Artist Janet Echelman has been honored with two international architecture and engineering awards for her work. Echelman received both the Boston Society of Architects’ Harleston Parker Medal and the Isler Prize of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) for her artwork at the intersection of sculpture, architecture, urban design, material science, computer science, and structural and aeronautical engineering.
The Boston Society of Architects’ Harleston Parker Medal is the society’s higher architectural award. Since 1923, the annual award has honored exemplary works of architecture and sculpture built in the past ten years in the Boston area. The first artist to receive the award, Echelman was honored for her aerial sculpture As If It Were Already Here, which is composed of 100 miles of architectural fiber.
Suspended over Boston’s Rose Kennedy Greenway from the 28th story of Philip Johnson’s skyscraper, the piece fills “the void created by the removal of a six-lane highway that split the city from its waterfront in the largest public infrastructure project in US history, commonly known as the Big Dig.”
Separately, Echelman has recently received the 2023 Isler Prize for Discovery and Innovation at the intersection of Art, Architecture, and Engineering. Awarded at the IASS Annual Symposium in Melbourne, Australia, the biannual honor is given to an individual in recognition of work that exemplifies “exploration, realization, discovery, and innovation; playfulness and inclusivity; and sustainability and low impact on the environment.”
Previous works by Echelman to feature in our editorial are the artist’s 229-foot-long floating Current installation in Columbus, OH, and her movement-inspired collaboration with SOM in Munich, Germany.
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