The Executive Director of the prize, as of 2009, Martha Thorne solicits nominations from a range of people including past Laureates, academics, critics and others "with expertise and interest in the field of architecture". Any licensed architect can also make a personal application for the prize before 1 November every year. In 1988Gordon Bunshaft nominated himself for the award and eventually won it. The jury, each year consisting of five to nine "experts recognized professionals in their own fields of architecture, business, education, publishing, and culture".
The official ceremony granting the award takes place every year, usually in May, at an architecturally significant site throughout the world. The choice of location of the ceremony reinforces the importance of the built environment while providing a unique setting for the ceremony. The presentation ceremonies move around the world each year, paying homage to the architecture of other eras and/or works by previous laureates of the prize. As the ceremony locations are usually chosen each year before the laureate is selected, there is no intended connection between the two.
The invitation-only event is attended by international guests and guests from the host country. The ceremony itself normally consists of welcoming remarks usually from a dignitary of the host country; comments from the jury chairman; the presentation of the prize by Thomas Pritzker; and an acceptance speech from the Laureate.
Inaugural winner Philip Johnson was cited "for 50 years of imagination and vitality embodied in a myriad of museums, theaters, libraries, houses, gardens and corporate structures".The 2004 laureate Zaha Hadid was the first female prize winner. Richard Meier became the youngest winner in 1984 at age 49. The 34th and most recent winners Kazuyo Sejimaand Ryue Nishizawa were cited for "architecture that is simultaneously delicate and powerful, precise and fluid, ingenious but not overly or overtly clever".
Los Angeles, CA—Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, partners in the architectural firm, SANAA, have been chosen as the 2010 Laureates of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. The formal ceremony for what has come to be known throughout the world as architecture’s highest honor will be held on May 17 on historic Ellis Island in New York.
ps:good luck to all of the wannabe Laureates of the Pritzker Architecture Prize :-)