Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson wins award for improving the world

Artist, social entrepreneur and author is honoured alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, at The Crystal Awards in Davos

Congratulations are due to Olafur Eliasson who's just been given a Crystal Award for his "exemplary commitment to improving the state of the world". 

Ahead of the World Economic Forum, which takes place later this  week in Davos, Eliasson was singled out for particular praise  major works including The New York City Waterfalls, Ice Watch, The Weather Project, and Riverbed. The citation continued: "Since 2012, he has co-led Little Sun, a social business and global project addressing the need for providing light in a sustainable way that benefits communities without electricity, creates local jobs and generates local profits."

Eliasson who joins fellow winners Leonardo DiCaprio (for his work publicising climate change) actress Yao Chen (for her work raising awareness of the refugee crisis) and will.i.am (for his leadership in creating educational opportunities for the underserved).

The Crystal Awards were co-founded by violinist Yehudi Menuhin and Hilde Schwab, Chairperson and Co-Founder, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship in the early 1990s. This year's committee commented on how "Olafur Eliasson has created large-scale installations and designs that have contributed to redefining the essence of cities and communities".


Studio Olafur Eliasson The Ktichen
Studio Olafur Eliasson The Ktichen

Eliasson said: “Art offers one of the few places in our society today where people from various backgrounds can come together to share an experience while having different opinions. Disagreement is not only accepted but encouraged. Art helps us identify with one another and expands our notion of we - from the local to the global”.

Hilde Schwab said: "As the world has changed so too has the award evolved to also embrace those exceptional artists who deal with major global issues, including the environment, social inclusion, health, education, food security and peace-making. Through the years there have been more than 80 recipients of the Crystal Award, including artists such as Andrea Bocelli, Christo & Jeanne Claude, Matt Damon, Peter Gabriel, Shirin Neshat, Sidney Poitier, Mario Vargas Llosa and many others."

You may be interested to know that in addition to already publishing a fine Contemporary Artist Series book on Eliasson, in April this year we will also publish Studio Olafur Eliasson The Ktichen. The book focuses on the food created and served daily in Eliasson's Berlin studio where his staff eat together in a bid to increase the communal spirit of creativity. It features a foreword by his good friend Alice Waters, the founder of  Chez Panisse, who has cooked at the studio in the past.

It features over 100 vegetarian recipes which have served as nourishment and a source of creative inspiration and communal discussion every day for his staff, artists, and guest collaborators, including René Redzepi. You can find out more about Studio Olafur Eliasson The Ktichen here.