Bachelor of Architecture student Temi Osanyintolu has been awarded the SOM Foundation Robert L. Wesley Award. Launched this year, the Robert L. Wesley Award recognizes the academic achievements and potential of emerging BIPOC designers and is intended to alleviate the cost of post-secondary design education. One of only three full Fellows to receive the award, Temi will receive a $10,000 scholarship to support her academic development, in addition to a year of mentorship by the jurors and an extended network of advisors. Members of the jury included Leo Chow, a partner at SOM’s San Francisco office; Quilian Riano, associate director at the College of Architecture & Environmental Design, Kent State University; Amanda Williams, an artist based in Chicago, and Robert Wesley himself. SOM Foundation executive director Iker Gil served as jury chair.
“As an aspiring architect, my goal is to revolutionize the way we think about cities, especially in regard to our most vulnerable communities,” Osanyintolu said. 'We live in a world where immigrants are fleeing their countries due to war or persecution, where the disenfranchised struggle to secure basic human needs, where discrimination continues to plague even our most developed countries, and the consequences of climate change threaten us all. I believe the built environment and design play a significant role in solving these most pertinent issues. So instead of aiming to see how high we can build, I look to the ground to assess how we might address the socio-cultural and climatic aspects of our communities and bring people together.”
Here at The University of Texas School of Architecture, Temi is a leader among undergraduate architecture students. She serves as the 2020-21 President of the Undergraduate Architecture Student Council, is one of the school’s Dean Ambassadors, and represented UTSOA at the 2020 Design Futures Public Interest Design Student Leadership Forum, alongside four other students.
“I am honored to be a recipient of the SOM Foundation Robert L. Wesley Award,” she said. “With it, I feel more able to complete my degree at the University of Texas School of Architecture and explore invaluable opportunities in the study abroad and residency programs. Exposure to real-world environments outside of the classroom and studio is essential to understanding how architecture relates to the human experience, and with this knowledge, I can be better suited to support communities in need.”