Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena is in the headlines this week for being the 2016 Pritzker Prize
Laureate. He has shown that sensibly approaching a design problem results in a sustainable solution that is unique to the project context. He is the founder of ELEMENTAL, an urban and architectural Do Tank that is exemplar of community participatory design.
Aravena bases his design philosophy on building for the end-users of his product. This requires
overcoming the challenges of repeated community engagement throughout the design and execution
process. Sustainability from his perspective is synthesizing resources with the real needs of people using the built space. He says that there is no point of answering the wrong question correctly. His holistic approach to projects demonstrates a social, environmental and economic consciousness which is the basis of sustainable design.
Alejandro Aravena has been selected as the Director of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition at
the Venice Biennale 2016. The theme chosen by him resonates strongly with his design philosophy.
Titled ‘Reporting from the front’, it is aimed at examining the role of architects in the battle to improve
living conditions for people all over the world. With the current changes in climate change and
increasing awareness of social inequality, we feel this theme is apt to challenge the status quo and
progress toward architectural practice for the common good.
Watch him talk about his work on the TED Stage below!