April 30, 2024

AAP Faculty David Costanza Named 2024–25 Rome Prize Winner

Work on Costanza's previous project, Draped Stone (2018). image / provided

The American Academy in Rome recently announced that Architecture Assistant Professor David Costanza is among 31 American artists and scholars granted a 2024–25 fellowship in support of advanced independent work and research. The award — intended to provide "the gift of time and space to think and work" — includes a stipend, workspace, and room and board for five to ten months at the academy's eleven-acre campus in Rome, starting this September.

Costanza, who received the Lily Auchincloss Rome Prize in the architecture category, intends to use the time to advance his project Bending Stone, research which positions stone as a low-carbon structural building material and explores the aesthetics of structural stone in defining a new language in contemporary construction. He shared the following about this work:

The project lies at the intersection of historical stone aesthetics, contemporary stone manufacturing, and quarries as the site of stone extraction. The research is situated in the ongoing disciplinary discourse around decarbonizing construction and the renewed interest in pre-industrial building methods as alternatives to industrialized materials. Echoing the interest in mass-timber as both rapidly renewable and carbon sequestering, followed by earth as a natural and readily available structural material, stone reemerges as plentiful, fireproof, beautiful, and inherently structural.

About David Costanza

A man with dark curly hair and a dark beard looking at the camera in front of a grey wall

David Costanza is the principal of David Costanza Studio (DCS), a design-build practice based in Ithaca, New York. Costanza is also an assistant professor at Cornell AAP and director of the Building Construction Lab (BCL). Through practice, research, and teaching, his work questions how architects can operate as engaged participants in the act of making. His work questions the linearity of design processes defining new terrains for architectural interventions across scales while establishing a dialogue between representation, computational design tools, digital manufacturing, building science, building materials, construction, labor, and the environment. Currently, he is working on a book project with Routledge publishers titled Curious Constructions: Around Materials, Labor, and the Environment; a deep energy, low-carbon reconstruction in Ithaca, New York; as well as material research in the reuse and recycling of plastic as a building construction material. 

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