Architect Jonathan Kirschenfeld, principal of the eponymous design firm and founder of the Institute for Public Architecture (IPA), is the most recent honoree of the 2017 Curry Stone Design Prize. The Curry Stone Foundation, based in Bend, Oregon, supports the work of designers that are developing “tangible, innovative projects to build healthy communities.” Since 2008, it has funded the work of distinguished names in humanitarian design such as MASS Design Group, Architecture for Humanity, and Elemental, the firm led by 2016 Pritzker Prize laureate Alejandro Aravena.
The Prize has taken on a new valence this year in celebration of its 10th anniversary, expanding its recognition from a handful of socially-engaged designers to a much larger group of 100 in what is being called the “Social Design Circle.” Throughout the year the foundation will announce additional members on the list and feature the honorees and their work on its website. In February alone, the other winners have included:
Kirchenfeld, through his practice and leadership at the IPA (founded in 2009), aims to promote new urban research practices and civic-minded architecture, including environmentally and socially sustainable urban housing, childcare, recreation, and performance facilities. In its citation, the Prize applauds Kirchenfeld’s ability to “[identify] under-utilized portions of civic land which have been passed over for private development, and [bring] world-class design to the city’s neediest residents.”
Additionally, the Curry Stone Foundation is launching a new podcast series called “Social Design Insights” with twelve themes for each month of 2017. The series seeks to provide a forum to “hear from the Social Design Movement’s leading practitioners about their own methods, in their own words.”
Kirchenfeld will participate in two podcasts titled “Is the Right to Housing Real” airing on February 2th and February 9th with co-hosts Eric Cesal and Emiliano Gandolfi. You can find podcasts with all the February honorees here.