• Echo, 10th Anniversary Ragdale Ring: Reconnecting to Our Roots
    [Sic.] (Amelia Gan and Maeda Zwenawi + fieldtrip (Ahnaf Chowdhury and Anuradha Desai)
    Ragdale, Lake Forest
    Jun 2022 to Dec 2023
    Ragdale Foundation

[sic] + fieldtrip, “Echo, Design Rendering,” 2022. Digital rendering. Courtesy Ragdale Foundation, Lake Forest

Ragdale presents the tenth anniversary Ragdale Ring Competition and Performance Series, inviting conversation and collaboration between design, architecture, and performance. Then ten-year history of temporary spaces is considered and connection is explored through the theme: Roots. The winning plan, Echo by [sic] + fieldtrip, is an inventive, site-responsive design that explores the intersections of history, architectural structure, landscape, public art, and performance. Echo explores the history of the Ring and the ten years of competition by underscoring Howard Van Doren Shaw’s ties to nature in an echo of the original Ring using plants indigenous to the prairie around Ragdale. Public performances that encourage conversation between architecture and other artistic mediums are scheduled throughout summer 2022. Through the production of the winning design and its accompanying performance series, Ragdale expands the ways in which audiences view and interact with art, architecture, and performance.

Ahnaf Chowdhury is the cofounder of fieldtrip and a designer at CallisonRTKL in Washington, DC. He brings expertise in design and research across multiple scales and has experience working at various design studios and agencies including the Department of City Planning in New York City. Chowdhury’s research at fieldtrip engages with communities in diverse locations such as Mumbai, India in order to explore the agency of architecture. He holds a bachelor’s of architecture degree from Syracuse University where he also received the Britton Memorial Faculty Prize for Best Thesis.

Anu Desai is a design strategist and UX researcher based in New York. Passionate about humanizing digital, spatial, and cultural experiences, she enjoys working across disciplines to gather research insights and translate them into clear, compelling, and actionable solutions. Her experience includes culture strategy, service design, futures thinking, behavioral psychology, and change management. Desais’s design skills are supplemented through her work as an architect at Gensler, Robert A.M Stern Architects, and SB Architects. She received a BArch degree at Syracuse University where she was awarded the Faculty Thesis Prize-James A. Britton Memorial Award. Other awards include the Alfred Kessel Endowed Fellowship, Ralph T Walker Travel Prize, Crown Wise-Marcus Research Award, and Peter J Moore Travel Prize. While at Syracuse University, she worked extensively with Northside Learning Center where she was a part of a service-learning community, working with Somali refugee students. She currently works as an innovation design strategist at Gensler.

Amelia Gan is the cofounder of [sic.] and is currently pursuing her master in design mediums at Harvard Graduate School of Design. Her research lies in the intersection of culture, design technology, and bio-materials. She holds a bachelor of architecture from Syracuse University, where her architectural thesis was awarded Dean’s Citation for Excellence, as well as attaining the Crown & Wise-Marcus Award. She has previously practiced architecture in Washington, DC, and Kuala Lumpur.

Marda Zenawi is an architect and researcher pursuing her master’s in research architecture at the Royal College of Arts London, having previously attained a bachelor’s of architecture from Syracuse University. Cofounder of [sic.], her design and research focus on counter-hegemonic space, indigenous theory, eco-mimicry and disaster relief.

The Jury for the 2022 Ragdale Ring includes: Sam Lewis, Regin Igloria, Phil Rosborough, Jen Masengarb, Carmen Patlan, Dorian Booth, and Anthony Gagliardi.

Ragdale’s mission is to embolden artists and provide a setting for creative exploration and achievement by establishing a culture of excellence, generosity, and inclusivity within Ragdale’s historic campus and native prairie landscape. Built by architect Howard Van Doren Shaw in Lake Forest, Illinois as a summer retreat for his creative family, Ragdale has served as a generative home of artistic achievement for over 120 years. Established as a nonprofit in 1976, Ragdale has a storied history of nurturing artists via residencies, fellowships, and thematic collaborations. Each year, we welcome over 200 artists, designers, and scholars from around the world, all of whom seek dedicated time and space to pursue distinctive works of the imagination. Located a mere 30 miles from downtown Chicago, Ragdale serves as a creative outpost for artists to expand their practice and engage with a global artistic community.