The American Academy of Arts and Letters has announced the recipients of the 2021 Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize and four Arts and Letters Awards.
Marina Tabassum, founder and principal of Marina Tabassum Architects (MTA) in Dhaka, Bangladesh was recognized with the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize. After serving as the academic director of Bengal Institute for Architecture, Landscapes, and Settlements and co-founding URBANA (where she worked as a partner for 10 years), Tabassum founded her own firm, MTA, in 2005. Known for her elemental architecture that prioritizes climate, local culture, and historical context, Tabassum–currently a visiting professor at Dhaka’s BRAC University–also received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2016.
Julie Eizenberg & Hank Koning, founding principals at Los Angeles’s Koning Eizenberg Architecture, were honored for their work that characterizes strong personal direction. Eizenberg, a 2020 RECORD Women in Architecture honoree, frequently advises the U.S. Mayors’ Institute on City Design and is a board member of the School of Architecture at Taliesin. Koning has served as a member of the Santa Monica Planning Commission as well as the U.S. Green Building Council.
Dwayne Oyler and Jenny Wu, also lauded for demonstrating strong personal direction, co-founded Los Angeles-based Oyler Wu Collaborative in 2004. The firm—a 2013 RECORD Vanguard winner—has been known for its design, research, and fabrication work including 3D printed spaces.
Justin Garrett Moore, a designer and urbanist, has been highlighted for exploring ideas through any medium. A program officer for Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Humanities in Place Program, Moore is also CEO and director of Urban Patch–a social enterprise based in Rwanda focused on local, sustainable urban development and affordable housing—and has served as the executive director of the Public Design Commission and on the Urban Design Forum. He is a member of NOMA, the BlackSpace collective, and the American Planning Association’s AICP Commission.
Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller, founders of El Paso, Texas–based firm AGENCY, have been selected for ideas exploring architecture through any medium of expression.
Jurors Annabelle Selldorf, Toshiko Mori, Kenneth Frampton, Steven Holl, Thom Mayne, Richard Meier, Robert A. M. Stern, Billie Tsien, and Tod Williams chose the winners from a group of 32 individuals and practices nominated by the Academy’s 300 lifetime members.
In recent weeks, the Academy has also announced its appointment of twenty-nine new and four honorary members. Among those, newly elected individuals in architecture include Marlon Blackwell, James Corner, Kathryn Gustafson, Walter Hood, Meejin Yoon, and Nader Tehrani, who also received last year’s Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize. Balkrishna Doshi was named a foreign honorary member.
A virtual awards ceremony will be held on May 19 at 7 p.m. EDT to celebrate the Academy’s 2020 and 2021 honorees, as well as new members.