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Architect Vo Trong Nghia was given the Prince Claus Awards 2016 in Amsterdam on December 15.
The Awards honour outstanding achievements in culture and development, and promote opportunities for cultural expression.
According to the committee, Vo Trong Nghia was awarded for his striking, environmentally-friendly architecture; pioneering a Vietnam-specific ‘green’ programme of common-sense spatial practices that balance culture and nature and are good for life and community; presenting viable, sustainable, built alternatives, demonstrating to residents, officials and developers that such change is possible; raising awareness and influencing public perceptions on the need to improve living conditions for the millions of city dwellers; and promoting architecture as a form of activism for social change and moving it forward to a greener future.
The 40-year-old architect has been working with a team of innovative architects, engineers and craftsmen at Vo Trong Nghia Architects where they are implementing solutions to counteract the neoliberal paradigm turning cities into concrete deserts.
Alongside Vo Trong Nghia, five other artists who have received the awards are: filmmaker and artist Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Thailand, Principal Prince Claus Award), chef and food activist Kamal Mouzawak (Lebanon), interdisciplinary cultural centre PeaceNiche | The Second Floor (T2F) (Pakistan), graphic designer, artist, educator and historian Bahia Shehab (Egypt/Lebanon), and the digital portal La Silla Vacía (Colombia).
Vietnamese artist/curator Tran Luong also received this prestigious award in 2014.