The Cosanti Foundation has awarded Diébédo Francis Kéré with their inaugural Cosanti Medal. The Arizona-based nonprofit, which since its founding in 1965 has sought to "influence the way the built environment is created with little negative effect to the surrounding natural environment," launched the prize in order to honor those who make communities more resilient, equitable, and sustainably integrated with the natural world.
Kéré was chosen by a jury composed of Kai-Uwe Bergmann, Susannah C. Drake, Chris Cornelius, Yasaman Esmaili, Youngsoo Kim, Greg Kight, and jury chair Liz Martin-Malikian. "The social and environmental crisis we are experiencing needs tangible actions to reverse the trend," stated Cosanti Board Chair Matteo Di Michele as Cosanti announced the award.
The recognition forms part of Cosanti's efforts to "inspire a reimagined urbanism that builds resilient and equitable communities" that are sustainably integrated with the natural world. "Our vision is a world of equitable communities that improve earth/life balance and do better with less," the foundation says. "Through ongoing experimentation with and application of the principles of arcology (a combination of the words architecture and ecology), we seek to demonstrate a kind of construction and community that offers an alternative to sprawl development and a solution to modern social and environmental crises."
The accolade is one of several awarded to Kéré in recent months. Last month, Yale Architecture named a new scholarship in the architect’s honor, while the Rhode Island School of Design awarded Kéré with an honorary degree. Last year, meanwhile, Kéré was awarded the 2022 Pritzker Prize, widely regarded as the industry’s highest honor.
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