ARCHITECT's Miabelle Salzano reports that the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced that Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena will receive the 2018 Charles Jencks Award. Established in 2003, the award recognizes an individual or practice that has made recent contributions to the theory and practice of architecture.

“Alejandro Aravena combines a shrewd social commitment with compelling formal expression," said David Gloster, director of education at RIBA in a press release. "He has recalibrated building typologies across the architectural landscape. This versatility is not glib, and never at the expense of an architecture which demonstrates elegance and social purpose, qualities rarely combined in a single individual.”

Aravena advocates for a “participatory design” process, which takes the present and future concerns of the public and the local governments into account when developing a project, he explained in his TED Talk. “It is mainly trying to identify, with precision, ‘what is the right question?’ There’s nothing worse than answering, well, the wrong question,” he said in the 2014 presentation.

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