Awards & Honors

Professor Frank Melendez Wins Italian Fellowship

Associate Professor Frank Melendez is the recipient of an international fellowship from the Italian organization Nature, Art & Habitat Residency (NAHR). He is one of seven fellows who have been awarded the one-month summer residency in the Taleggio Valley, a rural region in the Italian Alps.

The theme for the 2023 Fellowship is “AIR.” Fellows will explore the function, mechanism, importance, and state of air from a range of perspectives, and reflect on the impacts of air pollution and air quality degradation. During this time, Melendez will focus on research developing connections between architecture, clay, lichens, air, and technology.

“I am honored to be selected as a NAHR fellow and look forward to participating in this residency with such a talented group of interdisciplinary artists and designers, focusing on environmental issues. I look forward to having the time and space within the setting of Italy’s Taleggio Valley to develop my research exploring the relationship between atmospheres, living organisms, technology, and architecture, as a means of expanding upon current ecological design practices.”

The NAHR Fellowship offers a lively space to for artists to come together, while taking advantage of the surrounding natural landscapes, and Italy’s rich material culture that combines vernacular traditions with innovative approaches to space, place, people, and their communities

Artists spend time in the unique area, experience the environment, visit sites, and connect with local communities, all while experimenting and working with both traditional and innovative materials and technology, promoting their works in public happenings, as well as producing the final documentation for the open studio weekend and for the NAHR archive. All works will represent the resiliency of nature in the following four domains: regenerative economy; bio-inspired design and architecture; body performing nature; designed futures, technology and new media.

In other news, Melendez is  participating in an exhibition titled: “rE-ordering architecture: Making Machine and Material Kin” at the Usagi NY Gallery in Brooklyn. The exhibition consists of digitally fabricated clay columns, each representing a new “order” — a seed or fragment of a future entwinement between architecture and environment.

A closing reception will be held on the last day of the show, Thursday, May 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibition is part of the NYCxDESIGN Festival 2023. Other participants in the group show also hail from academia.

For more information, visit Instagram: @frankpmelendez  @reordering_architecture @whatonatssa