Jury Statement Award 2012, John Thackara
Before their arrival in Istanbul, the nine members of the international jury reviewed more than 100 pages of written material, plus video footage and other documentation, that had been prepared by each of the five design teams in advance. Then, during a five hour formal session in Istanbul, the jury spent 20 minutes face-to-face with each of the five shortlisted design teams; it reviewed the criteria it would use to evaluate each entry; and jury members then visited the five exhibition zones to explore printed and filmed and written information more deeply.
The jury was delighted by the freshness of approach, combined with a deep investigation of its context, shown by all of the projects. They noted especially:
Superpool’s highly original online loyalty platform, called Park, which harnesses the power of social networks to increase the use of shared transport, reduce the presence of parked private cars, and thereby free up space on Istanbul’s back streets for shared social and cultural activities;
the social as well as technical innovation involved in the Shareway project, for the Boshwash region of the USA, by the design team of Höweler + Yoon Architecture;
the remarkable design tools and catalogues, with the family name of Being Nicely Messy, created by the Mumbai-based collective CRIT. For CRIT, mobility in the abstract is neither a positive nor negative value; what matters is a city's capacity to foster valuable connections and transactions among diverse populations. In that spirit, their project sets out to help different stakeholders in the city explore near-future development options collaboratively - rather than, as now, as non-communicating adversaries;
the radical concept of “cloud logistics” and buried transport infrastructure proposed by the design firm Node. Node’s proposal reasserts cure presence and sociality of people on the truck and pollution-damaged streets of the ‘World Factory’ that has grown to occupy the Pearl River Delta in China;
the socially inclusive and joyful celebration of movement for its own sake – in both physical and social ways - in the multi-dimensional, multi-velocity Parangole concept developed by Urban Think Tank for Sao Paulo in Brazil;
In the event, the jury selected the Shareway project as its overall winner on the basis that it was the most thoroughly resolved response to the competition brief. They concluded that it has the potential to be realized, at least in part, within the 2030 timeframe prescribed by the competition. The jury also appreciated Höweler + Yoon Architecture’s thorough research into its social and economic context, and the fact that it involves both social as well as technical innovation at a system-wide level - especially its core concept of “opportunity without ownership”. It was important, too, that real architectural quality is evident in the execution of the winning project.