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Are you, or do you know a Young Climate Designer, Thinker or Maker? We’re looking for young climate thinkers, designers, coders or leaders between 13 and 25 years old who have created unique, radical and brilliant projects to help mitigate climate change in their communities. The World Around invites its community to help us expand and grow to include, support and nourish the next generation. If you know of any 13-25 year olds who are taking the initiative to make changes in their immediate community and who would benefit from being part of our inaugural cohort of 25 under-25s with guidance and mentorship from our  international Design Champions. Nominate or apply here


The Design Champions are a global community of some of the most impactful, preeminent individuals of our time – from leading architects, urbanists and designers to anthropologists, game designers and engineers. Learn more about them and read their thoughts below to see why they can’t wait to create and nurture a dialogue between generations and amplify the unique, radical and brilliant projects for climate resilience from the world’s brightest young minds:

Vishaan Chakrabarti

PAU, New York City

With over twenty-five years of proven experience authoring and implementing visionary urban
architecture, Vishaan Chakrabarti is the Founder and Creative Director of Practice for
Architecture and Urbanism | PAU, where he leads the firm’s growing global portfolio of cultural,
institutional, and public projects.

"While it is not fair, the brunt of climate change will fall on younger generations, as will the impetus to help address it. Rather than bemoan this condition, the Young Climate Prize celebrates the optimism, creative intelligence, and potential of our youth around the planet."

Elizabeth Diller

DS+R, New York City

Elizabeth Diller is a founding partner of Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), a design studio whose practice spans the fields of architecture, urban design, installation art, multi-media performance, digital media, and print. Diller and co-founding partner, Ric Scofidio have been distinguished with Time Magazine's "100 Most Influential People" list and the first MacArthur Foundation fellowship awarded in the field of architecture.


Counterspace, Johannesburg

Principal of Counterspace, an award-winning architecture and research studio, based between Johannesburg and London, Sumayya Vally’s design, research and pedagogical practice is searching for expression for hybrid identities and territory, particularly for African and Islamic conditions. Her design process is often forensic, and draws on the aural, performance, the supernatural, and the overlooked as generative places of history and work.

"Our responses to climate change need to involve entirely different approaches - not only bound by our present systems but also imagining outside of them. The ethos and spirit of the Young Climate Prize - that of collaboration, learning and experimentation - are needed more than ever."


Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam

Aric Chen is General and Artistic Director of Het Nieuwe Instituut, The Netherlands' national museum and institute for architecture, design and digital culture, in Rotterdam.

"Architecture and design are how we link complex ideas, needs and issues, and then articulate and manifest them into how we live and interact. They are one of the main ways in which we shape our relationship to the planet, and in that sense, they are indispensable to addressing the climate crisis."

Frida Escobedo

Frida Escobedo, Mexico City

Frida Escobedo is a Mexican Architect. She stablished her studio in Mexico City in 2006. In 2018 she became the youngest architect to design the prestigous Serpentine Pavilon in London. Escobedo has won numerous awards like the Architectural League of New York's Young Architects Forum Award (2009), Premio BIAU (2014), Architectural Review Emerging Architecture Award (2016) and the Architectural League Emerging Voices Award (2017). Currently, aside from running her studio, Frida Escobedo teaches at Yale University in the US.

Xu Tiantian Portrait


DnA, Beijing

Xu Tiantian is the founding principal of DnA _Design and Architecture. She has received numerous awards such as the WA China Architecture Award in 2006 and 2008, the Architectural League New York’s Young Architects Award in 2008, the Design Vanguard Award in 2009 by Architecture Record and the Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architect in 2019. In 2020, she was appointed an Honorary Fellow of American Institute of Architects.

"The climate crisis is becoming the defining challenge of our world, which will have greater impact on our younger generations. It will take efforts of many generations to fight the change. The Young Climate Prize provides an opportunity to build up the climate and environmental awareness as the fundamental principle to our profession."


Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York City

José Esparza Chong Cuy is a curator, writer, and architect from Mexico. He currently serves as the Executive Director and Chief Curator at Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York. Prior to Storefront, he worked as Associate Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the Museo Jumex in Mexico City.

"It is important to support future generations and this prize will serve as an example for others to invest in youth programs."

Jing Liu

SO–IL, New York City

Jing Liu was born in Nanjing, China in 1980. After studying in China, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, concluding with a Master of Architecture from Tulane University School of Architecture in New Orleans, Liu founded Solid Objectives - Idenburg Liu (SO - IL) with Dutch architect Florian Idenburg in 2008.


2x4, New York City

Susan Sellers is a founding partner and executive creative director of 2x4 and Senior Design Critic at Yale School of Art. At 2x4, she leads projects across cultural and commercial sectors, from brand strategy and identity to brand experience programs and exhibitions. Her clients include Samsung, Hyundai, Google, Lincoln Center, the Fondazione Prada, Guggenheim, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and many others. From 2013 to 2016, Sellers was Head of Design at The Metropolitan Museum of Art where she led design initiatives from brand identity and visitor experience to exhibition and permanent gallery installation.

Mariana Pestana

Curator, Lisbon

Mariana Pestana is an architect and independent curator interested in critical social practice and the role of fiction in design for an age marked by technological progress and ecological crisis. Pestana gained a PhD in Architecture from the Bartlett School of Architecture. Previously, she worked as a curator at the Department of Architecture, Design and Digital at the V&A Museum and lectured at Central Saint Martins, Chelsea College of Arts, Royal College of Arts, Universidade do Minho and Sandberg Institute.


Multidisciplinary artist, Los Angeles

David OReilly is a multidisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles. Starting as an animator, he created numerous short films and inspired a wave of digital aesthetics. In collaboration with Spike Jonze, he created the holographic video games in the film Her, and went on to develop interactive nature simulations such as Mountain and the universe scale Everything. His pioneering AR works have received over 3 billion views across the web.

"I would like to help motivate the next generation to think radically about how to move forward on the subject of the environment."

Etta Matede

BuildX Studio, Nairobi

Etta Madete is an architectural designer at BuildX Studio (formerly Orkidstudio), a lecturer and researcher at the University of Nairobi and an Aspen 2020 New Voices fellow. She focuses of affordable sustainable housing. Madete is currently creating sustainable, low-income housing developments in Nairobi that supplement existing structures. Using innovative and a creative design approaches, Etta aims to build communities and neighborhoods that foster health and well-being.


MoMA, New York City

Carson Chan is the inaugural Director of the Emilio Ambasz Institute for the Joint Study of the Built and Natural Environment, and a Curator in the Museum’s Department of Architecture and Design. He develops, leads, and implements the Ambasz Institute’s manifold research initiatives through a range of programs, including exhibitions, public lectures, conferences, seminars, and publications. Before joining MoMA in 2021, he worked as an architecture writer, curator, and educator.

"Our role is to lead with the changes necessary to make the planet livable in the future. The building sector is the most polluting industry, contributing to 40% of the world’s yearly greenhouse gases. Everyone involved, especially architects, needs to acknowledge our debt."


Design Emergency, New York City

Paola Antonelli is Senior Curator of Architecture & Design at The Museum of Modern Art, as well as MoMA’s founding Director of Research & Development. Her goal is to promote design’s understanding, until its positive influence on the world is universally acknowledged. Her work investigates design’s impact on everyday experience, often including overlooked objects and practices, and combining design, architecture, art, science, and technology. Among her most recent exhibitions are the XXII Triennale di Milano Broken Nature and MoMA’s Material Ecology, on the groundbreaking work of architect Neri Oxman.

"Design helps people change, evolve, and repair. It is fundamental and necessary."

Sandra Jackson Dumont

Lucas Museum, Los Angeles

Sandra Jackson-Dumont received her B.A. in art history from Sonoma State University in California and her M.A. in art history from Howard University in Washington, D.C. In 2020, after a long career in museums she became director and CEO of the Lucas Museum in Los Angeles. Jackson-Dumont held positions at the Studio Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, served for eight years as the deputy director for education and public programs and adjunct curator in modern and contemporary art at the Seattle Art Museum and was the Head of Education at the Met Museum in NYC.

Antón GARCIA ABRIL and Débora mesA

Ensamble, Madrid

Ensamble Studio is a cross-functional team founded in 2000 and led by architects Antón García-Abril and Débora Mesa. Balancing imagination and reality, art and science, their work innovates typologies, technologies and methodologies to address issues as diverse as the construction of the landscape or the prefabrication of the house. From their early works –SGAE Headquarters, Hemeroscopium House or The Truffle in Spain– to their most recent –Ensamble Fabrica in Madrid and Ca'n Terra in Menorca, Spain–, every project makes space for experimentation aiming to advance their field. Antón and Débora are committed to sharing ideas and cultivating synergies between professional and academic worlds through teaching, lecturing and researching: she is Critic At Large at Pratt Institute in NYC and he is a Professor at MIT, where they co-founded the POPlab –​Prototypes of Prefabrication Laboratory​– in 2012.

"Climate is an inherent part of architecture and one of the biggest challenges of our time."


Rebuild by Design, Rotterdam

Special Envoy for International Water Affairs for the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Sherpa for the UN 2023 Water Conference. Former sr advisor for president Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force and Principal of Rebuild by Design. Initiator and lead for Water as Leverage. Former Director General for Planning and Water and Director National Spatial Planning for the Netherlands. Teaches at LSE, Harvard GSD and University of Groningen.

"Given that the majority of global carbon emissions come from buildings and cars, and that the form and experience of human habitation will determine the destiny of every species on the planet, the relevance of architecture and design that actually addresses these issues will be paramount to our collective survival."


Design Emergency, London

Alice Rawsthorn is an award-winning design critic and author, whose books include Hello World: Where Design Meets Life and Design as an Attitude. Her weekly design column for The New York Times was syndicated worldwide for over a decade. She is co-founder with Paola Antonelli of Design Emergency, a research platform that explores design’s role in building a better future. All Alice’s work champions design’s potential as a social, political and ecological tool.

"The climate emergency is one of the most important challenges of our time and the Young Climate Prize promises to inspire and empower the next generation of designers, architects and engineers - professional and otherwise - to address it."


WaiWai, Dubai

Wael Al Awar is a co-founder and principal architect at waiwai. With interests in natural phenomena, landscape and formless diagrams of relations, Wael has a multi-disciplinary approach to design. By aligning with natural phenomena, Wael seeks to create an architecture that is more than man-made fabrication, but instead remains open to adaptation and appropriation. The spaces that emerge from his approach are site-specific provocations that encourage unexpected experiences, activities and behaviors. Wael Al Awar was Curator of the National Pavillion of the UAE at the 17th Architecture Bienalle di Venezia 2020 & 2021, recipient of the Golden Lion Award.

"We are custodians of the planet and posses the skills to lead multidisciplinary teams and conversations in finding solutions to our climate crisis. We need to support and nurture young talent as they are our future."

Tatiana Bilbao

Tatiana Bilbao Studio, Mexico City

Tatiana Bilbao, architect, began her eponymous studio in 2004. Prior to founding her firm, Bilbao was an Advisor in the Ministry of Development and Housing of the Government of the Federal District of Mexico City. Bilbao has been recognized with the Kunstpreis Berlin in 2012, the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture Prize by the LO-CUS Foundation in 2014, the Marcus Prize Award 2019, Tau Sigma Delta Gold Medal of the ACSA 2020, and the Honorary Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) en 2021.

"To create awareness of the urgent necessity of rethinking architecture."

Alder Keleman Saxena

Feral Atlas, Arizona

Alder Keleman Saxena is an Assistant Research Professor at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff and holds a concurrent position as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Chr. Michelsen Institute in Bergen, Norway. As an environmental anthropologist, her research has examined the relationships linking agricultural biodiversity to human food cultures in Mexico and Bolivia, drawing connections between locally specific ethnobotanical and biocultural practices and larger political-economic contexts. Her more recent research and writing explores the social and material implications of digital connectivity for geographically remote spaces. Alder is a co-editor of Feral Atlas: the More-Than-Human Anthropocene.

Stella Mutegi & Kabage Karanja

Cave Bureau, Nairobi

Kabage Karanja is an architect and spelunker. He founded Cave_bureau in 2014 alongside Stella Mutegi. He is a natural environment enthusiast leading the bureau's geological and anthropological investigations into architecture and nature, orchestrating expeditions and surveys into caves within the Great Rift Valley. He is a serial sketcher and storyteller, driven to script and communicate cave de-colonial thinking and practice in relation to the built and natural environment. Kabage is a co-convener of an upcoming Advanced Studio summer 2022 programme at GSAAP Columbia University, Was a participant at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice 2021, and awarded a Special Mention for the installation titled “The Anthropocene Museum's Obsidian Rain”; He participant at The World Around Summit, Guggenheim Museum, 2021; Exhibitor at the Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial, 2019-20; participant of the London Festival of Architecture, 2018. Karanja lives and works in Nairobi, Kenya.

"Our role is to lead with the changes necessary to make the planet livable in the future. The building sector is the most polluting industry, contributing to 40% of the world’s yearly greenhouse gases. Everyone involved, especially architects, needs to acknowledge our debt."

Julian Oliver

Technologist, Berlin

Julian Oliver is a Critical Engineer, educator, artist, archer, and activist. His work and lectures have been presented at many conferences, museums, festivals and international electronic-art events including Transmediale, the Chaos Computer Congress, Ars Electronica, Tate Modern, FILE, The Vienna Biennale, and the Japan Media Arts Festival. Oliver has received several awards, most notably the distinguished Golden Nica at Prix Ars Electronica 2011 for the project Newstweek (with Daniil Vasiliev). He is the co-author of the Critical Engineering Manifesto, member of the Critical Engineering Working Group, and co-founder of Crypto Party in Berlin, who’s shared studio Weise7 hosted the first three crypto-parties (unrelated to cryptocurrency) worldwide.

Nourah Al Sayeh Holtrop

Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, Bahrain

Noura Al Sayeh-Holtrop is an architect and curator working at the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (BACA) as Head of Architectural Affairs, where she is responsible for overseeing the planning and implementation of cultural institutions, museums and exhibitions. Since 2015, she heads the Pearling, Testimony of an Island Economy, which received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture for the 2019 cycle as part of the Muharraq Revitalization Project.

Emma Osore and Daphne Lundi

Blackspace Urbanist Collective, New York City

BlackSpace is a urbanist collective. Their mission is to bring together planners, architects, artist and designers to create a national network of Black urbanists. They have been working since 2015 and published their BlackSpace Manifesto in 2019.

Joseph Grima

Design Academy Eindhoven, Milan

Joseph Grima is the creative director of Design Academy Eindhoven and co-founder of research studio Space Caviar. Grima graduated from Architectural Association in 2003 and then became the curator of the Biennale Interieur in Kortrijk, the Istanbul Design Biennial and the director of Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Sandhya Naidu Janardhan

Community Design Agency, Mumbai

Sandhya Naidu Janardhan is an architect with 12 years of experience in community-led design and sustainable architecture. She is currently the managing director of Community Design Agency where she works with a diverse group of disadvantaged communities, civic agencies and designers to address inequities in the built environment. A graduate of Columbia University’s GSAPP in New York City, Sandhya’s prior experiences span multiple countries include working at an interdisciplinary design firm based in Singapore, and prior to that at the San Francisco based non-profit, Architecture for Humanity.

"The Young Climate Prize is an excellent opportunity to include young people from marginalized communities in this very pressing and important conversation around the climate crisis. In developing countries where the youth make up for a large percentage of the population, they are uniquely positioned to hold governments and decision makers accountable. It may seem like it is too late in the game to be able to reverse the damage done, however, an opportunity to equip young people with the right tools and thinking brings much hope that they will make better decisions for our planet as future carers and stewards of their communities."




Design Champions announced

JUNE 2022

Global applications open to all people under 25

MARCH 2022

Jury selects 5 to participate in The World Around's Earth Day program, with one going on to win.


Earth Day – October 2022

The World Around invites our community to kick-start the process by asking you to share your nominations for talented and inspiring individuals or groups to be part of this inaugural cohort. We also welcome and encourage self nominations. 

June – October 2022

Final Design Champions will be announced along with the Prize Jury. Nominees and applicants will formally submit their projects and answers to a series of prompt questions along with supporting evidence of the success of their project using our online application form.  

Applications Reviewed
November – December 2022

Design Champions and The World Around will review all applications and form this year’s cohort of 25 under 25. Each will be paired with a Design Champion, who will act as a mentor and offer guidance and support.

Young Climate Prize Academy
January – March 2023

The cohort will join a series of curated workshops organized by The World Around and led by Design Champions, to help inspire knowledge and develop an active community around their projects and each other. Mentorship begins. Selected cohort members will be invited to present their work during The World Around annual summit in New York.

Jury Engagement
March 2023

Following the workshops, the cohort re-submit their work for review by an international jury, yet to be announced, to narrow down the cohort to a group of finalists.

the world around

Three winners will be announced on Earth Day 2023.



Anyone aged 13-25 can submit their work. We encourage young people from anywhere in the world to share their projects. If English is not your first language you will be able to indicate this during the application process.

Mi idioma de preferencia es el español; me voy a poder comunicar con mis mentores?

Sí! El formulario de aplicación estará disponible en español e invitamos a todos los hispanohablantes a participar de la convocatoria.


There is no academic requirement and no need to have a formal design education.

How much does it cost to enter?

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors Meta Open Arts and individual supporters, The Young Climate Prize is free to enter for all qualifying participants.

Can teams enter?

We welcome teams to nominate themselves, up to a maximum of three people. 

Where will the mentoring sessions and academy take place?

All mentoring sessions and academy programs will take place online between January and March 2023.

What if I have a great idea but it isn’t realised?


This award is specifically to support and grow an existing project, it is not an ideas competition.

If selected for the cohort, can I choose my Design Champion?

When applications open in June 2022, you will be able to indicate a preferred design champion to be your mentor. 

Does being nominated help my chances of being selected for the cohort?

No.  Applications open in June will be completely independent from the nomination process.

I have concerns about accessibility, who do I talk to about my individual needs?

The World Around strives to create an inclusive community that transcends design disciplines, national borders, and linguistic differences. We actively welcome applications from people with disabilities and would like to work with you to ensure your application process and mentorship experience is smooth. 


Young Climate Prize is made possible by the generous support of Meta Open Arts and The World Around’s community of Patrons.

We’re excited to see how The World Around’s community responds to this new initiative and we’re open to dialogue and collaboration. If you’re part of an academic institution, non-profit body or corporation that would like to learn more about supporting The World Around Young Climate Prize, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. There are many ways to get involved!



The World Around was founded in New York in 2020 by Diego Marroquin and Beatrice Galilee. Our global platform seeks to connect and create a diverse and international network of the most exciting and creative designers and thinkers with wider industry professionals through high-impact educational initiatives and events championing the most progressive ideas and compelling projects. The World Around is a public charity recognized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.


Board of Directors

Vishaan Chakrabarti
Elizabeth Diller
Dean Harriet Harriss
Beatrice Galilee, Executive Director
Diego Marroquin, Founder and Chair
Tina Vaz
Adam Flatto

Consider supporting our work and joining our community by making a tax-deductible donation to The World Around