The World Cultural Council (WCC) has named Höweler + Yoon co-founder J. Meejin Yoon as the winner of the 2022 Leonardo da Vinci World Award of Arts in recognition of her achievements in designing a more just built environment and contributions to academia and the broader cultural scene.
The current Cornell AAP Dean joins a list of past honorees whose output works to "lift our existence to a higher level by the beauty or inspiration of their creative talent." She is one of two architects to receive the award (along with Mexican architect Enrique Norten in 2005) and was commended for her recent involvement in memorial projects at the University of Virginia (Memorial to Enslaved Laborers) and MIT (Collier Memorial).
"In particular, the jury recognizes Yoon’s innovative and thoughtful design of public memorials, installations and structures, which are informed by a profound sense of historical and cultural context, as well as the need to inspire and bring communities together by providing places of remembrance and reflection that inspire hope," the WCC’s commendation reads.
The announcement shared by the Cornell Chronicle mentions Höweler + Yoon’s 2004 Olympics installation alongside their 2015’s Shadow Play shade structure and the recently-finished Moongate Bridge project as examples of other laudatory public design commissions.
Yoon stated, "It is a true honor to join a long line of artists, architects, writers, musicians, and others who share a belief in the power of creativity and imagination and the potential for art in all its forms to inspire and build a better world now and well into the future."
Michael I. Kotlikoff, Yoon's colleague, shared in a statement, "Dean Yoon is deeply committed to the relationship between design education, design research and design practice and is an innovator in cross-disciplinary design education. She has dedicated herself to improving education in architecture and design, inspiring rising generations to greater achievement and setting an example of highly successful programs."
She will be presented a diploma, a commemorative medal, and an Award Cheque along with her fellow Education and Science honorees during a special ceremony on November 30 at the University of Coimbra in Portugal.
Learn more about the Leonardo da Vinci World Award of Arts program here.
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