BK alumna receives runner up prize at Marina van Damme award ceremony
On Thursday 11 May, Delft University Fund organised the 2023 Marina van Damme Grant Award Ceremony. Three female Delft alumni stood the chance to win the coveted grant of €9,000. BK Alumna Ludovica Cassina did not win but she did not go home empty-handed either. Her presentation was so appreciated that she received a double runner-up prize worth €5,000, of which one is provided by alumnus Allerd Stikker via the Fortuna Fund and one by Delft University Fund.
Both Mei Ling Tan and Oleksandra Ivashchenko were declared winners of the Marina van Damme Grant 2023.
Alumna Ludovica Cassina
Ludovica graduated from the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment in 2020, MSc Architecture, Urbanism and Building Science. She started maturing a profound interest in researching natural building materials in the optics of a circular building economy during her MSc Thesis Global Housing thesis ‘Practiced Place: Addis in the Making’. The reflection and thorough research carried out both in Bangladesh and Ethiopia sparked in her a thought-provoking reflection: "What can we learn from how they build elsewhere to improve our own way of building?" This drive towards a material revolution in Europe brought her from Delft to Brussels, where she currently collaborates on the project Woodstock at BC Architects & Studies.
Built entirely in local stone, timber, earth, and waste materials, Woodstock is an off-grid private house being constructed according to the vernacular techniques of its geographical area (Wallonie), in a process of co-creation with the masons, craftsmen, artisans, and technicians that are making this experimental project possible.
Simultaneously, Ludovica is carrying out an project, as an independent architect, to rebuild a house in Spelonga (Marche, Italy), which has fallen during the 2016 earthquake in central Italy, only by using waste and local materials from neighbouring demolitions. Ludovica: "It's my ambition to start my own architectural office in the future, with a solid expertise in natural building materials, in order for them to break free from common romanticized vernacular aesthetics and to become a competitive sophisticated option to change once and for all the construction industry of tomorrow."
To become the architect she wants to be, Ludovica realises she needs to start a process of professional training.
Therefore, she want to use the Marina van Damme grant to follow a practical formation course at Les Grands Ateliers, aimed at women builders. Here she will learn the skills to become an expert in proposing new experimental carbon-neutral materials in construction and to create low-carbon alternatives to cement products, allowing for new architectural expression tools to meet the needs of today.
"This will enable me to achieve my dream of starting my own architectural office with a solid expertise in natural building materials and contribute to the circular building economy."