Alejandro Aravena is an architect known for his socially conscious building projects. With his work, he attempts to break down economic inequality in urban areas.
After graduating as an architect at the Universidad Catolica de Chile in 1992, Alejandro Aravena went on to establish his own practice, Alejandro Aravena Architects in 1994. He has led ELEMENTAL, which he co-founded, since 2001. This “Do Tank” has gained international acclaim. It focuses on designing affordable housing solutions that prioritize community engagement and sustainable design.
Someone whose work often integrates urban planning, social housing, and public space design, Alejandro Aravena strives to create holistic solutions that address complex social issues. Amongst these, he includes poverty, inequality, and environmental degradation.
ELEMENTAL has embarked on building in various countries like the USA, China, Switzerland, Mexico, and of course, Chile. After suffering much damage during the 2010 earthquake and tsunami that hit Chile, ELEMENTAL was tasked to help with the city’s reconstruction. Alejandro Aravena’s partners in this venture are Gonzalo Arteaga, Juan Cerda, Victor Oddo, and Diega Torres.
In 2010, Alejandro Aravena was named International Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects. He is also a Board Member of the Cities Program of the London School of Economics, the Swiss Holcim Foundation, and the Director of the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2016. He is also a Regional Advisory Board Member of the David Rockefeller Centre for Latin American Studies, a foundational Member of the Chilean Public Policies Society, and Leader of the Helsinki Design Lab for SITRA, the Finnish Government Innovation Fund.
The period 2009 to 2015 saw him as a member of the Pritzker Architecture Prize Jury. He won this prize in 2016. In 2012, he was one of the 100 personalities contributing to the Rio +20 Global Summit. Monocle magazine also named him one of the 20 heroes of the world.
His work in the field of education saw Alejandro Aravena as a Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He also taught at Instituto Universitario de Architetettura de Venezia, the Architectural Association in London, and the London School of Economics. He has held the ELEMENTAL Copec Chair at Universidad Catolica de Chile since 2006.
A bestselling author, Alejandro Aravena has seen his work published in more than fifty countries across the globe.
As a conference speaker, Alejandro Aravena brings a wide range of insights into his talks relating to architecture, people, design, creativity, and so much more. He lives in Chile and speaks English and Spanish.