Jeanne Gang, the Chicago architect who designed the acclaimed Aqua mixed-used skyscraper, has been named one of 22 MacArthur fellows for 2011. The fellows program awards an unrestricted $500,000 Genius Grant to recognize a recipient's "exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishment and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work." Other buildings designed by the founder of Studio Gang Architects include the Media Production Center for Columbia College of Chicago and the SOS Children's Village Lavezzorio Community Center, a foster care community center on Chicago's South Side. Known for creating a balance between novelty and urban practicality, Gang also is responsible for the Ford Calumet Environmental Center, which is being built with salvaged materials from the surrounding area and incorporates advanced systems in heating, cooling and water reclamation. Gang has a B.S. in architecture from the University of Illinois and a master's in architecture from Harvard University. Besides heading her firm, she also is an adjunct professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
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