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RIBA President’s Medal for Research announced

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Edward Denison of the Bartlett and UK-based independent researcher Guang Yu Ren have won the 2017 RIBA President’s Medal for Research

The duo won the award for their project Ultra Modernism in Manchuria, which looks at the speed and intensity of development in the north-eastern region of China – previously known as Manchuria – in the 1930s.

During this time, Japan controlled the region and constructed more than 100 town and cities in the area, which it called Manchukuo. ‘Ultra Modernism’ is a term used to describe Japan’s exploration of modernity through the built environment and its distinction from western precedents.

The win makes Denison a second-time victor, after he won the same award last year for his Asmara – Africa’s Modernist City: UNESCO World Heritage Nomination with civil engineer Dawit Abraha. 

Ultra Modernism in Manchuria was chosen from the four category winners of the 2017 RIBA Research Awards in History and Theory, which it won, Cities and Community, Design and Technical, and this year’s annual theme of Housing.

RIBA head of research and innovation Kat Martindale described the shortlist for the prize as ‘competitive and fascinating’.

She added: ‘We were delighted to receive submissions from around the world again, indicating the diverse landscape of architecture research across academia and practice.’

The 2017 President’s Awards for Research received 51 submissions from 11 countries. The annual theme for next year’s prize will be announced in February 2018. 

2017 RIBA President’s Awards for Research

History and Theory
Edward Denison, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, UK
Guang Yu Ren, independent researcher, UK
Ultra Modernism in Manchuria

Design and Technical
Steven Coombs, Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University, UK
The Development of the Building Envelope Using Welsh-Grown Timber: A study Through Prototyping

Cities and Community
Jane Manning, George Garofalakis, Antony Rifkin and Geoff Noble, Allies and Morrison, UK
London’s Local Character and Density

Annual Theme: Housing
Dima Albadra, David Coley and Jason Hart, University of Bath, UK
Toward Healthy Housing for the Displaced

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