Vincitori Young Climate Prize 2023
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Young Climate Prize 2023: architecture against climate change

The three winners announced of the first edition of this contest that asks young designers and architects to find innovative, sustainable solutions for the future of cities

Vincitori Young Climate Prize 2023
By Editorial Staff -

For some time, cities and towns have been coming up with schemes to limit the negative impacts of climate change, an issue in which architecture and design occupy the frontline because of their scope of action and application. To empower the emerging voices of young designers working for the cause, non-profit architecture forum The World Around has launched the Young Climate Prize, which recognizes the most innovative and sustainable projects selected from 25 finalists aged between 13 and 25. Sponsored by Meta Open Arts, the contest is intended to help young creatives develop their ideas through a program of tutoring, one-on-one lessons, and workshops with a respected mentor from the design world.

There are three winners of the competition in the categories Young Climate Voice, Designer, and Visionary Awards, and an honorable mention awarded by the jury, the Special Jury Prize. The awards ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, April 22, to coincide with the 53rd World Earth Day, at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, to be held as part of the 2023 The World Around Summit.

Competition entrants were given a choice of five macro-themes for their projects: Words Matter, Creating Connections, Innovators & Inventors, All about Water, and Radical Reuse. The winners were selected by an international jury comprising curator and critic Hans Ulrich Obrist, artist Adrián Villar Rojas, publisher Asad Syrkett, architect Kunlé Adeyemi, curator and writer Priya Khanchandani, sustainability leader Marlo Sablante, and socio-environmental scientist Holly Jean Buck.


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Young Climate Voice 2023, Pamela Elizarrarás Acitores

Pamela Elizarrarás Acitores, Climate Words - Young Climate Voice Courtesy of The World Around

The winner of the Young Climate Voice award is 25-year-old Pamela Elizarrarás Acitores from Mexico. Under the guidance of Portuguese architect and independent curator Mariana Pestana, the artist created Climate Words, an online database that promotes climate literacy by compiling a large lexicon of keywords submitted by expert climate activists.

The jury described the project as: “Super compelling, interesting, dynamic, and powerful. Finding the right words and common definitions for talking about climate change, and, importantly, educating around these terms, is an invaluable tool, since creating accessible language can and will lead to definitive action. Pamela’s project has the potential to achieve great things beyond the world of art, and to become highly impactful in reality”. 


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Young Climate Designer 2023, Foday David Kamara

David Foday Kamara, Ecovironment - Young Climate Designer Courtesy of The World Around

The winner of the Young Climate Designer award is Foday David Kamara, a 22-year-old from Sierra Leone who cofounded Ecovironment. Kamara’s idea was to use plastic extrusion technology to transform waste into floor tiles, thereby reducing dependence on imported raw materials. His tutor was Max Fraser, a design expert whose contributions have appeared in books and journals, and who participates in exhibitions and other events in the sector.

The jury said: “This project stands out not only for the idea of recycling plastic waste in a realistic and scalable way, but also for the emphasis on systems, training, and education, and the plan to embed these broader ideas into local communities. The project can also be applied to other countries and has the potential for truly global impact”.


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Young Climate Visionary 2023, Namra Khalid

Namra Khalid, Karachi Cartography - Young Climate Visionary Courtesy of The World Around

Pakistani designer Namra Khalid, 25, has been awarded the Young Climate Visionary Prize for Karachi Cartography, a research project that addresses the problems of record rainfall, urban flooding, and drought that Pakistan has been facing over recent months. Khalid was joined by mentor Henk Ovink, Dutch special envoy for international water affairs, to scale and extend the impact of her project.

The jury explain their decision: “Mapping and cartography are extremely necessary and essential in solving climate issues, particularly in Pakistan, where catastrophic flooding occurred just months ago. The immediacy of this issue is ever-prevalent, and makes Namra’s work all the more urgent. Her project is clear in its intentions and is very promising on all levels”.


Special Jury Prize 2023, Aziba Ekio

Aziba Ekio - Special Jury Prize Courtesy of The World Around

Aziba Ekio, 24 from Nigeria, was awarded the Special Jury Prize for her efforts to spread awareness about the climate crisis through her work. She was tutored by Sumayya Vally, founder and director of the Counterspace architecture studio. Her first anthology of poetry is The Color, Green.

The jury were moved to recognize the work of the young poet: “As one of the oldest tools of communication, poetry still manages to remain so powerful today, and helps to grow a collective weight around  issues. Aziba’s poetry is extremely stirring, uplifting, passionate, and moving, and her strong voice in the fight to tackle the climate crisis will undoubtedly be heard" .

All images courtesy The World Around

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