Yung Ho Chang, head of MIT's Department of Architecture, will receive an Academy Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters at its annual award and induction ceremony in May. The award, which includes an honorarium of $7,500, is given to an American architect whose work is characterized by strong personal direction. Other winners for 2006 are Marwan Al-Sayed and Jeanne Gang.
An exhibit of the winners' work will be on view May 18 through June 4 at the Academy's galleries in New York City at Audubon Terrace, 155th Street and Broadway.
Chang completed his master's degree in architecture at the University of California at Berkeley in 1984. In 1993 he returned to China, where he was born, and started the country's first private architectural firm, Atelier FCJZ, now considered one of China's hottest design firms. He has received many awards, including the 2000 UNESCO Prize for the Promotion of the Arts. In 1999 he founded the Graduate Center of Architecture at Peking University, and in 2002 and 2003 he held the Kenzo Tange Chair at Harvard's Graduate School of Design. He has been head of MIT's Department of Architecture since 2005.
The American Academy of Arts and Letters was founded in 1898 to "foster, assist, and sustain an interest in literature, music and the fine arts." Each year, the Academy honors more than 50 artists, architects, writers and composers (who are not members) with cash awards. The amounts of these prizes range from $5,000 to $75,000.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 10, 2006 (download PDF).