SCI-Arc awarded the inaugural Gehry Prize on Sept. 9 thanks to a $100,000 donation by the eponymous architect and his wife, Berta. The first-ever winners were husband-and-wife team, Kyle and Liz von Hasseln who won for their "Phantom Geometry" project. According to the thesis overview, the couple's research focuses on 3D imaging with light and its ramifications on the way things are designed and made. "We are developing a system for moving streaming information through physical space, in the form f light, to generate material form."

The annual award will be given to one or more graduate students who present the best projects—as selected by a jury—during Graduate Thesis Weekend, which takes place every September. Gehry, who first moved to Los Angeles in 1947, has continually supported architectural education in Southern California and has been closely involved with SCI-Arc since the school was founded in 1972.  SCI-Arc director Eric Owen Moss stated in the prize announcement that “thanks to this contribution, we can warranty that SCI-Arc’s advocacy for architecture as a rousing, speculative adventure will endure.”