arcVision Prize 2015 – The Jury


All the members of the Jury are women, outstanding professionals who have distinguished themselves in architecture and entrepreneurship and more generally, in the promotion of socio-economic sustainable innovation, with a broad background of knowledge and expertise in promoting a new cultural map with which the work of the nominees is ideally consistent.

2_THE JURY Al Maskari

Shaikha Al Maskari

Dr. Shaikha Al Maskari is a powerful and successful businesswoman who uses her influence to champion greater roles for women throughout the Arab countries. Shaikha sits on the boards of several major multi-nationals and non-profit institutions, including Women for Sustainable Growth (W4SG), the Arab International Women’s Forum (AIWF), Abu Dhabi Arts and Music Foundation, and Mosaica schools. In 2003, Shaikha co-founded the Diyarbakir Micro-credit Project (Grameen Bank) in Turkey, which now has 70,000 successful entrepreneurs. She advocates inter-faith, cross-cultural understanding and environmental conservation. In 1993, she founded the United Mercy Foundation (UMF), which sponsors orphans and emergency relief in Africa, Asia and MENA. She was awarded by WWLCA “Women Leadership Achievement Award 2015”; by Arab Woman Awards “2014 Emirates Businesswoman Of The Year”; by Global Thinkers Forum “Excellence In Business”; by Petroleum Institute and Kuwait University for contribution in Offshore Engineering; by Am/Cham Abu Dhabi the “2013 Falcon Award” for promoting UAE-US trade relations; by Am/Cham MENA “2012 Best Woman in the Entrepreneur”; by TWA World of Difference 2012 Award “for outstanding contribution in making all the difference in the world to the economic empowerment of women”. In her professional life, she is Chairperson of Al Maskari Holding (AMH), an umbrella for all family assets and companies, with global operations in oil, gas, renewable energy, mining, health care, facilities management and outsourcing. Shaikha is the Chairperson of Al Maskari Holding, Tricon Group, Johnson Controls and Global Communications, JCGC, Global Communication Recruitment Services, GCRS, and Singapore Expo, SGME.

2_THE JURY Baboun

Vera Baboun

Mrs. Vera Baboun, born in October 6th, 1964, mother of five children and wife of martyr Hanna Ibrahim Baboun (2007), was elected President of the Bethlehem Municipal Council in October 2012, to be the first woman to occupy the post of Mayor of Bethlehem since its inception. She holds a master degree in American Ethnic Literature, and is a candidate for a doctorate degree in the same faculty. Prior to her election, Mayor Baboun worked as a lecturer at Bethlehem University – Department of English Language and Literature for 21 years in addition to lecturing Gender and Development Master Students for 6 years, the Dean of Student Affairs at the university for many years and the General Director for the Greek Catholic School in Beit Sahour. She holds the position of Secretary-General of the Association of the Palestinian Local Authorities APLA, Vice President of Global Coordination of Local Authorities in the Mediterranean CIELM, member of the Joint Council for the Arab-South American Relations and member of the Jury for arcVision Award of Italcementi Group for the third year respectively. She is Chairman of the board of Water Supply and Sewerage Authority WSSA, Chairperson of the Board of the Guidance and Training Center for Child and Family GTC in Bethlehem and Chairperson of the Bethlehem Joint Service Council for Solid Waste Management and recently nominated as member of the Presidential Supreme Committee for the churches affairs in Palestine. Mayor Baboun is an authorized researcher in the network GRACE for gender research for women’s empowerment in the Middle East through the use of information technology, and member of the board of SHASHAT for Women’s Cinema in Palestine. She has submitted several papers on issues of gender equality in a large number of civil and social organizations both local and international among which recently GRACE published a book that enfolds 27 researches for women from Africa and the Middle East, Mayor Baboun is the Palestinian participating with her research titled: “Scheherazades of Today: Young Palestinian women use film, radio and social networking platforms to speak up and change”.

Odile Decq

Odile Decq

Odile Decq set up her own office just after graduating from La Villette in 1978 while studying from Sciences Politiques Paris where she completed a postgraduate diploma in Urban Planning in 1979. International renown came quickly; as early as 1990 she won her first major commission: the Banque Populaire de l’Ouest in Rennes recognized by numerous prizes and publications. By questioning the commission, the use, the matter, the body, the technique and the taste Odile Decq’s architecture offers a paradoxical look, both tender and severe on today’s world. She was awarded with a Golden Lion in Venice in 1996. Since then, Odile Decq has been faithful to her fighting attitude while diversifying and radicalizing her research. She completed the MACRO (Museum for Contemporary Art in Rome) in 2010, the Opera Garnier’s restaurant in Paris in 2011, the FRAC (Museum of Contemporary Art in Rennes) in 2012 and just completed the Pavillon 8, GL Events headquarters in Lyon. But more than the realization of the Studio Odile Decq, more than a style, an attitude or a process of production, Odile Decq’s work is a complete universe, including urban planning, architecture, design products and art. A versatility that is awarded in 2013 with the title of “Designer of the Year Maison&Objet”. Odile Decq was also awarded the Woman in Architecture Prize “Prix Femme Architecte” in 2013.

2_THE JURY farrell

Yvonne Farrell

Yvonne Farrell, together with Shelley McNamara, is a founder of Grafton Architects – their office, which opened in Dublin in 1977. They are Fellows of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland and International Honorary Fellows of the RIBA. They achieved international fame with the design and construction of the spectacular new building for Bocconi University in Milan, completed in 2008. Their practice began with experimenting with a sophisticated take on European modernism moving toward high-profile public buildings (the Solstice Art Center, Navan 2006; the Office of Public Works, Dublin 2008). They have received many awards for their work (Building of the Year 2008, for the new Bocconi University Building), as well as the Leone d’Argento at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2012. Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara are Professors in the Accademia di Architettura in Mendrisio and Adjunct Professors in University College Dublin. They have been Visiting Professors in Yale and the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Current work includes IMT University, Paris/ Saclay; New City Library, Dublin and the recently inaugurated UTEC University Campus in Lima, Peru.


Louisa Hutton

Louisa Hutton – RA, BA (Hons), AA Dipl., RIBA – is an architect, founding partner and director of Sauerbruch Hutton and visiting professor at Harvard Graduate School of Design. Louisa Hutton previously taught at the Architectural Association and is external examiner at various universities in the UK and gives lectures worldwide. She is a member of the Curatorial Board of the Schelling Architecture Foundation, and was a Commissioner at CABE and a member of the first Steering Committee for the Bundesstiftung Baukultur. In 2014 she was elected as a Royal Academician of Arts. In acknowledgement of their built works Louisa Hutton and Matthias Sauerbruch were awarded the Erich Schelling Prize in 1998, the Fritz Schumacher Prize for Architecture in 2003, the International Honour Award for Sustainable Architecture in 2010 and the Gottfried-Semper-Award 2013. Sauerbruch Hutton currently has projects under construction in Germany, France, Italy, Finland and the UK.

2_THE JURY suhasini

Suhasini Mani Ratnam

Suhasini Mani Ratnam, commonly known as Suhasini, is an award winning south Indian actress. Born in Chennai city of Tamil Nadu, Suhasini graduated from the Madras Film Institute, being the first girl ever to do so. A multi-talented person and an all-rounder in the film arena, Suhasini proudly dons the cap of an ace actor, director, cinematographer, TV show hostess, producer as well as writer. This year she has debuted as a classical dancer with her dance drama ANTARAM. “I will be a leader, not in politics but movements that involve society, conservation, women and arts” says the actress, who has been part of the film industry for over 34 years. She made her film debut in 1980 and since then she has won the most important state and national awards as Best Actress. Suhasini Mani Ratnam has been involved in community service for decades: Action Aid, for which she has done a film on the empowerment of women; the Ability Foundation; the Mukti NGO, which distributes artificial limbs and BANYAN that takes care of mentally retarded women. In 2010 together with her husband Mani Ratnam, a best-known Indian film director, screenwriter and producer, Suhasini formed the NAAM Foundation to empower underprivileged SINGLE women in Chennai through mentorship and holistic support. Recently she has been appointed as the HONORARY CONSUL for LUXEMBERG from South India and she has also been proposed to be one of the Board of Directors of NATIONAL FILM DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION of INDIA.


Samia Nkrumah

Samia Nkrumah, President of the Kwame Nkrumah Panafrican Center, is a Ghanaian politician and Chairwoman of the Convention People’s Party, the first female to chair a political party in Ghana. She is the daughter of Ghana’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah, and his Egyptian wife Fathia Rizk. She is one of the founders of Africa Must Unite, which aims to promote Kwame Nkrumah’s vision and political culture. In an article entitled “The new Mandela is a woman”, the prestigious Huffington Post analyzes her impact on Ghanaian and African politics. She is a member of the International Board of the “Women in Diplomacy” Committee, established in May 2013 at the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Chaired by the then Minister Emma Bonino, to further promote the role of women at international level. Samia Nkrumah is married to Michele Melega, an Italian-Danish man. Samia and Michele have a son, Kwame Thomas Melega.

Copia di Benedetta Tagliabue - Photo by Vicens Gimenez 01

Benedetta Tagliabue

Benedetta Tagliabue studied architecture at the Istituto di Architettura di Venezia (IUAV) and currently acts as director of the international architecture firm Miralles Tagliabue EMBT, founded in 1994 in collaboration with Enric Miralles, based in Barcelona and, since 2010, in Shanghai. Among her most notable projects built are the Edinburgh Parliament, Diagonal Mar Park, the Santa Caterina Market in Barcelona, Campus Universitario de Vigo, and the Spanish Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo which was awarded the prestigious RIBA International “Best International Building of 2011” award. Current studio projects include The Business School of Fudan University in Shanghai, office towers in Taiwan and Taichung, public spaces of HafenCity in Hamburg, Germany, and the metro station Clichy-Montfermeil in Paris, France (1st prize in competition). Her studio works in the fields of architecture, design of public spaces, rehabilitation, interior and industrial design. Her poetic architecture, always attentive to its context, has won international awards in the fields of public space and design. In the teaching field, she has been a Visiting Professor at Harvard University, Columbia University and Barcelona ETSAB, lecturing regularly at architecture forums and universities, and is part of jurors around the world, e.g. the Princesa de Asturias awards and recently she joined the jury of the Pritzker Prize. In 2004 she received an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland. She received the 2013 RIBA Jencks Award, which is given annually to an individual or practice that has recently made a major contribution internationally to both the theory and practice of architecture. She is also the director of the Enric Miralles Foundation, whose goal is to promote experimental architecture in the spirit of her late husband and partner Enric Miralles.

Martha Thorne

Martha Thorne

Martha Thorne has been Executive Director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize since 2005. She is also Associate Dean for External Relations at IE School of Architecture and Design in Madrid, Spain. She served as Associate Curator of the Department of Architecture at The Art Institute of Chicago from 1996 to 2005. She is the editor and author of several books, including “The Pritzker Architecture Prize: The First Twenty Years”, and author of numerous articles for architectural journals and encyclopedias. Martha Thorne participates on international juries and from time to time consults on architect selection processes for major commissions, such as the Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, USA. She received a Master of City Planning degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Affairs from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She undertook additional studies at London School of Economics.


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