graduate degree from Yale and an assistant professor in Architecture at the Ohio State University; and Michelle Rinehart, D.Ed., interim dean and associate dean for Academic Affairs and Outreach at Georgia Institute of Technology’s College of Design.

Reviewers commented positively about the quality of submissions overall, and several impressive proposals were vying for the prize, which is a strong indicator of the intelligence and rigor of the proposals and of our students.

Past Aydelott Travel Award Winners:

2021: Josie Tunnell & Gabriel Laos

2019: Mike Lidwin

2018: Cullen Sayegh

2017: Dillon Dunn

2016: Catherine Dozier

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