Thomas J. Pritzker has announced that the Pritzker Architecture Prize has added two deserving jurors to their esteemed panel, stating: “We are delighted to welcome to the jury two individuals of great insight – Kristin Feireiss and Ratan N. Tata. [...] From different countries and backgrounds, they share a commitment to the art of architecture and its social responsibility. Each will be a tremendous asset to the Pritzker Architecture Prize.”
Kristin Feireiss of Berlin, Germany, is an architecture curator, writer, and editor. She studied art history and philosophy at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt. In 1980, she founded (with Helga Retzer, † 1984) the independent forum for architecture Aedes in Berlin. Since 1994 she has led this international platform in partnership with Hans-Jürgen Commerell. Feireiss’s work deepens understanding of international architecture and urban development including the cultural, social and economic factors involved. As director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAi) from 1996 to 2001, she brought greater attention to the transformative processes affecting cities and has carried out groundbreaking research in this area. Feireiss was commissioner of the Dutch Pavilion at the Architecture Biennale in Venice in 1996 and 2000; and a 2012 member of the International Jury for the Architecture Biennale in Venice. In 2013 she was named a Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion. Since 2007 she has served in the European Cultural Parliament.
Feireiss has edited numerous monographs and thematic volumes on international architecture and urban context. Her recent books include Architecture in Times of Need, which highlights innovative, sustainable, affordable housing to redevelop New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward, after Hurricane Katrina. Feireiss also co-edited two volumes of Architecture of Change: Sustainability and Humanity in the Built Environment. These books feature outstanding sustainable architecture and social initiatives and underscore how architects must address issues of sustainability and social justice in public buildings, housing and city planning.
Feireiss said, “It has always been my conviction, that the perception of architecture needs to be continuously anchored in a broader sense as an essential part of our cultural, social and societal life. The architectural profession carries so many different layers of knowledge, experience and responsibility in reacting to the needs and challenges of a continuously changing world. As such, it is very exciting for me as a jury member of this distinguished prize to contribute to honoring outstanding architecture personalities who combine aesthetic values, societal benefits, integrated urban design and the power of vision in their built oeuvre.”
Ratan N. Tata of Mumbai, India, is the Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata Group. He was Chairman from 1991 until his retirement in 2012. He was responsible for transforming Tata Sons into a group strategy think-tank, and a promoter of new ventures in high technology businesses. Tata serves on the board of directors of Alcoa and on the international advisory boards of Mitsubishi Corporation, JPMorgan Chase, Rolls-Royce, Temasek Holdings, and the Monetary Authority of Singapore. He serves on the board of trustees of the University of Southern California and Cornell University. Tata received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell in 1962. He completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 1975. Tata is the Chairman of two of the largest philanthropic trusts in India and has received numerous international honors for his philanthropy. Through Tata Group’s Education and Development Trust, he established a $25 million endowment at Cornell to provide financial aid to undergraduates from India, with preference given to students in the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, among others.
Ratan Tata said, “I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Pritzker Prize jury as we search for excellence in a wide and diverse range of architectural projects – in particular, in architecture that enhances the quality of life.”
Feireiss and Tata join six other members of the jury: Lord Peter Palumbo (Chair), Alejandro Aravena, Stephen Breyer, Yung Ho Chang, Glenn Murcutt, and Juhani Pallasmaa. Martha Thorne is Executive Director.
Biographies courtesy of Pritzker.