The Banham Fellowship in the Department of Architecture is intended to support design work that situates architecture within the general field of socio-cultural and material critique.
The fellowship honors the legacy of Peter Reyner Banham, who taught at UB from 1976-80 and produced a foundational body of scholarship on material/visual culture as a reflection of contemporary social life. Banham spent his time in Buffalo engaged in a scholarly project on the imaginary of American industrial architecture at work in early modernism that took the form of historical research, hands-on engagement and seminar instruction, resulting in his landmark work, A Concrete Atlantis.
In celebration of Banham's legacy of experimental criticism, this fellowship supports the research and creative activity of emerging practitioners. Over the course of a year, fellows teach, deliver a public lecture and prepare an exhibition culminating from their research and creative work at the school.
Young-Tack "YT" Oh is an architectural designer and founding member of Archipleasure. His speculative research explicates on the marginal and overlooked occurrences in contemporary urbanism — how seemingly inconsequential things form the basis of major movements and systems — and from which subversive and more playful interventions are generated. The work consistently seeks renewed interpretations of architecture that cast more inclusive ambitions and exuberant prospects for the built environment.
As this year's Banham Fellow, Oh will employ anthropological fieldwork methods to compile an archive of some of the overlooked, neglected, or forgotten forces comprising the fabric of Buffalo. Oh says his research is inspired by two concepts— Modernologio, a form of urban ethnography as set forth by Kon Wajirō and the infraordinary which Georges Perec defines as everyday occurrences, "the banal, the quotidian, the obvious, the common, the ordinary...the habitual."
Oh received his BA from Washington University in St. Louis and his MArch at the University of Michigan. He was the Michigan Mellon Fellow in Egalitarianism and the Metropolis at Taubman College from 2018-2021. He has taught at University of Michigan and has also led ArcPrep, a program that introduces Detroit Public School students to architecture, urbanism, and design-related fields. The program aims to empower the next generation of Detroit leaders by offering rigorous design education in a studio environment, directly engaging students with inspiring artists and creative practitioners, and offering pathways to postsecondary education in professions related to the built environment.