Winners of the 2016/17 Jonathan Speirs Scholarship Fund announced

Eleanor Connolly and Martyna Marciniak collect their Jonathan Speirs awards.

(UK) – Two students have been awarded the 2016/17 Jonathan Speirs Scholarship Fund award.

The Trustees of the Jonathan Speirs Scholarship Fund have announced this year that there are two winners of the 2016/17 award: Eleanor Connolly of the Royal College of Art, London and Martyna Marciniak of the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London.

This year’s entries were of an extremely high calibre, and while the two winning scholars showed strengths in different areas, they both conveyed equally high levels of passion and creativity, and showed a clear understanding of the importance of light in architectural design. They were also keen to explore its influence on human perception and emotion.

Eleanor’ Connolly’s passion for light stems from the belief that unique conditions of light are responsible for how we engage and experience our surroundings. Her post-graduate work explores the idea of colour perception as a consequence of light reacting to surface formation and shifts in observation.

Eleanor aims to use the scholarship to complete her thesis and bring some of her ideas to reality, in collaboration with the Grymsdyke Farm – a research facility, workshop and living space for creatives, based in Buckinghamshire.

Meanwhile, Martyna Marciniak believes that light is both a generator of atmosphere, and highly influential to the human condition. During the course of her studies to date she has focused on the contribution of light to wellbeing and health, including a competition winning entry for the Hospital Extension in Poznan, Poland. This project maximised the use of natural light in order to improve both healing and mood, achieved by the use of light wells and a customisable light filtration system of metal shutters. Her designs also focus on unique narrative and experiential spaces.

Martyna plans to use the scholarship to help fund her remaining architectural studies, specifically to fund the required physical models and prototyping for her projects, and subsequently to aid her transition into the lighting design industry by subsidising a period of internship at a suitable company.

John Roake, Chairman of the JSSF commented: “The Trustees discussed at some length the strengths of the nominations received this year. There were two exceptional and worthy candidates who stood out and, after further discussion and research, we reached the decision to award not one, but two awards this year. I have met both scholars and have seen two talented, very dedicated and ambitious students who in different ways have shown a passion and understanding of light and how it can enrich architecture and people’s lives.

“We congratulate Eleanor and Martyna (as well as their Tutors and Schools).”