Top architectural award for uni graduate

Wednesday, 6 August 2003

University of Adelaide School of Architecture graduate Tristan d'Estree Sterk could find his recent winning project placed alongside the works of past greats such as Frank Lloyd Wright.

Sterk, a graduate of the University's School of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Design, was recently awarded the lucrative $25,000 US Schiff Fellowship for a project titled "frais". Besides the handsome prize, his entry could be included in the permanent architectural collection of The Museum of the Art Institute of Chicago alongside the works of Wright, Louis Sullivan, Mies van de Rohe, Renzo Piano and Frank Gehry.

He is currently studying for a master's degree, specializing in robotic and responsive architecture at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

The Schiff Fellowship is an architectural competition for students who study architecture within Chicago's three architecture schools - The Illinois Institute of Technology, The University of Illinois Chicago and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He competed against 14 of the finest students in Chicago.

"The project: 'frais: making responsive technologies apparent and socially relevant within a contemporary architecture', was designed as part of my first two years of study for a masters degree in Chicago, however the work is based on an idea that I first had while studying architecture at The University Of Adelaide.

"My graduating project from Adelaide, for a responsive dance theatre at Grange Beach Jetty, first established my interest in robotic, responsive architecture" he said.

In terms of being placed alongside Wright, the humble Sterk views this as a great honour.

"Some names will never be forgotten and Frank Lloyd Wright is one of them. My first architectural book given to me covered the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, and the first 'real' piece of architecture that I saw was the Guggenheim in New York City (one of Wright's greatest works).

"I will never forget the moment when I walked through the door and into the interior space. Everything, all of the questions that I had about architecture, fell into place at that point in time. To be included alongside Wright, in the permanent collection of The Museum Of The Art Institute Of Chicago, would be a much appreciated honour," he says

Sterk said winning the Schiff Fellowship in Chicago, and having the opportunity to be a part of the architectural tradition of such a great city, means an awful lot. "The monetary award also gives me the ability to focus on my studies enabling me to finance building a functioning prototype of a responsive building envelope."

Looking at the big picture is something Sterk subscribes to and after completing his masters, his desire is to begin a PhD and continue designing responsive buildings for real and socially relevant applications. "My long-term aim is to work as a designer for NASA and improve the sustainability of built spaces," he says.


Contact Details

Tristan d Estree Sterk
Business: +61 8 8221 5312

Media Team
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 0814