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Design with public in mind

The UC Innovation Centre Anacleto Angelini (left) was designed by Alejandro Aravena and Juan Cerda for the Catholic University of Chile - Aravena's alma mater.

For his distinctive forms and socially conscious works, the 48-year-old Aravena has been awarded architecture's highest honour: the Pritzker Prize.

Aravena, who is this year's director of the Venice Architecture Biennale and a former member of the Pritzker jury, describes his architecture as being fuelled more by public service than by aesthetic design.

His Santiago-based firm, Elemental, has led a participatory design-build process it calls "half of a good house" to build low-cost housing and also completed its share of public buildings, including several for the Catholic University of Chile.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 15, 2016, with the headline 'Design with public in mind'. Print Edition | Subscribe