This past Thursday, Puerto Rico’s professional college of architects and landscape architects awarded the 2009 medals in architecture. These awards, named after Ricardo Alegría, are given to individuals and/or entities who are not directly related to the discipline of architecture but who have contributed to the field in a way that can be evidenced in a substantial body of work.
Previously, this prestigious recognition had been given four times, and to my knowledge, recipients were given only a certificate. This year I volunteered and gifted the College with a design of commemorative piece to be handed out in the naming ceremony.
The initial challenge was to suggest the quality of the object. Even though the award uses the term “medal“, I inclined for a piece that could be exhibited by the recipient in a more efficient manner, thus the creation of a table-top piece.
Conceptually, the composition represents the larger social context (outer square) inside which architecture unfolds (smaller square). The recipient reaches out from this larger context and crosses the architectural field (diagonally placed piece of glass), leaving his mark (smaller aluminum triangle on the lower right side of the inner square). He or she eventually keeps moving into other aspects. (the extension of the piece of glass beyond the smaller square).
*For those of you with a nerdy inclination towards typography, the initials of the award’s name are abstractly embedded in the design, with a lower case r on the left side of the diagonal piece of glass and an upper case A it’s right side.