Martin Roche Scholarship

Established in 1926 by architect Martin Roche, and administered by the AIA Chicago Foundation, the Martin Roche Travel Scholarship gives a student the opportunity to independently study architecture abroad.

Past awards have been granted to students who have studied diverse subjects such as the transformation of brownfield sites in Germany; the relationship between design and crime in Medellin, Colombia; and modernist religious architecture in Italy.

The AIA Chicago Foundation awards a winning grant of $6000 to a student enrolled in an NAAB accredited architecture program at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the Illinois Institute of Technology or the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Click here for the 2022 submission guidelines.

Deadline extended to: April 19, 2022

Preview winning proposals from past years.  Janina Sanchez; Ecuador. Devon Morris; MyanmarRuta Misiunas; Lithuania.



Winner: Erik Schiller, IIT

Location of Study: Republic of Georgia

Erik will study the emergence of a landscape discipline in the context of international development and post-Soviet land use.


Winner: Andrea Hunt, SAIC

Location of Study: Mexico

Water Infrastructures, Technologies, and Futurisms within Mexico City and its Periphery

Learn more about Andrea's project and research.

Vimeo of Andrea Hunt's presentation.


Winner: Melis Isil Simsek, SAIC

Location of Study: Turkey

Architecture as Social Construction or Social Destruction: The Case of Sulukule

Melis will travel to Istanbull, Turkey to study how architecture plays a role in the social and political dynamics of small and large communities, using the neighborhood of Sulukule as a case study. 


Winner: Ruta Misiunas, UIC

Location of Study: Lithuania

Rebellious Construction: The Movement for Freedom of Expression in Soviet Construction

Ruta will travel to Lithuania to document the shelters people designed and built on their own government provided properties during the era of Communism.  Now the structures are endangered of being demolished and Ruta will work to document these buildings before they have dissappear from the collective landscape.


Winner: Devon Morris, UIC

Location of Study: Myanmar

Colonizing Heritage: The Adaptive Reuse of Myanmar's Architecture

Devon traveled to Yangon, Myanmar, where the city's discarded architectural heritage and displaced population have collided. He studied and documented the informal dwellings that have begun to occupy the interiors of these historic buildings.


Winner: Janina Sanchez, UIC

Location of Study: Ecuador

Political Urbanism: An urban catalogue of "Good Living"

The Republic of Ecuador after years of unstable, temporary governments, most of which were overthrown by the people, is now experiencing one of the longest and deepest political  movements in the past 30 years. This Revolución Ciudadana (Citizen’s Revolution) as the local authorities call the movement, has deeply reshaped the urban landscape of the country. The master plan for the movement:  El Plan del Buen Vivir (The Plan for Good Living) has massively increased the government investment in different development and social projects all across the country. Visiting a total of 10 strategic government projects and travelling 1,500 miles within the country, an inventory of these urban conditions has been crafted. The lessons of these ambitious interventions are collected in this “Catalogue of the Good Living”.


Winner: Tim Walser, UIC

Location of Study: Republic of Phillipines

Entropolis: Lessons from Manila

Entropolis seeks to uncover hidden architectural lessons generated by Manila, the world's most densely populated city, which is the capital and second largest city of the Philippines.

Learn more by visiting the Entropolis website.


Winner: Taylor Holloway, UIC

Location of Study: Sub-Saharan Africa

Design Better / Design Forward

2013 Roche Scholarship Winner Taylor Holloway from AIA Chicago on Vimeo.

Design Better / Design Forward was conceived as an investigation of the built work of a loose confederation of emerging architects and activists in sub-Saharan Africa;  self-described group of “socio-technical designers” and “researchers in action.” Their work consists of collective urban-spatial strategizing by means of critical engagement, experimentation, and grit.

Learn more by visiting the Design Better/Design Forward website.  Read Holloway's full report here.


Winner: Anne Dudek, IIT

Location of Study: China

China's Rapid Urbanization Population:  Architectural Needs and Responses

The study focuses on the living conditions of migrant workers within cities whose populations have ballooned over the past 50 years, or are on the brink of rapid development.

Read Dudek's article in Chicago Architect here.


Winner: Jennifer McKenzie, IIT

Location of Study: Finland

Room to Grow

The primary focus of the study revolves around the relationship between architecture and the excellence in education in Finland. The majority of the travel was based in Helsinki, Finland, which has the reputation of having the "best schools in the world."

Learn more by visiting the Room to Grow website. Read McKenzie's full report here.


Winner: Maria Paulina Carvallo, IIT

Location of Study: Germany

The grant funded a research trip to Germany to study technical textiles in Stuttgart, Munich, and Cologne to examine projects with new fabrication techniques for creating openings in multi-layer facades.


Winner; Ernest Bellamy III, IIT

Location of Study: Medellin, Colombia

Medellin: Public Spaces Perceptions + Reconnections

The research focused on the newly built public spaces in Columbia and studied how each project has become an instigator of change, breaking down previous existing physical and social barriers that have pervaded over the past 30 years.

Read Bellamy's article for Landscape here.

Visit the Public Spaces website.


Winner: Cady Chintis, UIC

Location of Study: Germany

Cady traveled to Germany's Ruhrgebiet documenting architectural and landscape design strategies that have driven the region's incredible post-industrial comeback. 

Read Chintis' design guide here.

Previous Roche Scholars, 1990-2007

Year - Student(School) - Project - Location of Study

2007 - Andrew Fawcett, IIT - Study of Giovanni Michelucci's Work -Italy
2006 - John Musial, UIC - Netherlands
2006 - Judith Rodriguez-Portieles, IIT -  Australia
2005 - Carlyn So, UIC - Central America
2004 - Chris-Annmarie Spencer, UIC - Johannesburg to Cape Town: Social Stratification & Apartheid - South Africa
2003 - Colin Franzen, UIC - Interspersing Natural Landscapes with Buildings -  Japan
2002 - William Corcoran, UIC - Five Public Spaces in Spain - Spain
2001 - Robin Ford, IIT -  Traditional Building Practices and their Transistion to Modern Use in Restorations as well as Comtemporary Buildings - Iceland
2000 No scholarship given    
1999 No scholarship given

1998 - David Brach, UIC - Landscape and the Language of the City:  Studying Architecture as Part of a Larger Context of Relationships - Netherlands/France/Spain
1997 - Kindon Mills, IIT - Effect of the Desert on Citymaking and Dwelling - Tunsia
1996 No scholarship given   
1995 - Timothy Murphy, UIC - Railway Stations in Paris & London - Paris, France/London, England
1994 - Helen Tsatsos, UIC - Le Corbusier's Four French Unites d'Habitation - France
1993 - Sarah Bader, UIC - Studying Handcrafted Woodworking Techniques in Beaminster, England - England
1992 - Ellen Dineen Grimes, UIC - Studying Urban Design in Rome & Milan and the New pavillion in Barcelona - Italy/Spain
1991 - Edmund D. Newman, UIC  - Rome, Italy
1990 - David Fleming, IIT - Studying New Technologies in Japan - Japan