Bulgarian born Christo and french Jeanne Claude’s ‘floating piers’ left a giant yellow stamp on our memory of 2016. Like veins of gold travelling across the natural landscape, the project was first conceived in 1970 and finally realized in 2016, connecting land, sea and sky in a monumental intersection of art and earth. the 3km long walkway engaged with its huge audience (over 1.5 million visitors) in an original and daring way. Modifying conventional perceptions of space and geography, the installation changed the way its visitors interacted with the world around them, physically altering the character and appearance of Italy’s lago Iseo by decorating the lake and nearby towns with a walk-way of 100,000 square meters of saffron fabric. Operations director Vladimir Yavachev, project manager Wolfgang Volz and curator Josy Kraft first began bringing the project to life in 2014, finally opening full 24 hours access last year over the course of 16 days.
The social impact prize was received on the night by Maria Marcella Ferrari, CEO of the floating piers, handled over by the councillor for labor policies, trade, fashion and design of the city of Milan, Cristina Tajani.