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AIA opens up Gold Medal to duos

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The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is changing its eligibility criteria for its prestigious Gold Medal award - a change seen by many as a response to the Scott Brown petition

With the change, the AIA Gold Medal can now be awarded to two people working together as well as to individuals.

A statement from the AIA said: ‘[Our] Board of Directors approved a proposal that the eligibility criteria of the Gold Medal award be revised to include either an individual or two individuals working together, but only if their collaborative efforts over time are recognised as having created a singular body of distinguished architectural work.’

Mickey Jacob, president of the AIA said: ‘This is an idea that has been percolating for several years and we feel that the decision to make this important and historic change better reflects the changing nature of architectural practice that has become increasingly collaborative.’

He added: ‘We took a careful, measured approach to the implications that this decision will have on the award itself and we are confident that this is a positive change for the architecture profession going forward.’

The move is seen by many as a response to the campaign to retrospectively include Denise Scott Brown in the awarding of the 1991 Pritzker Prize, awarded to Robert Venturi.

More than 18,000 people signed the petition, inspired by the AJ’s interview with Scott Brown in April, for the Pritzker to recognise her work with Venturi.

However Peter Palumbo, chair of the 2013 Pritzker jury, declined to re-open the 1991 Pritzker decision, saying the current jury could not ‘re-open, or second guess the work of an earlier jury, and none has ever done so.’

The Pritzker Prize also changed its criteria so that it can be awarded to collaborators as well as individuals.

The change in criteria for the AIA Gold Medal will take place from 1 January 2014.

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