Jennifer Siegal, founder of Los Angeles-based Office of Mobile Design (OMD), has been announced as the winner of the fourth arcVision Prize – Women and Architecture, an international award to women’s architecture organized by Italcementi. Siegal was unanimously chosen by the jury for being “a fearless pioneer in the research and development of prefabricated construction systems, at low prices for disadvantaged users and areas, who has been able to invent and build practical solutions and a new language for mobile and low-cost housing."
"Innovation and unconventional thinking are both hardwired into my DNA. This shows in my body of work and research that questions everything, particularly the static, heavy, inflexible architecture that we somehow still expect in a world that is anything but," said Siegal in a press release.
"In 1998 I named my firm Office of Mobile Design, a nod to my obsession with the transitory. The firm focuses on portable, demountable, and relocatable structures, from homes to schools to stores. It also explores prefabrication, taking advantage of industrial processes to create a more efficient and nimble architecture," Siegal added.
"Wheels are an important part of OMD’s design approach, examining ways that any city environment can be made more usable and more dynamic if it can be hitched-up, towed, pulled, or driven from place to place. For me, mobility is not about erasing everything that exists, but adding to the infrastructure in a more environmentally sound way — a more intelligent way of inhabiting the landscape — resting lightly on the ground."
Siegal was selected by an esteemed jury that included Shaikha Al Maskari (member of the board of the Arab International Women’s Forum-AIWF), Vera Baboun (Mayor of Bethlehem), Odile Decq (owner of the Odile Decq architecture firm), Yvonne Farrell (co-founder of Grafton Architects), Daniela Hamaui (journalist), Louisa Hutton (co-founder of the Sauerbruch Hutton architectural practice), Suhasini Mani Ratnam(an Indian actress, producer and writer), Samia Nkrumah (President of the Kwame Nkrumah Pan-African Center), Benedetta Tagliabue (owner of the Miralles Tagliabue EMBT architectural firm), Martha Thorne (Director of the Pritzker Prize).