Taubman Alumnus Wes Janz a Finalist for the Curry Stone Design Prize

Wez Janz, a ’95 alumnus of Taubman College, is a finalist of the Curry Stone Design Prize from the University of Kentucky College of Design. Wes received his Ph.D. in Architecture from the University of Michigan and is now associate professor of architecture at Ball State University.

The Curry Stone Design Prize, founded by visionary architect Clifford Curry and his wife, H. Delight Stone, was created on the belief that designers can be an instrumental force for improving peoples’ lives and the state of the world. The goal of the prize is to “make the talents of leading designers available to broader segments of society and to inspire the next generation of designers to harness their ingenuity and craft for the social good.”

Wes Janz is author of the forthcoming book One Small Project, which was inspired by Wes’s past and current work on the living conditions in the working class neighborhoods of Bangkok, Buenos Aires, Chicago, Colombo, Delhi, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Los Angeles, Mumbai, New Orleans, St. Petersburg, and Singapore. His 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, Wes has constructed shelters and pavilions in Argentina, Sri Lanka, and elsewhere from found materials such as mud and rubble from demolished buildings.

Nominees for the Curry Stone Design Prize are selected by an anonymous, rotating group of leaders representing broad fields of contemporary design and key individuals from other disciplines with global vision. The finalists will be presented at the 11th International Venice Architecture Biennale in Venice, Italy, during the week of September 11-14, 2008. The winner of the Curry Stone Design Prize will be announced on September 25, 2008 at the IdeaFestival in Louisville, Kentucky.

Curry Stone Design Prize

Kentucky’s Lexington Herald-Leader‘s announcement