Rural Urban Framework (RUF) has been named winner of the 2015 Curry Stone Design Prize at the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial. Addressing China's unprecedented rural-to-urban migration, RUF has (so far) helped 18 depopulating villages throughout the country prepare for their inevitable transformation by building schools, community centers, hospitals, houses and infrastructure in a collaborative process that empowers locals.
“The work of RUF is addressing one of the most urgent current geopolitical issues, how to deal with the imbalances created by large mass migrations,” said Emiliano Gandolfi, the Prize Director. “Their work is exemplifying how architecture should establish a dialogue with the community and the environment in order to built structures that respond to their changing needs.”
The research and design collaborative, whose Angdong Hospital Project was nominated as a finalist in ArchDaily's 2015 Building of the Year awards, was founded in 2006 by University of Hong Kong professors Joshua Bolchover and John Lin - both natives of rural Chinese villages. The founders, and their four in-house designers, see China as "an ideal laboratory" to explore the future of architecture.
“In China and the world, we live in an urban age, but we believe its future course is intertwined with the fate of the rural,” says RUF.
The Curry Stone Design Prize is "one of the most recognized social impact design awards celebrating socially engaged practitioners and the influence and reach of design as a force for improving lives and strengthening communities." Its goal is to "inspire the next generation of designers to harness their ingenuity and craft for social good by sharing and supporting the impactful work of leading social impact practitioners."