Ribao and Nguyen Win National Design Competition

D. Arch. students Valerie Nica Ribao and Khoa Nguyen and faculty advisor Assistant Professor Sara Jensen Carr were named winners of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture’s (ACSA) Designing Healthy Places competition with special recognition in the category of Agricultural Urbanism for their project “O’ahu Ahupua’a : Connecting Land, Water, and People.” Ribao and Nguyen’s proposal re-imagined the ahupua’a and agricultural development in the contemporary urbanized context of Honolulu, looking at how traditional stewardship techniques could ensure human and ecological health.

Ribao and Nguyen were one of 5 winners selected out of 169 entries. The competition was also sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Institute of Architects. bOf their project, an esteemed jury of design and health experts commented, “This project intentionally broadens the definition of health to include environmental and cultural elements. Food insecurity is an
important social problem and becomes a driver for thinking about architecture and landscape architecture in this project. By reclaiming wetland farming this project is going back to cultural definitions of the land and society’s relationship to the land.”

Ribao and Nguyen received a $1250 cash prize and their project will be exhibited at the ACSA Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh this spring.