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February 25, 2021

Robert A.M. Stern to Serve on 2021 Wolfson Economics Prize Jury Seeking Radical Improvements in Healthcare Design

Robert A.M. Stern to Serve on 2021 Wolfson Economics Prize Jury Seeking Radical Improvements in Healthcare Design

The second biggest cash economics prize in the world launches today [Thursday], seeking planning and design ideas that will "radically improve" hospital care in the UK and around the world.

The 2021 Wolfson Economics Prize – second only to the Nobel Prize in monetary terms – is evidence of a new focus on the long-term improvement in hospital provision in Britain and globally. The judging panel—chaired by Lord Kakkar, Professor of Surgery at University College London, crossbench peer in the House of Lords and Chair of the King’s Fund—asks entrants for designs and plans for new hospitals that will "radically improve patient experiences, clinical outcomes, staff wellbeing, and integration with wider health and social care." The Prize is launched in partnership with Policy Exchange, the influential Westminster think tank.

"I'm honored to join the panel of healthcare leaders convened to judge the 2021 Wolfson Economics Prize," said Robert A.M. Stern. "Architecture has the power to improve health and healthcare. The evolution of hospital design has regrettably lagged behind advances in medicine and clinical care over time. The lessons we are learning in our current health crisis are sure to have a powerful impact on medical facility design. I am grateful to be able to join the Wolfson Prize effort to stimulate new ideas."

To learn more about the 2021 Wolfson Economics Prize, click here. A virtual Prize conference will be held on Tuesday, March 23, 2021; attendance is free, and those participating will be able to hear from leading UK and international voices in the debate, alongside having an opportunity to put questions to our Judging Panel. 

"The last 12 months have plainly challenged healthcare systems around the world," said the Rt Hon Professor Lord Kakkar, Chair of the 2021 Wolfson Economics Prize judging panel. "At the same time, the health care and life science communities have proven their remarkable ability to innovate and adapt. Many of our healthcare challenges predate the Covid-19 pandemic and will outlast it; but the hospital will continue to play a critical role in providing care. We are hoping to see visionary ideas—from questions about how wards are run to the design of a whole hospital campus—which challenge the status quo and are deliverable at pace and scale."

Said Lord Wolfson of Apsley Guise, the Conservative peer and CEO of Next who founded the Prize in 2011, "All too many hospitals are now outdated. Their design, facilities, and technology simply no longer provide the best clinical care. We now have a generational opportunity to improve the provision of healthcare. We seek to establish a new benchmark for hospital design and style, drawing on innovation from around the world, to help create hospitals that work better for patients, their staff, and the communities they serve."

Entries should be unconstrained by scale; the judges say it is equally acceptable to focus on one element of the hospital as to consider the facility in its entirety. In addition to Mr. Stern, the judges’ panel, chaired by Rt Hon Professor Lord Kakkar, also includes Professor Brian Donley MD, CEO of Cleveland Clinic, London; Dame Elaine Inglesby-Burke CBE, former Chief Nurse at Salford Royal; Dame Laura Lee, CEO of the Cancer charity Maggie’s; and Nigel Wilson, CEO of Legal & General.

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