The School of Architecture + Planning (SA+P) recently hosted the first of two On the Brinck Book Awards symposia for the spring semester. Authors Rosetta S. Elkin and Whitney Martinko presented their award-winning books, followed by a discussion moderated by Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture Catherine Page Harris, who served as this year’s coordinating juror.

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Authors Whitney Martinko (l.) and Rosetta S. Elkin presented their award-winning books at the first On the Brinck Book Awards symposia this spring. Photo credit: Stefan Jennings Batista

The event concluded with a reception and book signing connecting SA+P students with the authors. The complimentary books made available to SA+P students who attended the event encourage reading across disciplines and inter-departmental collaborations at the School.

Rosetta S. Elkin, honored for her book Plant Life: The Entangled Politics of Afforestation, and Whitney Martinko, recognized for her book Historic Real Estate: Market Morality and the Politics of Preservation in the Early United States, showcased the diversity of thought within contemporary design narratives.

The conversation touched on wide-ranging topics, including historic preservation, indigenizing curricula, coastal restoration, and the role of artifacts in shaping our understanding of the built environment. A symposium recording is available on the SA+P YouTube channel for those who missed the event.

The second On the Brinck symposium is Monday, April 15, at 4 p.m. in the Garcia Honda Auditorium in George Pearl Hall and accessible via Zoom. David Gissen, author of The Architecture of Disability: Buildings, Cities, and Landscapes Beyond Access, and E. James West, author of A House for the Struggle: The Black Press and the Built Environment in Chicago, promise another compelling conversation.

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Whitney Martinko signs one of her books for an On the Brinck symposia attendee. Photo credit: Stefan Jennings Batista

The On the Brinck Book Awards is an annual competition that honors contemporary and emerging design values by celebrating books that offer new perspectives and resonate with J.B. Jackson's formative writings. The selection criteria are drawn directly from Jackson’s enlightened approach to scholarship: emphasizing new and overlooked areas of study, challenging existing scholarship, integrating allied disciplines, and appealing to a broad readership. 

The On the Brinck Book Awards are currently accepting nominations for the 2024 cycle. Anyone may submit a book for consideration. More details and the submission form are available here.