Meet the Winners of the Graham Foundation's 2015 Grants to Organizations

Earlier this year, we published a post titled "Architecture Redefined: Behind the Graham Foundation's New Grant Cycle." The foundation issued a call for submissions from nonprofit organizations to assist with the production and presentation of "significant programs about architecture and the designed environment." 

According to the foundation, winning proposals will "promote dialogue, raise awareness, and develop new and wider audiences."

Well, the foundation just announced the international winners of its 2015 Grants to Organizations. Taken in total, $496,500 was awarded to 49 winners from a competitive pool of 200 entries featuring both emerging and established organizations. The grant categories include film, exhibitions, public programs, and publications. That said, winning proposals map closely to the foundation's core mission: fostering "innovative explorations of architecture and art."  

So let's take a quick look at some of the winners.

Organizations in Chicago, London, New York and Los Angeles received the lion's share of grants. The Windy City's Millennium Park will become the site of a sound installation during the biennial, commissioned by Experimental Sound Studio and composed by Olivia Block, based on the posthumous "sonambient" sound sculptures designed by Harry Bertoia. Meanwhile, publisher Primary Information won funding to display a rare audio cassette recording of a Dan Graham piece, also combining elements of music, architecture, and performance.

The LA-based MAK Center will mount an exhibit curated by critic and scholar Sylvia Lavin, titled Man and Machine, which explores how "the spaces in which we design the built world define architecture as a creative practice." Materials and Applications, also based in LA, will serve as the site for The Kid Stays Out of the Picture: Three Acts toward a Picturesque in Review, a show that explores how words alter the relationships among architecture, image, audience, and program in the works of Andrew Holder, Andrew Atwood, and Jason Payne.

One UK-based recipient, Wavelength Pictures, plans to complete a documentary on Kevin Roche titled "The Quiet Architect."

Now, we know what you're thinking. First, probably, "Wow, this is obscure stuff." And secondly, "Wait, none of these winning proposals seem to focus on standalone physical structures." But that's exactly the point.

The foundation was drawn to proposals that didn't position the physical structure as an end point, but as a means to an end, a kind of aesthetic bridge or awareness-raising mechanism that educates viewers about related theoretical concepts or under-the-radar artists, writers, and musicians.

And that, dear readers, is architecture redefined.