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David Chipperfield studied architecture at the Kingston School of Art and the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. He worked for Douglas Stephen, Richard Rogers and Norman Foster before founding his own practice in 1985 and establishing a design methodology that is now used across five offices in London, Berlin, Milan Shanghai and Santiago de Compostela.

David Chipperfield is a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects and an honorary fellow of both the American Institute of Architects and the Bund Deutscher Architekten. Among the accolades he has received are the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, awarded in 2009, and a knighthood for services to architecture in the UK and Germany, awarded in 2010. In 2011 he received the RIBA Royal Gold Medal for Architecture, and in 2013, the Praemium Imperiale from the Japan Art Association, both given in recognition of a lifetime’s work. He was appointed a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour for his services to architecture in 2021, and was selected as the 2023 Laureate for the Pritzker Architecture Prize.

In addition to design work, David Chipperfield has taught and lectured at schools of architecture worldwide. In 2012 he curated the 13th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale under the title 'Common Ground. He served as the mentor for architecture from 2016–17 for the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. In 2017 he founded Fundación RIA, a private, non-profit entity that works towards meaningful economic, environmental and cultural development in Galicia, Spain.

David Chipperfield has published numerous books and articles, including 'On Planning – A Thought Experiment' (2018), a publication that explores and theorises the urban qualities of contemporary urban developments. He was the 2020 guest editor of Italian design magazine Domus.