Michael Kalil Endowment


The Michael Kalil Endowment for Smart Design was established in 2001 in memory of designer Michael Kalil at the School of Constructed Environments (SCE). The mission of the Endowment is twofold: to foster the understanding of the design intersections between nature and technology, and to support a heightened sense of responsibility for increasing the sustainability of built environments. Each year the Endowment awards three Memorial Fellowship Grants, given to New School students working in the spirit of Michael Kalil, as well as hosts an annual event where former grant winners return to SCE to speak about their work.

The Fellowship Grants are awarded to students of Parsons School of Design/New School University. Recipients of the grants use their award monies to support a project or course of study that will both increase their understanding of the intersections between nature and technology as well as make a contribution to environmental sustainability. Projects might include: travel, attendance or participation in workshops, conferences, meetings, participation in design competitions, pursuit of an independent course of study, and/or scholarly research and publication.

Three $5000 Student Project Grants will be given this year. The Student Grants support the project of an undergraduate or graduate student, or a team of students working in collaboration across the New School. Proposals will be blind, without indication of the author(s) on or in the Proposal itself. Each Proposal is given a reference number in order to keep track of personal information and Proposal materials.

For more information on Michael Kalil, his work, and his legacy at Parsons, see the Michael Kalil Collection in the Kellen Design Archives.


Proposals Due: April 6, 2018


Three $5000 Student Project Grants will be awarded this year. The Student Grants support the project of an undergraduate or graduate student, or a team of students working in collaboration across the New School. Proposals will be blind, without indication of the author(s) on or in the Proposal itself. Each Proposal is given a reference number in order to keep track of personal information and Proposal materials.

Email your Project Proposal to kalil@newschool.edu

Applicants must submit a Project Proposal (1,500 words maximum excluding images*) describing the intended use of the award, as well as a Proposal Overview (100 words) outlining the key points of your project. Proposals should be formatted in four parts as follows:

1. Kalil Proposal Overview: one paragraph describing precisely what you are exploring in your project. (approximately 100 words)

2. Statement of Interest: description of issues and applicant’s interests relevant to the design intersection of natural and technological systems and their general relevance to the Project Proposal.

3. Project Proposal: detailed description of the proposed project, research, or course of study.

4. Outline Budget: description of the work to be accomplished along with a detailed budget outline.

* Applications may include up to 8 images. All images should be included in the PDF file.

Proposals will be blind, without indication of the author on or in the Proposal itself. Completed Project Proposals (including images) must be submitted as a single PDF file. Proposals must be emailed to kalil@newschool.edu no later than February 1, 2016. Please include in your email (but not in your proposal) your name(s), phone number and address.

Potential awardees must submit a final report or design project that demonstrates the results of their fellowship. All reports/projects will be uploaded to the SCE website for public reference. In addition, he/she/they may be asked to exhibit the work completed under the auspices of the memorial fellowship.


Each year the Endowment awards Memorial Fellowship Grants and sponsors an annual Kalil Fellow. The Kalil Fellow offers a public lecture and participates in the academic life of Parsons School of Design during the course of their visit. Fellows are selected from an international community of scholars and practitioners working in the spirit of Michael Kalil.

Kalil Fellows and Fellowship Grant Recipients:

Parsons Student Grant: Tamara Streefland and Jesseka Mae Emerick Metts “Green Infrastructure”
Parsons Student Grant: Yogita Agrawal “Jhoule”

2013-2014 Kalil Fellow: Emily Pilloton
Parsons Student Grant: Shirley Bucknor and Anze Zadel “Rainwater Collection at Amenawon in Lagos”
Parsons Student Grant: Kristen Kersh and Mehdi Salehi “Steam Punks”

2012-2013 Kalil Fellow: David W. Orr

Parsons Student Grant: Rebecca Rand, “Flush Design Dry”
Parsons Student Grant: Jacinda Ross, “Flexible Apertures”
Practitioner / Scholar Grant: Vincent Appel, “Coastal House Prototype”

2011-2012 Kalil Fellows: Nicholas de Monchaux and Angelo Vermeulen
Parsons Student Grant: Stephanie Rodriguez, “Triangulo de Cafe”
Collaborative Student Team Grant: Linda Xin and Haixiao Jiang, “Underground Dwellings in China: Nature, the Technology for Sustaining Society”
Practitioner / Scholar Grant: Tristan D’Estree Sterk, “Adaptable Geometries: Actuated Structural Tube Prototypes for Lightweight Skyscrapers”

2010-2011 Kalil Fellow: Walter Hood
Parsons Student Grant: Lily Wong, BFA Architectural Design, “Water. A Study of Indian Step Well Architypes”
Parsons Student Grant: Elizabeth Parker, MFA Interior Design, “From Interiors to Urban Enclaves: Scaling Sustainable Water Strategies”
Practitioner / Scholar Grant: Jeremy Barbour ad Ravi Raj, Parsons Faculty, “Brise-Soleil Brazil: A Study of Solar Control Devices in Brazil”

2009-2010 Kalil Fellows: Sheila Kennedy, Sabine Seymour, Frano Violich
Parsons Student Grant: Bless Yee, “The Farmer”
Parsons Student Interdisciplinary Team Grant: Zane Murray, Jane Lien, Ryan Raffa, “Arboretum Transit”
Practitioner / Scholar Grant: Philip Silva and Elizabeth Barry. “STeM: Open-source Street Tree Mapping & Environmental Stewardship Network.”

2006-2007 Kalil Fellow: Majora Carter
Parsons Student: Matthew Bissen, “Urban Development Patterns of Brazil”
Parsons Faculty : Matthew Tanteri + Margaret Maile, “Daylight in Urban Architecture”
Outside Student: Emmanuelle Chammah, Tulane, “Bio-Wall”
Outside Practitioner: Laurie Manfra, “Nanomaterials”
Outside Practitioner: Alice Chun, 911 House: “Emergency Housing”

2005-2006 Kalil Fellow: William Cronon
Parsons Student: Leah King, “Sustainable Housing Technologies”
Parsons Student : Stine Christiansen, “Sustainability in China”
Parsons Faculty: Matthew Herman, Staten Island: “Development and Landscape”
Outside Student: Marta Morais, MIT, “Material Properties and Application of Wood”
Outside Practitioner: Lance Hosey, “Form as Adaptation to Place”

2004-2005 Kalil Fellow: Jaime Lerner
Parsons Student: Michael Hargens, “Green Roof Technologies”
Parsons Faculty : Matthew Baird, Workshop Series: “Selecting Sustainable Materials”
Outside Student: Sian Kleindienst, “Andiolic Daylighting Systems”
Outside Practitioner: FABRICAthree, “Williamsburg Waterfront Remediation”
Outside Practitioner: Paul Makovsky, “Architects and Sustainable Housing”

2003-2004 Kalil Fellow: Julie Bargmann
Parsons Student: Kassia Walker, “Centralia Park, Centralia Pennsylvania”
Parsons Faculty : Michael Morris + Yoshiko Sato, “Living House”
Outside Student: Elizabeth Taylor, Columbia University, “Wind Turbine Research”
Outside Practitioner: Jennifer Magee, “Sustainable Practices”

2002-2003 Kalil Fellow: Thomas Herzog
Parsons Student: Shai Turner, “Living House”
Parsons Student : Ian Keough, “Conceptual ‘Skins’ in Building Design”
Parsons Faculty: Charles Wolf, Case Study: “Opposing Attitudes in Design”
Parsons Faculty: David Rifkind, “Sustainable Practices”
Outside Student: Andrew Karvonen, Univ. of Texas, “Water Management at Urban Scale”
Outside Practitioner: Steve Roe + Chiafang Wu, Roewu:Architecture, NYC
Outside Practitioner: Molly Hogle, “Industrial Architecture Research”

2001-2002 Kalil Fellow: William McDonough
Parsons Student: Luis Berrios-Negron, “Wetlands and Sticky Space”
Parsons Faculty : Lewis Tsurumaki Lewis, Case Study: “Villa Girasole by Invernizzi”
Parsons Faculty: Eric Bunge, Honorable Mention, “Archilab Economy of the Earth”
Outside Student: Steve Clark, “Sustainable Practices in East Africa”
Outside Practitioner: Laura Briggs, BRIGGSKNOWLES, NYC, “MOVIT”


Michael Kalil (1944-1991) was an educator, designer, interior architect, and artist. He was the principal designer of the Kalil Studio. NASA contracted Kalil Studio for advanced research studies on the interior architecture of the Space Station’s Habitation Module. Michael Kalil taught at Parsons School of Design, New York School of Interior Design, Columbia University, and the University of North Carolina. Along with Guiseppe Zambonini he founded the Open Atelier of Architecture and Design in 1979. In 1980 he received the Interior Design Award for an automated office space designed for Armstrong World Industries. In 1994 Michael was honored posthumously by Pratt Institute for outstanding alumni achievement in design. Mr. Kalil’s work has been exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Contemporary Crafts, the Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the San Paulo Biennial. Articles on his work have appeared in the New York Times, Interiors, Progressive Architecture, Architecture Cree, Omni, Craft Horizon, House and Garden, Look, and Esquire. Michael Kalil’s career included many disciplines encompassing the work of educator, interior architect, philosopher, scientist, and artist. In addition to NASA, clients of the Kalil Studio included The Museum of Modern Art, Armstrong World Industries, and Tiffany & Co. NASA recently donanted the model for the fourth generation space station that Kalil Studio had developed and purchased twenty drawings related to the model.

Please see the Michael Kalil Collection in the Kellen Design Archives and in MoMA Collection for detailed information and images of Kalil’s work.


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