Architect Diébedo Francis Kéré was named Prince Claus Laureate for 2017, highlighting the cultural value and importance of beautiful, sustainable and empowering architecture. Kéré received the award for his “design and construction of buildings of great beauty that meet people’s needs; …for honoring people’s pride in their cultural traditions and techniques, …for inventively combining relevant factors from two different knowledge systems to achieve practical solutions of global relevance and creating an exchange of ideas between Africa and Europe; …and for his ethical commitment to creating inspiring architecture that improves living conditions and uplifts communities...” Established in 1996, The Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development perceives “culture as a basic need” and seeks to support the endeavors of individuals and organizations in areas that do not have free access to cultural expression. The annual awards recognize outstanding achievement in these areas with a particular focus on people and groups operating in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. High quality, notable contributions to local and wider cultural contexts and clear social impact play a critical role in the decision making of the committee. Jurors from a variety of cultural disciplines including music, visual art, curation, film, architecture and urban planning narrowed down a list of more than 140 nominees to seven Laureates, including two Principal Laureates.
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