Martha Thorne is Dean of IE School of Architecture & Design, part of the innovative IE University in Madrid and Segovia, Spain. She also is Executive Director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, a position she has held since 2005. Her main interests center on two broad themes: the contemporary city and how architecture, design, and urbanism can contribute to sustainability and resilience; and how architecture and design education can evolve in both content and pedagogy to be more relevant for today’s challenges.
From 1995 to 2005, she worked as curator in Department of Architecture at The Art Institute of Chicago. She has written numerous articles for books and journals on contemporary architecture and the city. She served on the Board of Directors of the International Archive of Women in Architecture and the Graham Foundation for Fine Arts. She has participated on juries for the new National Museum of Chinese Art, Zaryadye Park in Moscow and the international jury for ArcVision – Women and Architecture Prize. Ms. Thorne received a Master of City Planning degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Affairs from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She undertook additional studies at the London School of Economics.
In her interview with Julia, Martha talks about her international experiences, her role in academia, and the role of the Pritzker Prize, advising young architects to always question what are considered “truths”.
JG: How did your interest in architecture first develop? What did you learn about yourself in studying it?