TreeHugger has covered the Curry Stone Prizes since they started in 2008 (see related links to left), for good reason:
The prize recognizes both individuals and firms who use innovative design strategies to address critical issues such as food scarcity, clean water access, disaster response, housing rights, health care, education, post-conflict development and peace-keeping.
Readers will have seen a few of this year's winners on the site before;
We just showed this building and the work of MASS design a few weeks ago in Mass Design Uses Local Materials, Simple Technologies to Build Modern Hospital in Rwanda
Model of Architecture Serving Society—aka MASS Design—is a Boston-based architecture firm that has created an alternative practice designing healthcare facilities in resource-limited settings, primarily in developing countries emerging from crisis.
We have also shown the Liter of Light before.
Hundreds of millions of people live in informal settlements worldwide. Many of these chockablock dwellings lack windows or adequate daylighting, and in tropical locales are often made darker by extended roofing favored for protection from rain and hot sun. Residents of informal settlements often resort to kerosene, candles, or inventive wiring for light, risking health and safety in the process. Many simply go without.
The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) collaborates with students, policy experts and community advocates, and designers and artists to explain complex urban-planning processes and policy-making decisions through understandable visual communications and multimedia toolkits.
Jeanne van Heeswijk is an artist who facilitates the creation of lively and diversified public spaces, typically from disenfranchised or derelict sites. Her socially engaged practice generates new forms of encounter while challenging bureaucratic conventions and acquired rules.
Riwaq Centre for Architectural Conservation has spent more than two decades documenting Palestinian heritage and culture through holistic restoration of the built environment. Riwaq sees architectural restoration as a social and economic incubator; the projects it facilitates serve the public, create jobs, and strengthen community identity. Riwaq has done pioneering work in a region greatly affected and fragmented by conflict, completing complicated, multi-stakeholder projects on a large scale in the face of many logistical and sociopolitical challenges. For Riwaq, conservation and historic restoration are not about creating a museum piece—they are tools for social and economic advancement.
See more on all the winners at the Curry Stone Design Prize site.