Esra Akcan, associate professor of architecture, has received a fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University for her research proposal, “Right-to-Heal: Architecture in Post-Conflict and Post-Disaster Societies.”
Akcan will use the Frieda L. Miller Fellowship to explore the role of architecture in transitional justice and the rehabilitation of societies after intense upheavals and internal conflicts – “state violence, environmental disasters, civil wars, ethnic cleansing and economic meltdown,” she said.
“The research intends not only to expose architecture’s complicit role in internal conflicts,” she said, “but to demonstrate its creative potential after socio-economic, ethico-political and environmental disasters. The term ‘right-to-heal’ is meant to criticize architectural practices that perpetuate crises and to contrast them to examples that are committed to imagining the future of social, global and climate justice.”
The Radcliffe Institute supports the work of 50 fellows annually in the arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences, allowing them to focus on individual projects while benefiting from Harvard’s multidisciplinary community.
“I am happy to be among the very few architectural scholars to be awarded this prize,” she said, “from a respected research institution that hosts scholars, professionals and artists from all disciplines and around the world.”
Akcan will complete her Radcliffe fellowship during the 2019-20 academic year.