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Jeanne Gang named among Time magazine’s 100 most influential people

Listed as a “titan” alongside people such as Mark Zuckerberg, Lebron James and Gayle King, Gang is the only architect to make this year’s list.

She follows Elizabeth Diller (2018) and Zaha Hadid (2010) as the only women architects to be listed as individuals.

Actor and playwright Anna Deavre Smith was commissioned to write the entry on Gang.

“Jeanne Gang has the WOW factor [sic],” she writes. “Her stunning Aqua, in Chicago, is the tallest building ever built by a woman. Now she’s building an even taller one.

“Yet, for Jeanne, architecture is not just a wondrous object. It’s a catalyst for change.

“Her Polis Station concept aims to improve the way civilians interact with law enforcement by fusing police stations with civic recreational centres. She recently tested the idea in one of Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods, adding a basketball court to the 10th District police station in North Lawndale. The results were so popular, she’s now expanding the facility.”

Gang founded Studio Gang in 1997. The practice now has offices in Chicago, New York and San Francisco. She was named the Architect of the Year in the Architectural Review’s 2016 Women in Architecture Awards and was also the recipient of the 2017 Louis I. Kahn Memorial Award. She was a speaker at the Australian Institute of Architects’ 2015 National Architecture Conference and is a professor in practice at the Harvard School of Design.

In February 2019 she was appointed to the design competition jury for the controversial Parramatta Powerhouse Museum.

Gang has been outspoken in her support of equality in the architecture industry, and in 2018 announced she had closed the pay gap at her firm.

Much of her work is focused on enhancing relationships between people, communities, and environments.

In a 2016 Ted talk she said, “If we can focus the design mind on creating positive reinforcing relationships in architecture and through architecture I believe we can do much more than create individual buildings. We can reduce the stress and the polarization in our urban habitats. We can create relationships; we can help study this planet we all share.

“See, architects really are relationship builders.”

Time 100 is an annual list of influential people chosen by Time magazine’s editors. It was first published in 1999 and has grown into a highly publicized event. Other architects to be named in the annual list include David Adjaye (2017) and Bjarke Ingels (2016).

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