Fellowships & Grants

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—Image by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, New York. Image courtesy SOM. © Lucas Blair, SOM

Past ASF at SOM Recipients

2015 Eva Katherine Kleveland Ardila

2014 Mirja Puoskari

Mirja Puoskari was born in Helsinki, Finland and became interested in architecture at an early age. Also years spent abroad with her family in a completely opposite culture of Shanghai further developed an interest to appreciate variation in urban landscapes and see things from another point of view – a skill that proved useful later to an architect who needs to adapt to the situation of the client whose needs and wants differ from your own.

During her studies, Mirja was intrigued with projects with very differing scales – from urban studies all the way to the tiniest detail. Understanding different scales became important in deciding to major in building design, combined with a minor degree in urban planning and design. On the side she has also developed a passion for jewelry design.

Mirja moved to New York to work at SOM in 2014 and especially appreciated learning which design methods are universal and which factors are culture-driven in an international design environment.

Building typologies and clients also vary more in a large international firm, as well as the way how an architectural firm is managed as a large-scale professional services business. For an architect interested in urban planning, getting to know New York City was a bonus of working at SOM – Mirja’s Bachelor’s thesis dealt with the soundscape of urban space, which originally got its inspiration from a visit to Paley Park in New York City years earlier.

Mirja completed a Master’s Degree with distinction in the Department of Architecture at Aalto University in Helsinki where she has also received her Bachelor’s degree. Her thesis dealt with the retroactive infill development of Kulosaari Island near Helsinki city center. The thesis offers a modern solution to reunite parts of the island separated by a highway, with respect to the original ideas of the urban design and the urban mindset of the time of its development in the beginning of 20th century. Currently Mirja is working at ALA Architects, a Helsinki-based architecture firm specializing in the design of complex public buildings.

2013 Nea Tuominen

Nea was born in Turku, Finland but moved to the north of Finland to the city of Oulu in 2005 to begin her studies in architecture right after graduating from high school. After the first year she moved to Tampere where she continued her studies in Technical university of Tampere and became bachelor of architecture in 2009.

Through inspirational studies in Finland, she wanted to expand her knowledge also abroad. Nea studied in the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden for a semester in 2010. Studying in Stockholm cultivated her technical competence with critical distance to the discipline. Research based studies included concept design, sustainable design and orientation courses on history and theory of architecture.

In 2011 she was granted a scholarship to work in South America. Nea traveled to Quito, Ecuador to work in an architecture office of Juan Erazo Solines, a teacher in University of San Francisco de Quito. The internship deepened her experience of architecture abroad and served as a positive contrast to the Scandinavian tradition.

Nea has been working in a few architecture offices during her studies such as Vapaavuori architects which is experticed in museums and housing design. In the beginning of 2012 she was offered another compelling job in Helin & Co Architects, one of the most acknowledged architecture companies in Finland.

After receiving the ASF fellowship in August 2012 she moved to New York to work with one of the leading architecture companies, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP.

At the moment Nea is particularly interested in high rise architecture and is researching skyscrapers for her diploma work. Her diploma project was special mentioned in an international architecture competion held by SuperSkyScrapers organization.

2012 Sara Patriksson

Sara Patriksson was born and raised in small town Sandsjöfors, southern parts of Sweden in 1984. Starting out on her studies in Architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Architecture in 2005 meant moving to Copenhagen, Denmark. Prior her architecture studies she took classes in history and studied French in Switzerland.

Spring 2008 Sara received her Bachelors’s degree in Architecture succeed by a year of internship and studies abroad. Following fall she supplemented her architecture studies with art classes at Weißensee Kunsthochschule sculpture department in Berlin. She participated in several art projects and exhibitions.
During her internship at Gonzalez Haase Architecture and Scenography in Berlin a great deal of her work dealt with the interaction of lighting and architecture. A special focus at the studio that primary works with spatial contexts for art and art-related activities as well as scenography and exhibition spaces.

Coming back to the Academy in Copenhagen Sara got accepted at the recently established international masters program founded in 2010. During her master studies she decided to explore and develop her understanding of materiality and the potential in the transformation of existing spaces and buildings.

Going in to her masters year she travelled to Valletta, Malta ,in the Mediterranean, to study the materiality of the city and the possibility of development through the re-use of urban fabric. The studies resulted in her thesis project ”An Institute of Materiality”- the transformation of an abandoned dock into an apprenticeship school and material institute.

Receiving the 2011 years ASF AT SOM Fellowship right after her master’s degree meant moving from Copenhagen to New York to work with renowned architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. After completing the initial three months’ of internship her stay with the firm has been extended and she is currently continuing her work at SOM.

2011 Eva Haggrén

Eva Haggrén was born in Espoo, Finland in 1981. She started her studies in Architecture at the University of Oulu in 2003. Prior her architecture studies she took classes in art and photography. She received her master’s degree with distinction in Architecture in Fall 2010. She has participated with success in several domestic and international student competitions. Her first realized project was the linoleum manufacturer Forbo’s undulating fair stand at the Stockholm Furniture Fair in 2007, designed after her winning proposal forthe Nordic student competition “A New Look at Linoleum” in Spring 2006.

In the process of her studies Eva realized that she has a special interest in the relationship between natural daylight and architecture. During her last semesters she concentrated in the physics of light, its possibilities in architecture and the experiential qualities in the relationship between space and light. Her diploma work ”Space for Light and Nature- Landscape pavilion to Nuuksio National Park” is based on these themes.

Eva Haggrén received the ASF AT SOM Fellowship 2010. After receiving her master’s degree she moved from Helsinki to New York and started working as an intern in Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. The initial three months’ internship has been extended and she is currently continuing her work at SOM. In Spring 2011 she was granted 21,000 € by the Finnish Cultural Foundation to continue her thesis as realized project. Her theses is also nominated for Gerda and Salomo Wuorio Prize, prize given for the best diploma work each year in Finland.

2010 Krista Meskanen

Krista Meskanen was born in Finland in 1987. She started her studies in Architecture at the Helsinki University of Technology in 2006, and received her Bachelor’s degree in Architecture in 2009. She will start her Masters course in Architecture at the School of Science and Technology at the Aalto Universityin September 2010. Prior to her enrollment at the Helsinki University of Technology, Krista participated for over a decade in the Arkki School of Architecture for Children and Youth, being one of the first students to attend Arkki when it was founded in 1993.

Krista has also been teaching in the Arkki School of Architecture for Children and Youth since 2007 and at Arkki’s hut building camps since 2005. In the summer of 2008, Krista interned at a Finnish architect’s office, Helin&Co Architects, which focuses on the high quality modern tradition of Finnish and Scandinavian architecture.

In September 2009 Krista took a break from her studies and moved to New York to become an ASF at SOM Intern. After this internship Krista moved to Copenhagen, Denmark where she started an internship at BIG, a Copenhagen based group of architects, designers, builders and thinkers operating within the fields of architecture, urbanism, research and development.

2009 Rebecca Zelwak

Rebecca Zelwak was born and raised in Sweden, but has been living and studying in Copenhagen, Denmark at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture since 2003. In June 2007, she successfully earned her Bachelors degree in Architecture.

From July 2007 until January 2008 she interned at a French architect’s office, Atelier Jean Nouvel. (Atelier Jean Nouvel received the Pritzker Architecture Prize 2008!) After this internship Rebecca moved to Shanghai, China where she worked for UID, a small but visionary and innovative architect office specialized on sustainable development and dynamic urban environments.

After 6 months in China she started her Masters in Architecture at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture in Copenhagen. She had taken a break from her studies in January 2009 to become an ASF at SOM Intern.

Prior to her enrollment at the School of Architecture, Rebecca had worked and studied in London and Paris. Her experiences abroad have contributed to her creative process and served as a positive contrast to the Scandinavian tradition. She continually strives to draw and develop from cultural contrasts and to explore new ways to integrate and organize ideas with the programmatic and functional essence of a building.

2008 Eva Eklöf

Eva Eklöf grew up in Saltsjöbaden, outside of Stockholm, Sweden, where at the age of 20, she began studying fashion design at Stockholms Tillskärarakedemi. She continued her design studies at Parson’s Paris School of Design in Paris, France. Upon moving to New York and continuing her studies at Parson’s, she recognized that her passion lay in Product Design. Within the Product Design field she focuses on home, textiles and furniture design. These are areas of particular interest because they encapsulate a key question – namely how to make familiar objects innovative and novel.

Eva has a great appreciation for tradition and hand-crafted objects and she strives to incorporate that knowledge to create designs that have a familiar expression and quality to them. After graduating from Parson’s she has since worked for 2×4, Westin Hotels and Resorts and is currently working with Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP. She now lives and works in New York City.