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Thomas Heatherwick receives 2020 Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT
United States Architecture News - Oct 31, 2019 - 13:10 10678 views
MIT's Eugene McDermott Award, established in 1974 by the Council for the Arts at MIT, recognizes innovative talents and offers the recipient a $100,000 prize and a campus residency. The award reflects MIT’s commitment to risk-taking, problem solving and to the idea of connecting creative minds across disciplines.
One of the most generous arts honors in the US, the award is given to an artist working in any field or cross-disciplinary activity and is considered an investment in the recipient’s future creative work, rather than a prize for a particular project or lifetime of achievement.
Thomas Heatherwick, founder and design director of Heatherwick Studio, designed The Vessel on New York’s Hudson Yards, which was one the most speculative projects of the designer. The Zeitz MOCAA, the transformation of a disused grain silo into a new museum for contemporary art in South Africa, is among the most updated projects of Heatherwick.
Vessel from High-Line. Image © Michael Moran
Heatherwick recently spoke to World Architecture Community in an exclusive interview, and he said "we are trying solve the problem by “inventing”. "Our passion is about solving problems."
"We try to use the place as an excuse to develop something particular to there," Heatherwick emphasized.
Within the scope of the award, Thomas Heatherwick will be giving a keynote lecture at MIT Huntington Hall on Saturday, April 25, 2020. The lecture is free and open to the public but registration is required and will be available soon.
The Award also offers a campus residency, which includes a celebratory event at which the Award is presented, a public presentation of the artist’s work and significant interactions with students, faculty and staff.
Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town, South Africa. Image © Iwan Baan
"The goal of the residency is to provide the recipient unparalleled access to the creative energy and cutting-edge research found in the MIT community and to have the recipient connect with departments, laboratories and research centers throughout the Institute in ways that will be mutually enlightening," stated MIT.
Award nominees are identified by an Advisory Committee, which is composed of international leaders in arts and culture. An Award Committee, chosen by the Council for the Arts at MIT and comprised of arts leaders at MIT, then selects the recipient.
Past recipients of the award includes David Adjaye, Santiago Calatrava, Olafur Eliasson, Diller + Scofidio.
Top image: Thomas Heatherwick, founder of Heatherwick Studio. Image © Elena Heatherwick
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