Shelia Kennedy has been awarded the 2014 Berkeley-Rupp Prize, a $100,000 prize presented biannually to a “distinguished practitioner or academic who has made a significant contribution to promoting the advancement of women in the field of architecture, and whose work emphasizes a commitment to sustainability and the community.” Kennedy is a principal of Boston’s KVA Matx and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s first-ever female Professor of the Practice of Architecture who is internationally renowned for her explorations of material innovation in the fields of architecture and urbanism.
“Design leadership that integrates systems, inspires collaboration, and honors culture is essential if we are to craft a sustainable future. Sheila’s creative work in inventing new links between urbanized and natural ecologies, and changing the ways in which we think about material culture and manufacturing in a society that is increasingly local and global, is the embodiment of what we strive to cultivate with this prize,” stated Allison G. Williams, Design Director for AECOM’s Western Region.
In January 2015, Kennedy will begin a semester-long residence at UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design (CED) where she will give a public lecture on soft infrastructure and host an open studio exhibition of her work-in-progress. As part of her research, Kennedy will work with NGOs and UC Berkeley students to explore using soft materials - such as paper, wood and bio-plastic - as new types of urban infrastructure.
More information on Kennedy’s explorations, lecture and exhibition can be found here.