MDC 2011 Speaker Jeanne Gang Named MacArthur Fellow

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Studio Gang’s Aqua Tower in Chicago was a 2010 International Highrise Award Finalist of Deutsches Architekturmuseum

Wednesday, September 21, 2011–2011 Monterey Design Conference speaker Jeanne Gang, FAIA, LEED AP, was named a MacArthur Fellow yesterday. She is the first architecture to earn such an honor in eleven years. Often called ‘Genius Grants’ winners, MacAthur Fellows are honored for their contributions to design and technology. The award comes with a vaunted no-strings-attached $500,000 grant distributed over a five-year period.

The MacArthur Foundation page announcing Gang’s selection demonstrates why the richness of her work, which includes the 82-story Aqua tower, should be honored. Calling the mixed-use Aqua tower project “optical poetry” it noted its seamless integration with environmentally sustainable technologies:

“…at the same time, energy-efficient features such as heat-resistant and fritted glass, rainwater collection systems, and energy-saving lighting systems address environmental concerns on a large scale. Gang’s mastery of the balance between novelty and urban practicality is also evident in the Media Production Center (2010) for Columbia College of Chicago, […] Her design for the in-progress Ford Calumet Environmental Center, a 27,000-square-foot resource center on an industrial site south of Chicago, includes salvaged materials from the surrounding area and incorporates advanced systems in heating, cooling, and water reclamation.”

For a client in India, Hyderabad Tellapur 02’s soft fissures create ventilation.

Studio Gang responded to the news via Twitter: “Beyond excited to announce that Jeanne is a 2011 MacArthur Fellow!! Truly an amazing honor.”

We interviewed Gang about her national and international work in a July blog. You can read it and register here to hear Gang speak at Monterey (bonus points, all the continuing ed credits you need).

Gang walks in the footsteps of the late Samuel Mockbee, founder of Auburn University’s Rural Studio, to do so. Affectionately known as “Sambo,” Mockbee died of leukemia in 2001, but his work, persona and significance still resonate strongly within the architectural community.

Use this rare opportunity to hear Borja Ferrater who co-founded the Office of Architecture in Barcelona speak. Attend the MDC.

Tom Kundig speaks at this year’s conference. You can read our interview with him, here.

Who else will speak? Hint: Dr. Dickson Despommier, PhD, Jeanne Gang, FAIA LEED AP and more.

Why are so many architects privately giving kudos to Mark Mack?



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