The Curry Stone Design Prize recognizes exceptional designers based on individual merit and the potential to bring their ideas to fruition. The prize focuses on emerging design ideas that contribute to the vitality of the world community. These designs may improve the human spirit, increase awareness of the environment, or respond to an area of need, whether to provide shelter and clean water or address climate change and humanitarian crises.
Shawn Frayne, 27, inventor of the Windbelt, the world’s first non-turbine wind-powered generator. The technology, which is light enough to hold in your hand, has enormous potential to help people in poor communities power lamps, run small vaccine refrigerators and charge cell phones for pennies a day. Frayne was inspired to create the Windbelt after a visit to a village in Haiti where residents rely on costly kerosene and diesel for lack of an electrical grid.
Wes Janz, 55, architect and associate professor of architecture at Ball State University in Indiana and author of the forthcoming book, “One Small Project.” Janz’s practice focuses on “leftover places” – the world’s slums and settlements where people build shelters from scavenged materials – as sites of innovation and inspiration for architects committed to using their craft for social good. In collaboration with his students and local communities, Janz has constructed shelters and pavilions in Argentina, Sri Lanka and elsewhere from found materials such as mud and rubble from demolished buildings.
Lexington, KY, August 26, 2008—An architectural firm that builds homes from sandbags in the shantytowns of Cape Town, South Africa, the young inventor of the world’s first non-turbine wind-powered generator, and an Indiana-based university professor who builds shelters using scavenged materials are among the five finalists for the inaugural Curry Stone Design Prize. The winner will be announced Sept. 25, 2008 at the IdeaFestival in Louisville, KY.
The Curry Stone Design Prize, administered by the University of Kentucky College of Design, is awarded every year to breakthrough design solutions with the power and potential to improve our lives and the world we live in. Jurors for this year’s prize are journalist John Hockenberry, internationally acclaimed architect David Adjaye, designer Renny Ramakers; prize founder Clifford Curry; and Michael Speaks, international design scholar and dean of University of Kentucky’s College of Design.
“The prize finalists selected this year personify the spirit of ingenuity and resourcefulness that designers can bring to solving the world’s most formidable challenges,” said David Mohney, Prize Secretary and Curry Stone Chair in Design at the University of Kentucky. The prize winner receives an award of $100,000; up to four finalists receive $10,000 each. Finalists are selected from a pool of nominees submitted by leaders from the architecture and design communities.
The prize finalists, who will be officially unveiled on Sept. 13, 2008 at the 11th International Venice Architecture Biennale are:
Shawn Frayne, 27, inventor of the Windbelt
Wes Janz, 55, architect
MMA Architects, whose principals, Luyanda Mpahlwa, 49, and Mphethi Morojele 45, are reshaping South Africa’s post-apartheid architectural landscape
Marjetica Potrč, 55, artist and architect
Antonio Scarponi, 34, architect