Architect Teddy Cruz Wins $100,000 Vilcek Prize

Teddy Cruz Teddy Cruz. Photo: The Aspen Institute Central Europe.

The Vilcek Foundation announced today the winners of its 2018 prizes in the arts and humanities. Focusing on the field of architecture, this year’s $100,000 award went to Teddy Cruz, a professor at the University of California, San Diego, and the director of design at Estudio Teddy Cruz + Fonna Forman.

“The social, political, and cultural landscape of America has been shaped by generations of immigrant contributions,” Marica Vilcek, cofounder and vice chairman of the Vilcek Foundation, said. “With the Vilcek Prizes in Architecture, we are pleased to recognize the many ways in which they have shaped its physical landscape as well—through bold, original designs, and through research that challenges the status quo, both in the building arts and in society.”

Born in Guatemala, Cruz immigrated to California when he was twenty years old. The architect recalls being struck by both the similarities and the differences between the cities of San Diego and Tijuana, sparking his interest in using the tools and framework of architecture and urban planning to redefine the concepts of borders, citizenship, and community. Among his most recent projects completed with his partner Fonna Forman, are community spaces that host a variety of arts and educational programming on both sides of the US-Mexico border.

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