“One of my unsung heroes is Stewart Brand, the author of How Buildings Learn. As a nonarchitect but a great thinker who has dug deeply into the subject, Brand is able to strip away the pretense and analyze the aspects of architecture and building that have become unhinged and unbalanced as we have moved from the Master Builder era to the Age of Specialization (fragmentation) and as emphasis has moved from Craft to Art.” —John Abrams, South Mountain Co., West Tisbury, Mass.

“Up until her death, Yolanda Garcia was the leader of community-based Nos Quedamos in the Melrose section of the South Bronx, N.Y. Working with architects, government officials, and community members, Garcia succeeded in turning the city-sponsored urban renewal plan for her neighborhood into something that grew from the desires and visions of its residents. She wasn't an architect, but she showed us architects a way to connect our work to communities in a deep way. Nos Quedamos, in case you don't read Spanish, means ‘we stay.'”—Damon Rich, Center for Urban Pedagogy, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Tadao Ando is an unsung hero of architecture. In opposition to traditional Japanese architecture, Ando creates spaces of enclosure rather than openness. He uses walls to establish a human zone and to counter the monotony of commercial architecture. On the exterior, the wall deflects the surrounding urban chaos, while on the interior, it encloses a private space.”—Troy Adams, Troy Adams Design, West Hollywood, Calif.