Samantha Eby wins 2020 Prix de Rome in Architecture for Emerging Practitioners

Eby will use the prize to research and document unconventional development models fo multi-unit, collective housing.

The Canada Council for the Arts has named Samantha Eby, a graduate from the Daniels Faculty’s Master of Architecture program in 2019, as the recipient of the 2020 Prix de Rome in Architecture for Emerging Practitioners.

The prestigious $34,000 prize is awarded annually to a recent architecture graduate who has demonstrated potential in contemporary architectural design. With this prize, the recipient may visit architectural buildings and carry out an internship at their choice of architectural firm anywhere in the world.

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Eby currently works as a designer at Batay-Csorba Architects. She holds a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Toronto and a bachelor’s degree in architectural studies from the University of Waterloo. During her studies, she received several awards, including the Howarth-Wright Fellowship, the Toronto Society of Architects Scholarship for innovative approach to city building and urban form and the AIA Henry Adams Medal.

The Canada Council for the Arts states that Eby is interested in exploring opportunities for alternative forms of housing that challenge the current practices of financing, communal living and site development. Post-pandemic, she is looking forward to traveling to research and document housing projects and organizations that use unconventional development models for multi-unit, collective housing.

Eby says this fully funded travel opportunity will be a rare chance for her to elaborate upon some of the design concepts she studied during her time at Daniels. “I think, as architects, we often have very idealistic approaches, where we think we can change the world with our ideas — which is something that is amazing in school and often gets crushed when you get out into the real world,” she says. “This is a really good opportunity for me to challenge myself to push back against those real-world constraints, and consider thoughtful and convincing ways to understand pro formas for development, how different ownership models actually work, and what the barriers are to these new architectural typologies.”