Maria Khozina wins AHK Graduation Prize - Master's

Isabella Giacomelli & Maria Khozina (foto: Erwin van Amstel)

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On Thursday 25 January, the winners of the AHK Graduation Prize 2023 were announced. Alumna Maria Khozina won the prize in the Master category for her project 'Average Place'. The prize in the Bachelor category was won by Isabella Giacomelli of the Breitner Academy for her thesis 'The (un)captured learning space'.

Maria Khozina graduated from the Master in Architecture at the Academy of Architecture with her research project Average Place. From the jury report: ‘This graduation project displays strong self-reflection on one’s own field and thus transcends the field of architecture. Maria’s extensive research reveals a search for her role as an architect in the authoritarian state of Russia. She wants to connect people and get them thinking through the use of creative machines. Maria has not taken the easy path; the fact that she questions her own role demonstrates courage and strength. The jury was deeply affected by her activism.

Khozina's project delves into the role of architects and architecture's language in an authoritarian state, aiming to explore how architectural skills and knowledge can contribute to societal change and politics. It's a personal exploration, addressing grief, loss of belonging, and questioning one's role as an architect and citizen in their homeland. The project seeks to find a new architectural language to redefine the architect's role, looking at architecture's interaction with people and how it can deepen their experiences. It combines elements from the plastic arts and architecture to create the Architectural Machine, representing a social issue. The project encourages diversity and expanded awareness in architecture. Read more about Maria Khozina's graduation project.

Criteria and jury
The Graduation Prize of the Amsterdam University of the Arts consists of a cash prize of €2,000 in the Bachelor’s and Master’s categories and an audience award worth €500.

Five Bachelor’s projects and five Master’s projects from the different academies were nominated. The jury assessed all entries on the basis of three criteria: the quality of the work, the way in which the graduates made a connection with the outside world and the relevance of their work for the development of the field.

The jury this year consisted of Liesbeth Kok (chair), Amber Kortzorg, Ellen Oosterwijk, Hanna Prinssen and Martin van Engel.

See all nominated projects of the AHK Graduation Prize