The Harvard Graduate School of Design has named Erik L’Heureux as the winner of the 2015 Wheelwright Prize. L’Heureux is an American architect and current professor at the National University of Singapore; he also heads up his own firm called Pencil Office. Along with the prestigious accolade comes a $100,000 traveling fellowship for L’Heureux to study new approaches to contemporary design for two years.
L’Heureux’s proposal, Hot and Wet: The Equatorial City and the Architectures of Atmosphere, asked how architecture can help Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Pondicherry, Lagos, and São Paulo mediate the impacts of climate change while simultaneously responding to urbanization. L’Heureux presented his proposal in mid-April at the GSD alongside other finalists Malkit Shoshan from Amsterdam and Quynh Vantu from London.
“We commend L’Heureux, Shoshan, and Vantu, who are each working impressively to broaden the definition and possibilities of architectural practice,” said K. Michael Hays, Eliot Noyes Professor of Architectural Theory and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Harvard GSD. “L’Heureux is an example of an architect with a strong practice who has developed a serious intellectual project that relates organically to his own work. His proposal is not just about technology and efficiency, but deals with the politicization of ecologies and economies in a complicated region and architecture’s complicity in difficult global issues.”