Art, Architecture and Innovation

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Ai Wei Wei and Bjarke Ingels win first prize at the Innovator of the Year Awards

Ai Wei Wei and Bjarke Ingels: two names you wouldn’t necessarily expect to see in the same sentence, let alone in connection with the same award. Still, it does make sense in a global, zeitgeist-y kind of way. And it’s a nice surprise as Bjarke constitutes one third of our design partners over at KIBISI.

The dissident, Chinese artist and the high-profile Danish architect are individuals who’ve both brought a large helping of innovation to the table, albeit in markedly different ways. Ai Wei Wei through his remarkable art and brave, tireless battle with the Chinese authorities, and Bjarke Ingels with ‘pragmatic utopianism’, his own words for the architecture, which has seen entities such as the New York high-rise apartment building take on bold new forms.

Chosen by the editors of the Wall Street Journal with additional input from a group of select experts in the respective fields, this inaugural award is an ambitious, new addition to the award circuit with a refreshing multidisciplinary focus. Let’s hope next year’s sophomore effort will be as eclectically motivated as the inaugural event.