Design Innovation Architects
The 21st century has seen countless amazing architecture projects, but which are the best of the best, who are the 50 best designers under 50 behind those incredible feats? For the new book Fifty Under Fifty: Innovators of the 21st Century (Images Publishing, $60), five industry leaders gathered into one room to decide just that. After months of research, Jeanne Gang, founder of Chicago- and New York-based Studio Gang Architects; Ralph Johnson, the national design director at Perkins+Will; Qingyun Ma, founder of MADA s.p.a.m.; Stanley Tigerman, founder of Tigerman McCurry Architects in Chicago; and Marion Weiss, co-founder of New York–based Weiss/Manfredi combed through the work of the most talented men and women around the world to make their final picks.
Does the design have purpose? Did this innovator go where no one has gone before, ignoring boundaries, in his or her efforts to change the world? Did the firm work with new building materials and technology? Did the resulting creation inspire further breakthroughs? These were just some of the tough questions the jury kept in mind, and it ended up with a truly impressive group that represents five continents and 19 countries.
“The firms featured here exhibit passion for the planet, concern for the future, and joyful satisfaction in creating spaces that respond to humanistic realities: schools, medical clinics, integrated agriculture opportunities, sustainable low-cost housing, affordable effective transportation, ” writes British-American writer Beverly Russell, who co-authored the book with Eva L. Maddox, the design principal of the Chicago firm Perkins+Will, and Farooq Ameen, the founding principal at City Design Studio in Los Angeles.
Click through to see seven of our favorite projects from the book.
1 / 7This city-scale urban development, an ongoing project for the Chinese firm, will have a central valley, a lake, an elevated plaza, and other features that connect with residents’ spirituality and emotions. All in all, it will span 6.5 million square feet.