Awards & Honors

Spitzer Faculty Win 10K Grants

Congratulations to SSA faculty, Kaja Kühl and Lindsay Harkema, for making it onto the list of 2022 NYSCA Architecture + Design Independent Projects Grant recipients! In the first year of the League’s Independent Projects partnership with NYSCA, 18 design proposals were selected for grants of $10,000 each.

Independent Projects is a competitive grant program that is open to New Yorkers working in design fields. Beginning in 2022, it is administered as a partnership between the League and NYSCA. Grant awards are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

During the 2022 cycle, 113 applications were submitted for year-long design and research projects. A panel composed of seven designers and educators in architecture, industrial design, preservation and history, and urban design evaluated entries to select 18 projects for funding. The funded projects reflect the variety of the entries the program received this year: they encompass different disciplines and modes of practice, and will take many different forms when completed. The projects engage locales and communities all across New York.


Winning Proposals Including Spitzer Faculty:

“The Modern Longhouse: Braiding Indigenous knowledge with contemporary research on natural materials and embodied energy”
Anna Dietzsch, Kaja Kühl, and Angela Ferguson
Syracuse, NY

In partnership with Braiding the Sacred, a network of Indigenous communities in New York, “The Modern Longhouse” will explore how traditional knowledge, materials and techniques can be combined with modern-day thinking on embodied energy and a just transition to carbon neutral construction. Through community outreach and research, architects and urban designers Anna Dietzsch and Kaja Kühl, with supervisor of the Onondaga Nation Farm and the Onondaga Seed Bank Angela Ferguson, hope to improve current spatial and building practices and dependency on external resources, as they empower involved communities to join the energy transition taking place in the US.


“Дія-Т / Diya-Ty: Empowering Ukrainian Youth to be the Makers of their Future Cities”
Sasha Topolnytska and Lindsay Harkema
New York, NY

“Дія-Ти” from Ukrainian translates as “to act” or “you are the action.” “Дія-Ти / Diya-Ty” proposes a series of educational design workshops for Ukrainian youth in New York to inspire creative skills for rebuilding Ukrainian cities in the future. Designer Sasha Topolnytska and architect Lindsay Harkema believe that learning design skills early in life is empowering for young people to imagine alternative futures that celebrate heritage and enable growth. These skills will be essential to rebuild Ukrainian cities as environments of care, cultural expression, and social vitality after the destruction of war.


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