We’re proud to announce this year’s Michael Evamy Scholarship is awarded to Julia Nakanishi to explore architecture’s role in cultural sustainability for rural areas experiencing depopulation.

How can architects and designers facilitate cultural sustainability, education, and human connections to landscape in shrinking rural regions? Julia Nakanishi, a Masters of Architecture student at University of Waterloo, has been awarded $5000 to find out.

Nakanishi’s research proposal entitled New Commons: Designing for Cultural Sustainability in Japan’s Shrinking Regions has been awarded the 2019 Scholarship in Honour of Michael Evamy.

Michael Evamy Scholarship Recipient 2019 Julia Nakanishi

“The international building industry currently depends on urban and economic growth, and declining populations and economies pose a challenge for contemporary architects," says Michael Evamy Scholarship Recipient, Julia Nakanishi. "My research will consist of fieldwork and design proposals in Japan’s shrinking rural areas. By designing for new micro-economies and rural lifestyles, I hope to show that architecture can serve to reassemble vanishing communities.”

By designing for new micro-economies and rural lifestyles, I hope to show that architecture can serve to reassemble vanishing communities.
Julia Nakanishi

The selection committee of the Michael Evamy Scholarship was impressed with her proposal that explores this global issue in a Japanese context, knowing that her findings can be applied to rural regions around the world that are experiencing depopulation.

“The exploration of architecture as a means of preserving culture and human connections to landscape intrigued the selection committee," said DIALOG principal and selection committee member, Donna Clare. "It is particularly interesting to explore this idea at a time when increased urbanization and depopulation is directly affecting rural communities around the world. The results of her study in a Japanese context will be fascinating, and has potential to apply to rural communities globally that are facing this challenge.”

The exploration of architecture as a means of preserving culture and human connections to landscape intrigued the selection committee.
Donna Clare
Michael Evamy Scholarship Recipient 2019 Julia Nakanishi model 600x418

This year, we received a wide range of proposals that were all very strong and worthy of support. There were a few recurring themes among the submissions from six architecture schools across Canada. It is delightful to see that young talent entering the industry are exploring important topics like conserving resources, the effects of urbanization and globalization, housing affordability, and the role technology plays in solving these growing challenges.