Environmentalist and basketball prodigy wins American Institute of Architects’ gold medal

Edward Mazria has been awarded the 2021 Gold Medal by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for his work on refashioning architecture to meet the challenge of climate change.

The AIA commented: "As one of the world’s foremost experts on the built environment’s role in both causing and curing climate change, Mazria addresses the global threat as a design problem.

"Facing countless challenges, his leadership has helped to position architects as a critical resource in creating a healthy, just and carbon-positive future."

Mazria, who was born in 1940 in New York, was selected in the 11th round of the 1962 National Basketball Association draft for the New York Knicks but decided instead to serve in the Peace Corps in Peru.

He taught at the University of Oregon, where he also studied solar energy research, and wrote The Passive Solar Energy Book in 1979, which has sold a million copies and been translated into five languages. He went on to found the AIA’s Committee on the Environment in the 1990s.

More recently, he presented his work at the UNs’ 21st Conference in 2016, where the Paris Agreement was adopted, and founded Achitecture 2030, an NGO dedicated to tackling climate change. He was also the host of the AIA+2030 professional education series.

Image: Edward Mazria (Architecture 2030)

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