3 October, 2022, Copenhagen.

From October 2022, Martha Thorne has been entrusted with setting up an OBEL AWARD teaching fellowships programme and advising the foundation in the development of new initiatives related to architectural education and the future of the built environment.

“Martha will bring valuable experience and a unique skillset to our organisation. She will be key in the Henrik F. Obel Foundation’s mission of sharing knowledge and ideas within the world of architecture. We are delighted that Martha is joining as senior advisor,” says Christen Obel, chairman (and nephew to the founder) of the organisation.

The OBEL AWARD generously recognizes impactful contributions (…) that inspire us to improve our cities and the environments we inhabit.

The incorporation of Thorne – an influential voice in the field of architecture and academia – reinforces the Henrik F. Obel Foundation’s commitment to helping new generations achieve architectural excellence and a global perspective by facilitating knowledge-sharing and the exchange of ideas. With this new role, Thorne will continue her love for education and the built environment.

“I am thrilled to be able to collaborate, as senior advisor, with the charitable foundation of the OBEL AWARD on its new initiatives, especially in the field of education. I believe that our built environment is key in transforming societies, especially during the challenging times we are facing. The OBEL AWARD generously recognizes impactful contributions in the field – concepts, projects, and initiatives – that can be shared and adapted and that inspire us to improve our cities and the environments we inhabit,” explains Martha Thorne.

For the past twelve years, Martha Thorne served as Dean of IE School of Architecture & Design, part of the innovative IE University in Madrid/Segovia, Spain. ​She will continue her affiliation with the IE School of Architecture and Design as Distinguished Professor. From 2005 to 2021, she served as Executive Director of the Pritzker Prize. Her main interests center on two broad themes: the contemporary city and how architecture, design, and urbanism can contribute to sustainability and resilience; and how architecture and design education can evolve in both content and pedagogy to be more relevant for today’s challenges.

About the Henrik Frode Obel Foundation and the OBEL AWARD

The OBEL AWARD is presented annually by the Henrik Frode Obel Foundation, based in Copenhagen, Denmark, from a bequest by late businessman Henrik Frode Obel (1942-2014).

The OBEL AWARD is an international prize for architecture that honours recent and outstanding architectural contributions to human development all over the world. The OBEL AWARD offers an incentive to architects and other professionals to consider their obligations towards the common good. The award also aims to increase awareness of the transformative ability and social value of architecture.

Besides presenting the annual OBEL AWARD, the foundation also supports exhibitions, events, publications, travel stipends, and study exchanges, all in order to stimulate debate about the role of architecture and to promote the circulation of new ideas across disciplines and continents.

The OBEL AWARD winner 2022 will be announced this week on 6 October 2022.