Lomas de Vista Hermosa ~ Mexico
Oscar Hagerman (b. 1936, Coruña, Lomas de Vista Hermosa, Mexico) Oscar Hagerman is an outstanding architect and designer whose innovative approach combines traditional aesthetics with contemporary technology in an effective interconnection between culture and development. When one of his designs based on indigenous artefacts proved highly popular and was reproduced in poor rural villages, Hagerman recognised the potential for empowering people through adaptations of local cultural knowledge. Working closely with indigenous communities, he uses his technical expertise to create designs that meet their needs and incorporate their values. These collaborative projects include housing, schools, community centres, an eco-tourism hotel, the Intercultural University of the Indigenous Ayuuk People, clinics, an orphanage, furniture and objects for the tourist market. Through this co-operative process, traditional concepts are transformed into practical, contemporary beauty. A paper entitled ‘Design in the Service of Mankind’ (1979), a forthcoming book on ‘Design and Architecture in Communities of Extreme Poverty’, and exhibitions and seminars spread his ideas. Hagerman has also designed numerous urban buildings and is Professor of Architecture and Design at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. This award honours Oscar Hagerman for his outstanding designs, for his engaged approach to architecture and design for indigenous communities, and for bridging the gap between sophisticated design and people’s needs.