Shigeru Ban wins Pritzker Prize, architecture's top award

Shigeru ban
© Shigeru Ban

Fast Company quotes the press release:

"Shigeru Ban's commitment to humanitarian causes through his disaster relief work is an example for all," Tom Pritzker, chairman of the Hyatt Foundation, the prize's sponsoring organization, said in a statement announcing the 2014 winner. "Innovation is not limited by building type and compassion is not limited by budget. Shigeru has made our world a better place.”


In TreeHugger: Shigeru Ban Builds Bridge Out of Paper
Shigeru Ban denies that he is interested in sustainable design. Shaunacy Ferro writes:

Yet he still balks at any mention of him being a sustainable architect. "This is a misunderstanding," he says. "I’m not keen for sustainability." Environmentally friendly buildings have become a fashion, he argues, but sustainability is now largely a business strategy, one that doesn't necessarily distinguish between what's actually sustainable and what just looks (and sells) like sustainability. "I’m not interested in that," he says. "I’m just trying not to waste material and to use locally available material."

shigeru ban paper tube schools china photo

In TreeHugger: An Earthquake-Ready School for China (Just Add Cardboard Tubes)

Which is a pretty good definition of what sustainable design should be. Blair Kamin of the Chicago Tribune notes:

...his simple but spirit-lifting buildings have lent shelter and dignity to people who have suffered from civil war, genocide, earthquakes and tsunamis. He is the most socially-conscious architect ever to win the Pritzker Prize, first awarded in 1979, and the first to win largely on the basis of structures that are temporary, not permanent.

Shigeru Ban wins Pritzker Prize, architecture's top award
Sustainable and humanitarian design takes the big prize.

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