'Enhancing the user experience'

14 Dec 2011

Respected architect and WAN juror Michael Graves named 2012 Driehaus Prize laureate

Renowned architect and designer Michael Graves is to become the tenth recipient of the Richard H. Driehaus Prize at the University of Notre Dame. Instigated in 2003, the award is presented annually to an individual whose contribution to traditional, classical, and sustainable architecture and urbanism is considered to be greatly significant to the design industry.

Michael Graves - who acted as a remote judge on the inaugural WAN AWARDS Colour panel last month - has devoted his life to architecture which ‘enhances the user experience’, believing that ‘the beauty and quality of ordinary objects…have the power to affect the soul’. Graves is not only known for his major architectural works but for extending his design experience to the finer details, such as lighting, fixtures, and furniture.

In 1964 the Driehaus Prize laureate founded his own firm, Michael Graves & Associates (MGA), a prosperous practice which continues to produce high quality schemes to this day. Recent accolades include Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore and the Louwman Museum in the Netherlands. WAN’s US Correspondent, Sharon McHugh visited an exhibition of Graves’ treasured paintings in June 2011 - read the full review here.

On 24th March 2012 Graves will be presented with $200,000 and a bronze miniature of the Choregic Monument of Lysikrates at a Chicago ceremony to mark his acceptance of the Driehaus Prize. Speaking on the decision, Michael Lykoudis, Driehaus Prize Jury Chair said: “Michael Graves has enhanced not just the architecture profession with his talent and scholarship, but everyday life itself through his inspiring attention to beautiful and accessible design. The quality and scope of his work have enhanced how people work, live, and interact in public and private realms, making a profound impact on American life.”

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