This year's RIBA Charles Jencks Award is presented to Indian architect and researcher Anupama Kundoo. Her winning the award is a great reflection of influential architectural practices and academic work in South Asia.
The RIBA Charles Jencks Award has been given to architects and firms who have made "a major contribution to both the theory and practice of architecture." A notable shortlist of nominated architects includes MASS Design Group, Emilio Ambasz, Alexander Brodsky, Nigel Coates, Beatriz Colomina, Francis Kéré, Peter Salter, Marina Tabassum, and Eyal Weizman.
Trained in Mumbai, Kundoo's focus on housing initiatives, material research, sustainability, and community-driven design has positioned her as an advocate for socially responsible architecture. From 1990 to 2005, she worked in an experimental town in Puducherry that focused on developing long-term research in sustainable building technologies, from material reuse to sustainable construction methods.
Kundoo expressed her gratitude and shared how she hopes her work can inspire others: "Our built environment is the physical stage on which all human stories are lived out. This physical stage is the historical and ongoing manifestation of human imagination operating within real (or, imaginary!) constraints. I have tried to advance the idea that architectural imagination must transcend design and enter the realms of materials science and economics where some of the bigger questions reside."
Lily Jencks, daughter of the late Charles Jencks, reflects on Kundoo's work: "The Charles Jencks Award posits a theory of architecture theory — one that expands the limited deﬁnition of theory as written work, and includes theory as a substantial project outside of architecture; one that provokes, propels and reframes the architectural practice [...] Anupama has reﬁned a strong political and conceptual theory for her practice. This theory is deﬁned by ad-hoc material experimentation and on-site local construction collaboration. Her work points to urgent methodologies for sustainable practices everywhere."
On November 2, Kundoo will conduct a virtual lecture on her experimental and holistic architecture practice. To learn more about the lecture and reserve your spot, click here.
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