UBC architecture school relaunches $50,000 Margolese Prize honouring designers addressing world issues

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      This week, UBC’s School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA) announced that it is relaunching the $50,000 Margolese National Design for Living Prize.

      This award recognizes an individual whose designs for built environments are making a significant and outstanding difference in addressing some of the world’s most urgent social, ecological, and cultural issues.

      Originally launched in 2012 with an estate gift from the late Leonard Herbert Margolese, the award has been bestowed upon six recipients.

      Those from Vancouver who received the award include landscape architect Cornelia Hahn Oberlander (whose projects include landscapes at the Arthur Erickson–designed Robson Square and the Museum of Anthropology) and the late architect and urban visionary Bing Thom.

      Other recipients include transportation researcher Eric J. Miller from Toronto, Montreal architecture professor Vikram Bhatt, Idle No More cofounder Sylvia McAdam Saysewahum from Saskatchewan, and Montreal architect and educator Anne Cormier. 

      In 2018, SALA temporarily suspended the prize during a review of its terms and significance, and is now relaunching the award with a widened iscope to attract designers from a broader range of disciplines.

      Those eligible can be contributing to built environments in areas such as affordable housing and social infrastructure, community design and public space, ecological design and biodiversity, climate change and resilience, human health and well-being, food security and water quality, social equity and environmental justice, mobility and transportation, disaster and pandemic relief, and universal design and accessibility.

      The work of nominated individuals should have demonstrated far-reaching impact and benefit; reflect how design can enhance social, cultural or economic well-being; and inspire others or lead to similar initiatives.

      “With the Margolese Prize we intend to inspire practitioners and students everywhere by highlighting and honouring Canadians who are shaping a positive, livable future through design in the built environment,” SALA Director Ron Kellett explained in a news release.

      Nominations will be accepted from February to March, with shortlisted candidates notified in May.

      A peer jury (consisting of members to be announced) will choose one recipient, who will be revealed in September.

      Full details are available at the Margolese Prize website.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.