Architecture - Dalibor Vesely Fund

Architecture - Dalibor Vesely Fund

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  • A page from an annual exhibition brochure, with a portrait of Dalibor Vesely inset

Image used with kind permission of Adrian Cook

The Department of Architecture is establishing a fund in Dalibor Vesely's name to promote inquiry into the interplay between design, history and philosophy.

Dalibor Vesely taught in the Department of Architecture from 1979 to 2004. During that time, he lectured to undergraduates, taught a Diploma Studio and, with Joseph Rykwert, founded the graduate programme in the History and Philosophy of Architecture. This exchange between design – always oriented to the city – history and philosophy was oriented around the question of what architecture contributed to one's culture. It created an inspiring context for understanding the nature of architecture, initially within the speculative possibilities developed around dialogue and collaboration within the University. Subsequently, ideas and practices were cultivated internationally in diverse ways by numerous architects, teachers and several heads of architecture schools.

Accordingly, the Department of Architecture is establishing a fund in Dalibor's name to promote this spirit of inquiry. In the first instance this will take the form of the Dalibor Vesely Memorial Prize, which shall be awarded to the graduate student of the Department whose work best exemplifies the ethos of Dalibor's teaching at Cambridge. Dalibor expresses this ethos in Architecture in the Age of Divided Representation (MIT, 2004) in terms of 'the poetic paradigm...still alive in the creative conditions and possibilities of practical life...[Praxis] belongs to the fundamental constitution of human beings and their situation in the world.' 

How the prize will be awarded

The prize may be awarded to written or to design work, or a combination thereof. The award will be made annually by the MPhil examiners. It may be withheld if, in the opinion of the judging committee, the conditions of the award are not met. The Fund itself is managed by a committee whose membership is agreed by the Department of Architecture and the Vesely family.

For more information about the Dalibor Vesely Fund, see the Department of Architecture's website.