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APDesign professor named winner of 2020 Gabriel Prize

Monday, April 6, 2020

Chanyakorn work

A watercolor by Otto Chanyakorn, assistant professor of architecture at Kansas State University. | Download this photo.


MANHATTAN — A Kansas State University architecture professor is the winner of the 2020 Gabriel Prize, a prestigious award presented by the Western European Architecture Foundation.

Otto Chanyakorn, assistant professor in the College of Architecture, Planning & Design — known as APDesign — is the recipient of the $20,000 grant for the study of classical architecture and landscape in France. As part of this award, Chanyakorn will travel to France and hone his skills in drawing and painting, as well as explore creative potentials in architecture. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chanyakorn's travel will take place in summer 2021.

"I'm humbled to be selected as the 2020 Gabriel Prize recipient by the Western European Architecture Foundation," Chanyakorn said. "This fellowship will provide me with three months in Paris to fully concentrate on my drawing and painting. Undoubtedly, this will be a life-changing experience for me. Most importantly, I am excited to share the knowledge and skills that I will gain with my students. I'm thankful for the generous support from the APDesign community, my colleagues and particularly Dean Tim de Noble and department head Matt Knox who offered insightful and constructive input."

As the winner, Chanyakorn will embark on a three-month itinerary of his own devising. While abroad, he will focus on some particular aspect of French architecture and will work closely with the Western European Architecture Foundation's European representative, a Parisian architect who is available for regular criticism and discussion. Chanyakorn also will spend much of his time sketching, measuring and, in the course of his time in France, produce three large renderings. Through this process, he will come to know some of the masterpieces of France.

"Otto brings the same passion and artistry to his teaching as he does to his creative work. He is an amazing artist and this prestigious award is well deserved," Knox said.

“Otto's talent, so evident on every page of his sketchbooks and leaves of his watercolor pads, is rooted in an obvious joy and passion for investigating the natural and designed world around him," said de Noble said. "It is infectious, a superb example for our students and fellow faculty. After viewing his work in anticipation of his interview, I ran back to my office and started sketching! I am not at all surprised that he won the prize, and suspect the jurors, like me, were motivated to hunker down and draw for the joy of it after seeing the depth of his drawn investigations."

The selection process included three phases: the submission of pertinent illustrations of personal work and an outline of the studies contemplated; selection of three finalists by a first jury; and meeting with a second jury, which then selects the winner.

Jurors are chosen for their experience as teachers and artists and for their knowledge of study abroad. Jurors have included architects, landscape architects, painters, professors and past Gabriel Prize laureates. The goal is to maintain a variety of viewpoints and experiences among the jurors.

Chanyakorn teaches design studio and digital courses. Before joining K-State in 2019, he taught a variety of courses at the School of Architecture at Southern Illinois University Carbondale for six years. Chanyakorn's current focus is on building a circularity between digital and analog methods in design thinking, visual communication and representation to enrich architectural design processes. He also maintains his meditative practice as part of his daily routine via painting and drawing.

Chanyakorn earned a Bachelor of Architecture from Khon Kean University in Thailand and a Master of Architecture from the School of Architecture at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Chanyakorn work two

A work by Otto Chanyakorn, assistant professor of architecture at Kansas State University. | Download this photo.


Otto Chanyakorn


Chanyakorn is Chan-Yak-orn




Download the following photo.

Otto Chanyakorn

Otto Chanyakorn, assistant professor of architecture at Kansas State University, is the 2020 Gabriel Prize winner from the Western European Architectural Foundation.

Written by

Thom Jackson