The Vilcek Foundation—the nonprofit created by the scientist Jan Vilcek and his wife, the curator and art historian Marcia Vilcek, with the goal of spotlighting immigrants who have contributed to American culture—has announced the winners of its 2018 Vilcek Prize in the Arts and Humanities, which this year focuses on architecture. (The prize’s recognized field changes yearly.) The foundation awarded the main prize, the Vilcek Prize in Architecture, to the architect and urban researcher Teddy Cruz.
The Guatemalan-born architect, who often uses the conceptual framework of architecture to explore broader social and political issues, will receive a $100,000 cash prize. The architect’s design firm, Studio Teddy Cruz + Fonna Forman, has in recent years created community spaces constructed on the U.S.-Mexico border. The spaces house a range of arts and educational programming and are often run in collaboration with local governments, universities, and nonprofit groups. The firm will be included in the American Pavilion at this summer’s Venice Architecture Biennale.
The Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise were given to a trio of younger immigrant architects—Mona Ghandi, James Leng, and Jing Liu. They will be endowed with a $50,000 cash prize each. “The social, political, and cultural landscape of America has been shaped by generations of immigrant contributions,” Marica Vilcek, the cofounder and vice chairman of the Vilcek Foundation, said in a statement. “With the Vilcek Prizes in Architecture, we are pleased to recognize the many ways in which they have shaped its physical landscape as well.”