Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, (John) Russell Beaumont received the Dedman Scholarship as an incoming freshman in the Plan II Honors program and in the School of Architecture, providing tuition funding, a stipend and funding for study abroad and research in Argentina and Chile during his undergraduate years at the University of Texas at Austin.
Russell spent the fall 2012 semester working for a young and upcoming architecture firm in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At the end of that trip he returned to Chile and traveled along the coast to continue research on his thesis, “Relief and Recovery: The Role of Architecture and Solidarity in the 2010 Chilean Earthquake Reconstruction.” Russell interviewed victims and volunteers, and saw the damage and reconstruction first hand. In the spring of 2013 he took a studio focused on homeless families led by Overland Architects of San Antonio. Russell was elected to lead his studio’s presentation to three members of city council outlining their findings and suggestions for Austin’s homelessness issues.
In spring 2013, Russell was again honored with the Oglesby Traveling Fellowship through the School of Architecture. The funding allowed him to travel through Peru and Chile to do research on vernacular architecture, community initiated building practices, and their relevance to the reconstruction effort.
Next fall he will study International Development: Poverty, Conflict, and Reconstruction at the University of Manchester, and Urban Design at the Bartlett School of Architecture in University College London. Russell hopes to remain involved in disaster relief and social justice architecture through professional architecture firms and non-profit organizations.