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The Curry Stone Design Prize was created to champion designers as a force for social change. Founded by architect Clifford Curry and Archaeologist/acitivist Delight Stone, it " recognizes innovators who address critical issues involving clean air, food and water, shelter, health care, energy, education, social justice or peace. " This year's winners were announced this morning; Grand Prize of $ 100,000 goes to Hsieh Ying-Chun of Taiwan.
Hsieh is a leading Taiwanese architect who for over a decade has deployed his talents in rural areas decimated by natural disaster. Hsieh works throughout Asia, training villagers to build locally appropriate dwellings in response to devastation such as the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, the 1999 Nantou earthquake, and the 2009 Morakot typhoon in Taiwan. Through Hsieh's hands-on education process, villagers reconstruct their own community foundation, knowing they will live in buildings with greater safety, structural integrity, and sustainability.
There were two additional prizes announced, each worth $ 10,000:
Atelier d'Architecture Autogérée (Urban Tactics) is a collective of architects, designers and social scientists who transform urban spaces through collaborative endeavors. Based in Paris and founded by Romanian architects Constatin Petcou and Doina Petrescu in 2001, AAA has become an engine for engaging citizens in shaping their own cities through building, farming, and artistic intervention. AAA acts as a creative instigator, empowering local communities to carry out and sustain their own ideas for urban regeneration.
FrontlineSMS was founded in London by Ken Banks in 2005 to enable effective communications channels for communities in the developing world. FrontlineSMS leverages the ubiquity of mobile phones and familiarity of text messaging to turn an offline laptop into a communication hub. The simple innovation empowers villagers, aid agencies, and news services to exchange information easily among groups.
The Jury: Alejandro Echeverri, Medellin's former director of urban projects and a CSDP winner, Mohsen Mostafavi, Dean of Harvard Graduate School of Design, Cynthia Smith, Curator of Socially Responsible Design at the Cooper- Hewitt, National Design Museum, and Cliff Curry, co-Founder, Curry Stone Design Prize.