The Pritzker Architecture Prize has appointed Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena as chair of the 2021 jury. In its 43rd year, the award is considered the profession’s highest honor.

Aravena, the 2016 Pritzker laureate, is founder and executive director of Santiago-based firm ELEMENTAL, which focuses on social impact projects.

“Historically, architecture has been about creating innovative alternatives and imagining possibilities, but it is also intimately connected with society,” said Aravena in a statement. “As jurors, our task is, first, to be sensitive to those questions society would like the architectural profession to address, and to identify those architects that are trying to use the discipline’s body of knowledge to translate those questions into projects. I am honored to join this group effort aimed to improve the quality of the built environment.”

Aravena joins Barry Bergdoll, Deborah Berke, André Corrêa do Lago, Kazuyo Sejima, Benedetta Tagliabue, Wang Shu, and Justice Stephen Breyer as members of the current jury.

Manuela Lucá-Dazio Photo courtesy Pritzker Architecture Prize

In addition, Manuela Lucá-Dazio, head of the Venice Biennale visual arts and architecture sector, has been tapped as advisor and executive director. Lucá-Dazio will assume her new role in March 2021 when Martha Thorne—the current executive director since 2005—steps down. Thorne will remain a Prize advisor through the 2021 ceremony to oversee the transition, continuing as dean of IE School of Architecture and Design in Spain thereafter.

“It is for me an enormous honor to become the next executive director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, an essential point of reference in the architecture world, and even more at such a key historical moment for the architectural discourse and practice,” said Lucá-Dazio in a statement.

The 2021 Pritzker laureate will be announced in early spring.