From right: Rula Zuhour, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Maria Teresa Moreno Arriola, Cornell University
Cheung Lun Jeremy Son, Cooper Union
A group of people smiling.
April 10, 2019

Three Emerging Designers Receive Prestigious Gensler Diversity Scholarships

Celebrating its 10th year, the Scholarship honors the work of promising architecture students from under-represented communities.

NEW YORK — Rula Zuhour, Maria Teresa Moreno Arriola, and Cheung Lun Jeremy Son have been named the winners of the 2019 Gensler Diversity Scholarship, which encourages excellent and deserving minority and historically under-represented students to continue their studies at some of the nation’s top universities.

Zuhour, a graduate student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, received first prize honors and a $20,000 scholarship. The jury awarded second prize and a $10,000 scholarship to two recipients: Moreno Arriola, an undergraduate student at Cornell University College of Architecture, Art, and Planning; and Son, an undergraduate at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.

All three winners will also receive opportunities to intern at Gensler.

“Design innovation results from bringing people with different backgrounds and areas of expertise to the table and asking them to solve problems in new, creative ways,” said Gensler Co-CEO Diane Hoskins. “This year’s winners reflect the diversity of design thinking our firm champions. Supporting these exceptional individuals is part of our commitment to growing the next generation of design talent.”

First-place winner Zuhour worked as an architect in several countries before enrolling in graduate school. Her submission exhibits the international perspective she developed through previous work. It proposes the construction of a public pool in Chicago’s DuSable Park. The pool creates an oasis of public space in a currently underutilized area and serves as a crucial link between existing nodes of activity: Chicago’s Lakefront Bike Trail, Riverwalk, and Navy Pier. Zuhour’s design choices exemplify her stated ambition, which is to make urban space “perform both on the human scale as well as within the urban fabric.”

Second-place recipient Moreno Arriola is majoring in architecture with a minor in art history, and her interest in archeology informs her approach to design. Her submission draws on the historical role Buffalo, New York, played in the grain trade and proposes a centrally located urban forest and incubator with the aim of igniting and sustaining the growth of local microbusinesses. The inclusion of historical reference points speaks to Moreno Arriola’s use of ideas from other disciplines, including archeology, to create historically insightful, yet forward-looking environments.

Second-place recipient Son brings a strong technical acumen to his design process and finished work. His submission revitalizes a public library in New York City’s Far Rockaway neighborhood that was damaged by flooding during Hurricane Sandy. The design transforms the bottom level into a public plaza dedicated to social gatherings, while the new interior space blends public stacks with private reading nodes to create a varied user experience. The work represents his goal to continuously explore new spatial possibilities and solutions.

The Diversity Scholarship reflects Gensler’s commitment to developing diverse design talent. Applicants must be enrolled in accredited architecture programs. Gensler’s breadth of practice area expertise and inclusive professional environment provide selected students with an opportunity to expand their core competencies and broaden their understanding of the power design holds to effect transformative change. Applications launch in September each year and close in December. To be considered, students must be nominated by the dean of their school and submit work representative of their best design skills.

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