The all-female Jury of arcVision Prize 2014 is composed of architects and professionals from different fields, with a broad background of knowledge in promoting a new cultural geography where the innovative work of the designers is expected to converge.
Shaikha Al Maskari is a powerful and successful businesswoman who uses her influence to champion greater roles for women throughout the Arab countries. Shaikha’s sits on the boards of several 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 65,000 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 the 2013 Falcon Award for promoting UAE-US trade relations by AmCham Abu Dhabi, the 2012 Best Woman in the Entrepreneur Sector by AmCham MENA, and the TIWA World of Difference 2012 Award for outstanding contribution in “making all the difference in the world to the economic empowerment of women” by The International Alliance for Women. In her professional life, she is Chairperson of Al Maskari Holding (AMH), the family company with global operation in oil, gas, renewable energy, mining, healthcare and of Johnson Controls and Global Communications (JCGC).
Vera Baboun 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 is Secretary-General of the Association of the Palestinian Local Authorities APLA, Vice President of the CIELM (Global Coordination of Local Authorities in the Mediterranean) and member of the Joint Council for Arab-South American Relations. She holds a master degree in American Ethnic Literature, and is a candidate for a doctorate degree in the same faculty. Mayor Baboun is an authorized researcher in the GRACE network for gender research for women’s empowerment in the Middle East through the use of information technology. She has submitted several papers on issues of gender equality in a large number of civil and social organizations both local and international. Prior to her election, Mayor Baboun worked as a lecturer at Bethlehem University—Department of English Language and Literature, and was Dean of Student Affairs at the university for many years. In addition, she is the Chairperson of the Board of the Guidance and Training Center for Children and Families in Bethlehem. She is also a member of a number of non-profit associations in Palestine.
Odile Decq set up her own office just after graduating from l’Ecole d’Architecture de Paris 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.
Louisa Hutton graduated from Bristol University in 1980 and from the Architectural Association, London, in 1985. She worked for Alison and Peter Smithson (1985-1988) prior to founding LHMS Architects with Matthias Sauerbruch in 1989. Their second office Sauerbruch Hutton Architects was opened in Berlin in 1993. Further to her work as architect she has been lecturing at numerous universities and institutions worldwide, and has acted as External Examiner for various UK universities (1995-2009). Louisa Hutton was a Commissioner for CABE, UK’s Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (2003-2007). Louisa taught at the Architectural Association (1987-1990), she was a Visiting Professor at the University of Virginia and since 2008 is visiting Professor at Harvard Graduate Design School. Since 2008 she is a member of the Curatorial Board of the Schelling Architecture Foundation. Together with Matthias Sauerbruch she has been awarded the Erich Schelling Prize for Architecture in 1998 and the Fritz Schumacher Prize in 2003.
Suhasini Maniratnam 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 allrounder in the film arena, Suhasini proudly dons the cap of an ace actor, director, producer as well as writer. “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 33 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 Health Trust started by Srinidhi Chidambaram; the Ability Foundation; the Mukti NGO, which distributes artificial limbs. In 2010 together with her husband Mani Ratnam, a best-known Indian film director, screenwriter and producer, Suhasini formed the NAAM Foundation to empower single underprivileged women in Chennai through mentorship and holistic support.
Samia Yaba Christina 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. In an article entitled “The new Mandela is a woman”, the prestigious Huffington Post analyzes her impact on Ghanaian and African politics. She is one of the founders of Africa Must Unite, which aims to promote Kwame Nkrumah’s vision and political culture. 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 current 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.
Kazuyo Sejima winner of the Pritzker Prize in 2010 and director of the Venice Architecture Biennale the same year, has achieved global fame in a career that began in the mid-1980s. After working with Toyo Ito (the “master” she named during the Pritzker Prize presentation ceremony), she opened a studio in Tokyo in 1987, working on public buildings with a highly innovative approach that combines traditional modernist materials with sophisticated variations on surfaces (Pachinko Parlor, Ibaraki 1993/96; Choju Police Station, 1994), which brought her to the attention of international critics. In 1995 she joined Ryue Nishizawa to found the studio SANAA, engaging in projects that have since become icons of contemporary architecture, like the New Museum of New York (2007) and the Rolex Learning Center at Lausanne Polytechnic (2010). In 2012 SANAA won the international competition for the New Campus for the Bocconi University in Milan, which will be its first project in Italy .
Benedetta Tagliabue studied architecture at the Istituto di Architettura di Venezia (IUAV) and currently acts as director of the international architecture firm EMBT Miralles Tagliabue, 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 official protection dwellings in Madrid. 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 Príncipe de Asturias awards. In 2004 she received an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland. She recently won 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 has been Executive Director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize since 2005. Currently she is also Associate Dean for External Relations at IE School of Architecture 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. As an independent consultant, Martha Thorne designs and facilitates the architect selection processes for important buildings, 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 degree in Urban Affairs from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She undertook additional studies at the London School of Economics.
Elena Zambon is Chair of Zambon S.p.A., a pharmaceuticals multinational established in Vicenza in 1906, Deputy Chair of ZaCh—Zambon Chemicals, the fine-chemical manufacturer—and a Director of Zambon Company, the industrial holding of the Group; she is also President of the Zoé, Zambon Open Education Foundation. She is Chair of Secofind SIM S.p.A., the Multi Family Office she founded in 2000 to extend to other business families the experience built up since 1994 in family wealth management and in the selection and management of asset managers. She has been a director of Italcementi S.p.A. since 2010 and a director of Fondo Strategico Italiano since August 2011. Previously she was a director of Akros Finanziaria and Salvagnini S.p.A. Since 2007 Elena Zambon has been a member of the General Council of Aspen Italia and in 2013 was appointed to its Executive Committee. She is also President of the AIdAF, the Italian association of family firms.