WSJ. Magazine's inaugural Innovator of the Year Awards honor the most creative, disruptive, and influential individuals in the world today. In conjunction with the November issue of WSJ., seven winners will be honored at a dinner Thursday evening at the MoMA.
The winners of the 2011 WSJ. Magazine’s Innovator of the Year Awards are: Ai Weiwei (Art); Katie Grand (Fashion); Elon Musk (Technology); Bjarke Ingels (Architecture); Steve Ells (Food); Joris Laarman (Design); and The Giving Pledge, founded by Warren Buffet and Bill Gates (Philanthropy).
The Innovator of the Year Awards were chosen by editors of the Wall Street Journal, with input from a select group of experts in each field. The award itself was designed by the winner in the design category, Joris Laarman. This year’s awards are sponsored by Audi and Cartier.
The 2011 WSJ. Innovators of the Year are:
ART: Ai Weiwei, the acclaimed artist and creator of the Bejiing Olympics’ “bird’s nest” stadium, who became the worldwide symbol of free expression when he was jailed this year by the Chinese government. Artist Marina Abramovic will accept the award on his behalf.
FASHION: Katie Grand, the visionary stylist and right-hand woman to trailblazing designers such as Miuccia Prada, whose ability to interpret and create new trends is unmatched. Designer Marc Jacobs will present the award to Grand.
TECHNOLOGY: Elon Musk, for revolutionizing three of the biggest industries in the world–automobiles, energy and space exploration–simultaneously. Musk envisions a world where cars run on electricity, where homes and businesses are powered by the sun, and where humans colonize Mars. Artist Tom Sachs, whose recent work is based on the imagery of space, will present the award to Musk.
ARCHITECTURE: Bjarke Ingels, for his wildly expressive structures, including the radical re-imagining of a New York high-rise apartment building, his commitment to sustainability and his philosophy of “pragmatic utopianism.” Richard Wurman, the author, architect and founder of the TED conferences, will present the award to Ingels.
FOOD: Steve Ells, chef and founder of Chipotle restaurants, for his dedication to sustainability, reinventing fast food and changing the way America eats. Presenting Ells with his award will be best-selling author and organic food advocate Jonathan Safran Foer.
DESIGN: Joris Laarman for seamlessly melding the invisible logic of science with the ornamental nature of design, mapping out a bold new aesthetic with robots and 3-D printers. Presenting the award to Laarman will be Murray Moss, founder of design art company Moss.
PHILANTHROPY: The Giving Pledge for its revolutionary effect on Philanthropy. Launched just over one year ago by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, The Giving Pledge has turned into the biggest fundraiser in the world, attracting 69 billionaires so far and a total value of more than $150 billion.