Serve & Facilitate
This submission, another joint venture, this time between an architect and a graphic designer, also addresses the issue of temporality. Quite a number of projects address this issue, which is virtually inescapably linked to the interior, because the interior is often intended to be a reflection of the time. In this specific case, temporality is linked to abstraction, which, in the eyes of the jury, elevates this library from purely functional questions and ties the contemplative design to more mental criteria such as the transfer of knowledge, something directly connected with the function of a library. The fact that these designers were capable of communicating such an abstraction in a project that was no doubt subject to limited budgets makes this project a very good candidate.
The modest budgets and the temporary nature, in combination with the abstract design quality make this project a clear winner. In recent years, contemporary interiors have frequently been framed around themes, certainly where temporality has been in play. The jury unanimously appreciated the fact that this interior was defined by an abstract functionality, offering broad latitude for reflection.
Relax & Consume
Beijing Noodle no. 09 is one of the many restaurants in Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, a hotel where the goal is to answer the guests’ every need, so they never have to set foot outside. Caesars Palace represents the interior as a universe.When a designer is asked to create a noodle restaurant here, it must both appeal to the largest possible group, and so present a form of democratic design, but at the same time succeed in bringing the idea of interior as entertainment to a new height.This interior is the perfect answer, but yet is paradoxical; on the one hand it borders on outrageous kitsch, but at the same time, possesses a certain abstraction. The shining surfaces, the fact that every element is defined, presents an excess of impressions. And then, all these ingredients suddenly transcend what they are intended to project: shine becomes reflection, wall becomes water, colour dissolves, and even the cliché of the goldfish is transformed by the excess into a curtain of movement.
In this submission, the jury sees a new self-awareness in which Asia is no longer an importer, but an exporter of design talent, in this case to Las Vegas, as a world-class entertainment centre. This design is entertainment, and many jury members found themselves wrapped up in a multifaceted spectacle of food and design. The fact that its play of contrasts throws the viewer off an all too blatant readability elevates this design beyond the elemental. This combination of self-awareness, entertainment and depth makes this submission a winner.
Design Firm of the Year
The Swedish firm Guise is one of those young firms that combines a distinctive method and a modest budget in its projects. The jury was particularly sold on the firm’s clear design methodology and graphic aesthetic, and sees in this underlying design concept a future scenario in which simple ingredients are effective identity carriers that also maximise functionality.
The jury rewarded Guise with the award of Design Firm of the Year not so much for its grand portfolio, but because of its attempt to introduce once more notions of restraint and modesty in the field of interior architecture. Not so much as a style and certainly not as a reflection of a certain morality, but as a design methodology that leads in this case convincingly to a graphic aesthetic. Guise proofs that interior architecture is not only about budget, but is about employing means – even modest means - intelligently in order to combine functionalist demands and a longing for identity. The jury recognizes in this approach a possible future for an interior architecture in times of ‘Changing Ideals’.
Show & Sell
Every discussion about the relationship between OMA and Prada is about globalisation, power and the dominance of brands within the system of fashion. And this project is also illustrative of the succession of points for discussion. The jury nominated this project because it is this cooperation that represents all of the above, but at the same time, makes a radical statement about the architecture-interior relationship.
This design has its roots in the Russian constructivism of the early 20th century, with architects such as El Lissitzky, Tatlin and Melnikov. The jury long considered the question of whether the language of the Russian Revolution can be interpreted as a means for an international fashion brand, and if so, how. Can this startling result be evaluated independently of that historical context? Ultimately, the jury was unanimous in its appreciation for this project; both in its provocative quality and for the idea of transformation of an interior that here takes on such a specific, physical quality. Transformation and identity are both complex concepts, even more complex is to link these concepts into a new perspective on representation. The jury was fully convinced by this attempt.
This submission was the clear winner within this category. Instead of one function, multiple functions; instead of one atmosphere, multiple atmospheres; instead of one perspective, multiple perspectives. And all this not within a virtual reality, but captured in its own materialism, so that it even takes cranes to make this constructivist craving a reality, one century later. For the jury, this was a perfect example of a project that transcends the now, simultaneously representing a future and a past, while at the same time reflecting critically upon the classic question of representation.
Concentrate & Collaborate
Temporality and sustainability are concepts difficult to reconcile. This is an observation that certainly holds true for the interior, and raises an important question for the future, given that many interiors do not last longer than five years. This design for a temporary office seems to have formulated an answer to the call for identity and the demand for sustainability. With this simple manoeuvre, by which all individual elements are connected by the colour black and a simple zoning system, I29 Interior Architects formulates an intriguing answer to this demand, and presents an outstanding case study.
Every interior is subject to temporality, but this design combines temporality with sustainability. And yet it does not fall back on an aesthetic of temporality, which the jury did see in many other projects. Here, temporality is not an ideology. For the jury, this project represents a combination of modest resources, expressive quality and an effective manoeuvre, answering society’s demand for sustainability in a manner that is as aesthetic as it is convincing.
The Great Indoors