Brandon Clifford awarded 2017 Rome Prize

Brandon Clifford, Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture, has been awarded The Founders Rome Prize for 2017-2018 from the American Academy in Rome for his project titled "Ghosts of Rome."

Co-founder and principal of Matter Design, an architectural design practice in Boston, Clifford mines historical techniques and technologies to inform architectural practice. Hist proposal, 'Ghosts of Rome' seeks to explore architectural and archaeological ghosts—monuments and other relics for which crucial detail of purpose and origin have been lost.

Ghosts of Rome:
"Ghost /gõstn. an apparition of the ancient that becomes manifest to the contemporary.

When a red granite obelisk was transported from Egypt and erected in St. Peter's Sq., a massive spectacle surrounded the armature and celebration of its assumed final positioning. Not only is little known of the megalith's origin, little is also known of this spectacular effort. The ghosts of this knowledge intentionally erased in favor of a mystical understanding of power. I am fascinated with erasures of knowledge, for the potentials they offer through contemporary manifestations. Rome is full of ghosts; of which I am most interested in three types—petrification, spectacle, and spatial. This proposal seeks to exercise a series of Roman translations through conversations with fellow collaborators. Not only is Rome an ideal incubator for mining these pockets of knowledge, but also the social and cross-disciplinary conversations that emerge through the residency are an ideal scenario for such a research method. What kinds of architectures emerge when the ghosts of Rome manifest today?"

Open to U.S. citizens, the Rome Prize is awarded each year to thirty emerging artists, scholars, writers, and composers whose proposals are evaluated by committees in each field. As a Rome Prize recipient, Clifford will join and interact with the community of fellow for an extended residency at the AAR's campus. 

Recent Rome Prize recipients from the Department of Architecture include Lauren Jacobi (FAAR '15), William O’Brien Jr. (FAAR ’13), John Ochsendorf (FAAR ’08), and Meejin Yoon (FAAR ’05). Keith Krumweide, Visiting Professor in the Department of Architecture and Associate Professor at the NJIT College of Art and Design, also received the 2017-2018 Arnold W. Brunner/Katherine Edwards Gordon Rome Prize for his project "A Pattern Book of Houses for a World After the End of Work."

Clifford will be joined by Ochsendorf, who will begin a three-year term this summer as the Academy's 23rd director.

For more information, visit the website of the American Academy in Rome.