Meredith Baber of Cartersville, Va., a fourth-year honors architecture student in the School of Architecture + Design, is the first student in the history of Virginia Tech to win a prestigious Kohn Pederson Fox (KPF) Associates Travelling Fellowship.

KPF, an architecture firm with offices in New York, Shanghai, and London, presents three $10,000 international awards annually to undergraduate or graduate students who are in their penultimate year at one of the 19 design schools, across the world, with whom the firm has chosen to partner.

The goal of the award is to allow students to broaden their education through a summer of travel before their final year at school. Baber submitted a 15-page portfolio of her design work to apply for the fellowship. This summer, she will travel to Iceland and Sweden to explore the cultural ties of landscape, architecture + design, as they fold into the craft of knitting as a metaphor for structuring all of the disciplines.

Within two months of her return, Baber will submit to KPF a report explaining the reasons she selected her destinations, descriptions of the places she visited, and photographs and drawings of what she saw. She will also give a public presentation in the fall of 2009 for all students at Virginia Tech eligible to apply in the coming years.

Baber’s faculty advisor on this project was Terry Surjan, associate professor of architecture, chair of the fourth- and fifth-year architecture program, and founding chair of Competitions Unite People (CUP), a professional research group in the School of Architecture + Design. Three works presented in Baber’s portfolio were works that CUP has completed since January 2008 in Washington D.C., London, and Chicago.

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