BIG, Zaha Hadid, Carlo Ratti, Heatherwick Studio in the Jury of Excellence for the 5th Manni Group Design Award | Iron Island

YACademy & competitions

BIG, Zaha Hadid, Carlo Ratti, Heatherwick Studio in the Jury of Excellence for the 5th Manni Group Design Award | Iron Island

12 Feb, 2024

Efficiency and sustainability drive 'Iron Island', the 5th edition of the Manni Group Design Award, which brings the conversion of offshore oil platforms to center stage. A contest that challenges the boundaries of architecture and lays the foundations for a creative dialogue between the industrial past and a sustainable future, under the supervision of a high-profile international jury made up of some of the world's leading architectural firms, research experts and industrial excellences.

Lighting the Future: Juror Profiles

This year's jury is a real pantheon of contemporary architecture. Each member was chosen not only for their professional prestige but also for their commitment to sustainable innovation in the field of architecture.

melodie-zeung-zha-mgda24Melodie Leung – Associate Director at Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) where she has been a leading designer within the practice for over 17 years. She has overseen the delivery of notable projects across architecture, public realm, interiors, product design, and experiential design and continues to work closely with the firm’s research teams in incorporating the latest strategies in digital fabrication and design.


giulio-rigoni-big-mgda24Giulio Rigoni – Associate at Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). In 2004 Giulio Rigoni graduated at the IUAV University of Venice with A. Cornoldi and a dissertation concerning the Ground Zero reconstruction in NYC. He worked in Switzerland in numerous architectural practices as Livio Vacchini (Locarno) and Herzog&de Meuron (Basel). In 2017, he started working at BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group (NYC). In the academic years 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, he was the Assistant of professor Muck Petzet in the Sustainable Design courses of the Academy of Architecture of Mendrisio – AAM. In 2017, he became the Italian Project Architect/Project Manager of the BIG’s project SPFF S. Pellegrino Flagship Factory.

carlo-ratti-cra-mgda24Carlo Ratti – Founder of Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA). Architect and engineer Carlo Ratti teaches at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, USA) where he directs MIT Senseable City Lab, a research group that studies how new technologies are shaping the way we understand, design and live in our cities. He co-founded the innovation and design international studio Carlo Ratti Associati in Turin in 2004. Esquire magazine has included him in the “Best & Brightes”, Forbes in the “Names You Need to Know” and Wired in the list of “50 people who will change the world”, Fast Company mentioned him among “The 50 most influential designer in America” and Thames & Hudson among the “60 innovators shaping our creative future”. Two of his projects - Digital Water Pavillion and Copenhagen Wheel - were included in the list of “The best inventions of the year” of Time Magazine (2007 and 2014). In 2014, Copenhagen Wheel was awarded the prestigious Red Dot: Best of the Best award.

neil-hubbard-HS-mgda24Neil Hubbard – Group Leader at Heatherwick Studio. Since joining the studio in 2005, Partner and Group Leader Neil has proven instrumental in delivering innovative designs on numerous high-profile projects. Neil has a background in design but combines this with significant experience in the built environment. Neil has been a key designer in projects such as the Bund Finance Centre and Little Island, a new public park and performance space in the Hudson River in New York City which opened in 2021. Neil is currently overseeing projects within the UK, China and Japan, including Toranomon-Azabudai — a six-hectare mixed-use development in the centre of Tokyo, currently in construction and due to complete in 2023. He is also leading the design of the new West Bund Exhibition Centre, Convention Centre and Hotel in Beijing with some hotel development in Shanghai. Working with Thomas Heatherwick, Group Leaders are responsible for leading all aspects of a portfolio of projects from concept development through to delivery. They are also part of the studio’s senior management group, guiding business strategy, planning and process.

arturo-tedeschi-mgda24-1Arturo Tedeschi -  is an Italian architect and computational designer internationally renowned for his sculptural and visionary approach combined with research on advanced design methods, materials and fabrication technologies. His use of digital technologies blurs the line between disciplines and emphasizes the semantic and emotional values of objects. Qualities such as functionality, sustainability and innovation are always complemented by a vision where forms are capable of triggering an emotional response and inspire the user. His work includes: architecture projects, interior design, stage design, automotive, industrial design, jewelry, watches, furniture, fashion, footwear, as well as a significant production of art installations. As a consultant he collaborated with world-known brands and offices such as Ross Lovegrove Studio, Zaha Hadid Architects, Adidas, Volkswagen, providing services related to algorithmic modeling, complex geometry, digital fabrication, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and data driven design. His personal work has been featured in international magazines such as Forbes, Wired, Dezeen, AD, Business Insider and exhibited worldwide. 

gian-marco-luna-cnr-mgda24Gian Marco Luna - Director at Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR). Director of CNR IRBIM since December 2020 (previously Acting Director of CNR IRBIM from 2018 to 2020). Research Manager, hired at CNR in 2011, he earned a Ph.D. in Biology and Marine Ecology from the Polytechnic University of the Marche (2005). He conducted scientific research at UnivPM (2006-2011), then at the CNR ISMAR Main Headquarters in Venice (2011-2016), and later at its Secondary Headquarters in Ancona (2016-2018). He has participated in national and international research projects and scientific expeditions worldwide, serving as a visiting scientist at foreign research centers. He is the author of >100 publications, including articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals, popular science articles on marine sciences, and book chapters. His research investigates the marine ecosystem and how marine microorganisms influence its functioning, from the coastal zone to the abyssal depths, with emphasis on the mechanisms regulating biodiversity and the response of marine (micro)biota to human impact and global change.

bernard-plancade-rockwool-mgda24Bernard Plancade - Managing Director at ROCKWOOL Core Solutions. Bernard Plancade has been representing the Danish Group ROCKWOOL in South Europe for many years, with the opportunity to have several experiences there, and among others as CEO for the French, Italian, Spanish, Croatian businesses and operations. After a move to a Corporate position as Senior Vice President for Operation and Technology in Denmark, he took over, in 2018, the activities towards Original Equipment Manufacturers. ROCKWOOL Core Solutions dedicated team engage in partnerships with manufacturers to develop safe and sustainable products / systems answering environmental challenges, mainly related to energy efficiency and fire safety.

enrico-frizzera-mg-mgda24Enrico Frizzera – CEO of Manni Group. Enrico Frizzera graduated in Economics at the University of Verona. He has acquired technical and organizational skills in the field of financial institutions. Specifically, he deals with insurances and reinsurances by collaborating with the main international consulting companies. After being general manager of the Cattolica Group, he has become Manni Group’s CEO. Manni Group is a company mainly dealing with B2B. It is a leading company in the field of steel products, insulated panels, energy efficiency and renewable sources.


Towards a Sustainable Future

These world-class professionals will have the task of judging the proposals with the aim of selecting projects that not only reflect architectural excellence but are also examples of how sustainability can be innovatively integrated into our built environment.



Practical information

Cash prize of the Manni Group Design Award | €15,000

Participation: Individuals or teams of architects of the team must include at least one member is under 35.

Early bird deadline | 25/02/2024

Submission deadline | 24/04/2024

For any information write to

Written by

Raffaele Bulgarelli - Digital Marketing Expert at Manni Group
Raffaele Bulgarelli - Digital Marketing Expert at Manni Group

Raffaele, Digital Marketing Expert of Manni Group, works in synergy with Isopan, gaining insight into the technical world of sandwich panels and keeping pace with the latest trends in the building industry. Thanks to his training in Architecture, he has a keen eye for online topics and activities involving designers and architects.

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