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ADPSR Lewis Mumford Awards

The annual ADPSR Lewis Mumford Awards program was initiated in 1992 to honor people and organizations whose work exemplifies social responsibility. The awards were named after Lewis Mumford (1895-1990) an American historian, sociologist, philosopher, and critic, noted for his study of cities and his writings, which remind us that architecture, design, and planning must respond to human needs, harmonize with its surroundings, and reflect the aspirations and social context of our civilization.

2015 ADPSR Lewis Mumford Awardees 



For bold action to raise awareness about structural racism and to redress law enforcement violence:
Black Lives Matter
(BLM) is a national grassroots organization that works to combat anti-black racism in the United States. Created by black women and rooted in the experiences of black people, the organization actively resists de-humanization through structural violence. BLM encompasses 23 chapters in the US and abroad and is growing. It envisions a future in which black people are seen as “powerful, beautiful, brilliant, talented, innovative, resourceful and creative.” http://blacklivesmatter.com/


For collaborative, synthetic initiatives that regenerate ecologies and communities:
The Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition (DRCC) is a Seattle-based nonprofit working to ensure that the EPA’s proposed cleanup of the Duwamish River benefits the fish, wildlife and communities that live within and along its banks. Engaging a diverse group of stakeholders including neighborhood, environmental, tribal and small business organizations, the DRCC has undertaken a wide variety initiatives. Their actions have exerted a strong influence on the EPA’s superfund cleanup process, raised awareness about the close correspondence between human and environmental health, and celebrated the Duwamish as a “River for All.” http://duwamishcleanup.org/


For enduring commitment to serve vulnerable communities through design:
Environmental Works Community Design Center (EW) is one of the oldest, nonprofit community design centers in the United States. For 45 years, EW has served the most vulnerable populations and communities in the State of Washington by partnering with local community organizations to create quality housing for families and seniors, community facilities, and childcare centers. EW originally took inspiration from Whitney M. Young’s keynote address at the 1968 AIA National Convention calling for conscientious architects and designers to make contributions to the cause of civil rights. The organization has continued to thrive over many years. It has worked with diverse communities and accrued a long list of projects and achievements. Its social impact is profound. http://eworks.org/

The 2015 award plaques are re-used glass sculptures sandblasted with the names of the awardees.
A small solar cell in the top lights the award internally in the darkness, refracted by the glass fragments within.
Designed and fabricated by Mary White / Kary White Glass; Elise Brewster, Brewster Design Arts; and Mary Ann Gallagher / Participant Centered Transformations

adpsr_Mumford_2010_ceremony_035_for_web.jpgMumford Award plaques are often sculptures made of recycled materials.
The 2010 awards pictured above were designed by artist Christina Bertea.

A list of previous recipients can be found at our Lewis Mumford Award History page. Our most recent awardees are:

2014 Awardees:

Peace: Ethan Zuckerman & the MIT Center for Civic Media
Environment: Slow Money, Maine, as representative of Slow Money, National
Development: Ken Smith & Youth Build Boston, as a representative of Youth Build National

2013 Awardees:

Peace: The International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, New York
Environment: The Foundation for a Green Future, Inc., Boston
Development: The Center for Urban Pedagogy, New York

 Nomination forms are available on-line or download at http://adpsr.org/form/62668