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Libertas, Auxilium, Utilitas

Thinking about the future in the face of great uncertainty, while striving for innovation is no easy task. And combining design creativity with science and technology for the benefit of people, communities, and the environment adds multiple layers of complexity. Making sense out of complexity and making it appear effortless – that’s what designers do. The projects in this collection are, in my opinion, those that proposed a viable alternative to meet a real need, and did this with simplicity, thoroughness, and commitment. Sometimes the need could be understood as extreme, as in the case of those suffering an illness or amputees. Other times, the need is basic and may seem even banal. Finding balance in the identification of the challenge, the approach, and the outcome contributed to the high quality results. What especially impressed me were the variety of approaches, the creative energy, the sensitivity to the challenge at hand, and the knowledge that design could make a positive difference.

Martha Thorne

Martha Thorne

Martha Thorne is dean of IE School of Architecture and Design, one of five schools at an innovative, private university in Madrid and Segovia, Spain. She is also executive director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, a position she has held since 2005. In the academic field, she is committed to education that fosters critical thinking, expands tradition roles and career paths, and connects disciplines in order to enhance understanding of the contexts for architecture and design.

From 1996 to 2005, she worked as a curator at the Department of Architecture at The Art Institute of Chicago. In her curatorial role, she undertook research, exhibition production and collection development. She is the author or co-author of several books and has written numerous articles for specialized journals, newspapers, and encyclopedias. She was a member of the jury for the international prize, ArcVision-Women and Architecture Award and the board of the International Archive of Women in Architecture.

Thorne holds a Master of City Planning 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.

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