University of Oklahoma Student Journal Telesis awarded Graham Foundation Grant

Telesis, the Gibbs College of Architecture’s student journal, was recently awarded a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in Fine Art! The Graham Foundation was established in 1956 with the goal of fostering the development and exchange of ideas about architecture and its role in the arts, culture, and society. They seek to fulfill this mission by awarding project-based grants to both individuals and organizations.  

This year, the Graham Foundation has awarded over one million dollars to organizations and individuals for their projects that “investigate the contemporary condition, expand historical perspectives, or explore the future of architecture.” The Graham Foundation evaluates projects based on the following conditions: originality, potential for impact, feasibility, and capacity. They also focus on projects that result in the public dissemination of ideas; they hope that grantees will be able to reach new audiences.  

Telesis was one of just forty-five groups to be awarded an organizational grant. Among other grantees are “Black Matter: Celebrating Black Spatial Practices from the Magical to the Mundane, Black in Design Conference” through Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design’s African American Student Union, “Modern Architecture in South Asia: The Project of Decolonization (1947-1985)” through the Museum of Modern Art, and “Thresholds 50: Before/After,” the publication of MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning. To explore the impressive projects awarded grants by the Graham Foundation, click here.  

Telesis was awarded a grant in order to help with the publication of their next two issues: “Habitation (Vol. IV)” and “Adaptive Practice (Vol. V).” The Telesis journal’s mission is to provide a forum for students to draw connections that go beyond immediate events and instead engage systemic problems through a praxis-based approach.  

The journal was first published in the 1970s and was discontinued after several years of publication. It was brought back in the 2018-2019 academic year. It has since published three issues, “Design Against” (Spring 2019), “Metamedia” (Fall 2019), “Isolation” (Fall 2020). During its first year back, Telesis received national recognition via the Douglas Haskell Award for Student Journals. Its upcoming issues, “Habitation” and “Adaptive Practices,” seek to explore new ways of being as well as the design processes needed to make co-produced habitation possible.  

The Telesis team recognized by the Graham Foundation grant include Dr. Angela Person (assistant professor and Director of Research Initiatives and Strategic Planning at the Gibbs College of Architecture), Evan Sack (Gibbs College alumnus who was a member of the Telesis editorial team as well as a Telesis course instructor), Dr. Stephanie Pilat (Director of Architecture at the University of Oklahoma), and Ben DeCuyper (Gibbs College alumnus and Telesis team member).  

Telesis is currently working on the “Habitation” issue, which will seek to examine whether and how architecture can help to ensure that all things may continue to inhabit our planet. A call for papers is to come this fall. This issue will be followed by “Adaptive Practice” which will offer comparisons and critiques of the ways architects have leveraged their agency over time in support of habitation.  

The themes explored in Telesis closely follow the mission of the Gibbs College of Architecture: support a future in which all communities are designed for resiliency and empowered to maximize their social, economic, and environmental well-being. The journal also helps with the College’s goal to uplift and recognize student achievement.