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The World Around names four winners of inaugural Young Climate Prize

Non-profit The World Around has selected Pamela Elizarrarás Acitores, Foday David Kamara, Namra Khalid and Aziba Ekio as the winners of its Young Climate Prize.

The organisation named the winners in its three categories – voice, designer and visionary – as well as a special jury award. The winners were chosen from a cohort of 25 under 25-year-old finalists who were selected from 100s of entrants from 53 counties.

Each member of the cohort was paired with a mentor, including some of the biggest names in architecture and design such as architect Tatiana Bilbao, critic Alice Rawsthorn and Stella Mutegi of Cave Bureau, to help them develop their project in order to bring it to life and address issues related to climate change.

Children gathered to protest climate change
Four young people were selected for the prize for their work. The photo is from Pamela Elizarrarás Acitores Climate Words project

“We carefully paired each young person with an appropriate industry-leading architecture and design mentor who we felt would accelerate and scale their projects in the most meaningful ways possible,” said The World Around co-founder Beatrice Galilee.

“The three winners and jury prize honoree stood out to the jury for their ability to leave the realms of art and culture and become productive agents of real change in their communities.”

“They are each in their own way revolutionary, groundbreaking, and progressive, addressing profoundly important issues of climate literacy, the waste in the building industry and vulnerable communities.”

Man covered with oil with graphic saying polluter
The winners were paired with professionals in the design field to scale up their projects. The image is from Pamela Elizarrarás Acitores Climate Words project

The winners were chosen by a jury comprised of Serpentine Galleries director Hans Ulrich Obrist, artist Adrián Villar Rojas, editor in chief of Elle Decor Asad Syrkett, architect Kunlé Adeyemi, head of curatorial at the Design Museum Priya Khanchandani, sustainability leader at Meta Marlo Sablante and environmental social scientist Holly Jean Buck.

Mexican documentary photographer Acitores, who was mentored by Portuguese architect Mariana Pestana, was named the winner of voice prize for her Climate Words project – an education initiative that uses a database to collect keywords around climate change to “promote climate literacy”.

She describes the project in a video here.

Man laying plastic bricks in Africa
The winners were recognised in four categories. The image is of Foday David Kamara’s Ecovironment project courtesy of Kamara

The designer award was presented to 22-year-old Kamara from Sierra Leone, who created a method to turn plastic waste into bricks in an effort to reduce the reliance on concrete in the building industry.

Using extrusion technology for the project, called Ecovironment, Kamara worked with New York-based architect Dominic Leong develop the material. Kamara has already converted 460 tonnes of plastics, creating dozens of jobs and even donating the money made from the material to 1,500 schools.

Watch Kamara explain the project here.

Woman in red shirt bent over a drawing table
The winners were selected from a 25-strong shortlist. The photo is of Namra Khalid courtesy of Aqdas Fatima, Karachi Cartography

Urban researcher Khalid was awarded the visionary prize for her project addressing the flooding crisis in Pakistan.

Working with Dutch special envoy for International Water Affairs Henk Ovink, Khalid created a map of Karachi that demonstrates the areas of the city susceptible to climate events.

Watch Khalid explain the project here.

Finally, the jury prize was given for the artistic contributions of Ekio from Nigeria.

Ekio’s project, under the mentorship of South African architect Sumayya Vally, aims to bring light on aspects of the climate crisis through spoken word poetry. Watch Ekio talk through her project in a video here.

Poet reading for climate prize
The winners will present their projects at the Guggenheim in April. The photo is of Aziba Ekio

The four winners will present their work at The World Around Summit, taking place at the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum in New York City on Earth Day – 22 April.

Established in 2020 by Galilee and Diego Marroquin, The World Around presents conferences that aim to showcase architecture’s best ideas. Its 2022 summit was recently broadcast on Dezeen.

The photography is courtesy of The World Around. 

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