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2018 Clem Labine Award Winners

Traditional Building and Period Homes magazines are proud to announce the winners of the 2018 Clem Labine Award – the team of Michael W. Mehaffy, Ph.D., and Nikos A. Salingaros, Ph.D.
clem labine award

“The Clem Labine Award is not a design award,” says Clem Labine, founder of Old House Journal, Traditional Building and Period Homes magazines. “Rather, it’s a personal achievement award – given annually to people who over many years have devoted pro bono time and energy to create a more humane and beautiful built environment. Each winner is an outstanding example of a life with a purpose.”

“The work of Salingaros and Mehaffy on behalf of traditional architecture and urbanism is unique because they are not just peddling opinions and dogma,” says Labine. “Rather, they underpin their arguments with the evidence found in mathematics and the social sciences.”

nikos mehaffy

2018 Clem Labine Award Winners Nikos A. Salingaros, Ph.D. and Michael W. Mehaffy, Ph.D. 

The Forum, “The Neuroscience of Architecture: The Good, the Bad — and the Beautiful,” by Mehaffy and Salingaros in the February 2018 issue of Traditional Building magazine provides insights into their research.

Michael W. Mehaffy, Ph.D., is Director of the Future of Places Research Network based in Stockholm, Sweden, and Executive Director of the Sustasis Foundation, a small urban think tank based in Portland, OR. He is also the Chair of the College of Chapters of the International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture and Urbanism (INTBAU), a UK charity co-founded by the Prince of Wales, and he is the former Director of Education for The Prince’s Foundation in London.

Mehaffy is the author or contributing author of over 20 books, and he is a frequent contributor to professional journals and other publications. He is also a frequent interviewee of trade and popular publications including Scientific American, Voice of America, The Guardian, Newsweek, and many others. He received his Ph.D. in architecture from Delft University of Technology.

“I am honored to share this award with my friend and collaborator Nikos Salingaros, whose work on the mathematics of beautiful architecture has been an inspiration to so many people,” says Mehaffy. “I am especially honored to receive the award named in Clem Labine's honor, since he too has awakened in so many people a love of beautiful traditional architecture. I find myself in very good company indeed!”

Nikos A. Salingaros, Ph.D. in Mathematical Physics, is an internationally recognized architectural theorist and urbanist. He is known for his original contributions that helped to establish new disciplines such as Biophilia, Design Patterns, Complexity, Neurogeometric design, the Fractal City, and the Network City. Salingaros worked with visionary architect and urbanist Christopher Alexander for 20 years in helping to edit Alexander’s four-volume book The Nature of Order. He has applied science-based techniques to confirm the essential importance of traditional building approaches for human health and wellbeing.

He and Michael Mehaffy have collaborated on many articles and books, jointly developing innovative design tools that combine New Urbanist principles with Alexandrian design methods.

Books by Salingaros include Algorithmic Sustainable Design, Anti-Architecture and Deconstruction, A Theory of Architecture, Biophilia and Healing Environments, Design for a Living Planet (with Michael Mehaffy), Design Patterns and Living Architecture, Principles of Urban Structure, P2P Urbanism, and Unified Architectural Theory. They have been translated into many languages.

"This is an unimaginable and fantastic honor!” says Salingaros. “I'm reeling from the surprise. If I ever had to share an award like this one, there is no better friend and partner to share it with than Michael Mehaffy."

The 2018 Clem Labine Award will be presented at the awards dinner on July 18, during the Traditional Building Conference in Princeton, NJ. Mehaffy and Salingaros are the 11 winners of the award which was launched in 2009 by Clem Labine.

They will also participate on a panel during the conference. Judy Hayward, Traditional Building Conference Education Director, said, "we are looking forward to a panel discussion during the Princeton conference that will feature Michael and Nikos. The topic will be The Math and Science of Architectural Beauty."

Previous winners include Alvin Holm, Steven W. Semes, Ray Gindroz, Jean Carroon, Milton W. Grenfell, Robert Baird, Christine Franck and Duncan G. Stroik.

For more information on the Traditional Building Conference, go to or call Carolyn Walsh, 781-779-1560.

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