by Jincy IypeApr 05, 2021
What makes a design stand out, create an impact and achieve international recognition? Is it the strict adherence to a client’s brief, an innovative breakthrough, the immaculate detailing or inimitable geometry? The DNA Paris Design Awards attempt to recognise design, inventions and architectural innovation in varied categories, presenting a mirror to the current trends and advancements from across the world.
The DNA Paris Design Awards celebrate the richness of the design profession and honour the fresh and visionary talent. Dedicated to excellence and inclusivity, the DNA Paris Design Awards 2020 saw the professionals from over 70 countries participating in the competition designed to promote their work. Organised by the Farmani Group and Paris-based collective ‘In Between’, the awards gathered the best of architecture, product, interior, landscape and graphic designs on a single global platform.
Winning projects within the five individual disciplines fall within two broad categories – ‘Professional’ and ‘Emerging’, and are classified as ‘DNA designers of the year’. Accolades are also reserved for a number of subcategories within each of the design areas.
All submissions are evaluated by an esteemed panel of judges comprising designers, editors and creatives devoted to true excellence in design. The projects are assessed on the basis of a range of criteria that are constantly adapted to the current standards. For the 2020 edition, the judicial exponents included Perrin Drumm (Eye on Design), Maurizio Cattelan & Pierpaolo Ferrari (Toiletpaper), and Romain Colin (Fubiz) among many others. The awards were announced in May 2020.
The five winners in the ‘Professional’ category:
1. Architectural Design of the Year:
by Manuelle Gautrand Architecture
The Paris -based architecture firm’s 9000 sqm mix-use complex ‘Le Belaroïa’ quite literally stands out as a jewel (as implicitly implied by the Occitan translation of its name). Dictated by the triangular form of the site, the design follows a continuous volume with a succession of folds, white metal facings animating the façade with light and transparency. In addition, the bold hospitality project has a conch-like shell shaped volume at its centre, conceived to be a collective meeting place.
Other winners in the architecture category include ‘The PolyCuboid’ by KTX archiLab, the ‘Quintãs Farm house’ by Júlio Caseiro - Arquitectura Lda and ‘No33’ by Kiriko Design office in the commercial and offices, green architecture and housing subdivisions respectively.
2. Graphic Design of the Year
Ai Weiwei: Good Fences Make Good Neighbours
by For Office Use Only
Commissioned by Public Art Fund, For Office Use Only designed the book cover of Ai Weiwei’s Good Fences Make Good Neighbours. A comprehensive presentation of over 300 artworks from the Chinese artist’s New York City public art display, the book brings together the exhibition in its entirety. Featuring a number of images, excerpts and testimonials, the 350-page book powerfully reflects the exhibition’s focus - the global refugee crisis. The arresting cover features a customised die-cut ‘X’, symbolising Weiwei’s metaphorical fence and hinting at an artwork of the exhibition on the page below.
Other winners from the graphic design genre include ‘Bollo Rosso’ by Abbruzzo + Associates, ‘Flashback Collection’ by Kapka and ‘Interplaytions’ by midiDICE in the branding, colourful project and interactive design sub categories respectively.
3. Product Design of the Year
Felix Schwake Desk MMXX II
by Felix Schwake
Desk MMXX II is designed to be simple and uncomplicated, allowing the user to create his own desk space environment according to personal taste. With storage space and electrical sockets under the extensible desk pad, the desk caters to the requirements of daily office demands. The minimalist table top design with its simplistic geometry prioritises functionality while retaining a pure aesthetic.
Among other winners from the product design collection are the ‘Phitwo for couple’ by Objects.Design, ‘Moti Rhyton e-cigarette’ by Thunderstone Technology Limited and ‘Meanwhile’ by El Decora International in the design for people, fashion and lifestyle and furniture and lighting sub categories respectively.
4. Landscape Design of the Year
Chongqing Forest Park
by A&N Shangyuan
The Chongqing Forest Park is a residential community park composed of 5000 sqm of redwood designed to counter the lack of green spaces in the former development. Introducing the concept of an urban forest in the interiors of the city, the architecture consists of glass positioned to reflect nature and seamlessly integrate into the surroundings. With an emphasis on ecological values and incorporation of storm water management systems, the park is an environmentally conscious contribution to the city to promote healthier living standards.
Other winners in the category include Gnd Design Limited and Pawel Grobelny.
5. Interior Design of the Year
Yanlord Health Café
by CL3 Architects Limited
Inspired by streamline marine architecture, Yanlord Health Café is a food concept that materialises a unique approach to sustainable design by prioritising green and healthy living. Located in Shenzhen in China, the interiors make use of sustainable materials and a simple colour palette of green hues to create a young, energetically charged atmosphere that reinforces the philosophy the café.
Other winners in the category include Atelier e Limited, H Design and Sò Studio.
The three winners in the ‘Emerging’ category:
1. Emerging Architect of the Year
Marine Rescue Platform
by National Taipei University of Education
The Marine Rescue Platform (MRP) is designed to function as a medical care station, tugboat or relief supply platform for refugees and shipwreck victims reducing risks and tragedies associated with unsafe vessels. Serving to temporarily accommodate the refugees, the design makes use of hexagonal floating bodies connected via snap rings and propelled by solar powered pump jets. Aimed at helping to integrate migrants into a new society, the space is also used to hasten distribution mechanisms with identity registration and documentation processing.
2. Emerging Product Designer of the Year
MAYA (Most Advanced Yet Adaptable)
by University of Houston
While the majority of automobile developers design the product’s technology before its structure and aesthetics, often resulting in product obsolesce, MAYA works to reverse this trend with a vehicle designed to be ‘Most Advanced Yet Adaptable.’ Designed for product longevity, the modular frame of the MAYA motorcycle strategically allows for structural reuse, breaking into three major components of its technology - the seat structure, propulsion unit, and upper assembly, which also makes the automobile ready to be repaired or upgraded on demand.
3. Emerging Graphic Designer of the Year
by Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Budapest
‘tacTiles,’ a 3D printed educational device replacing an alphabet book with pictograms, is designed to assist visually impaired students with Braille-based writing. Using an open source interface, the kit is available for use by anyone, anywhere in the world, who desires to take advantage of the capabilities of tacTiles to support their learning process.
While the ongoing pandemic situation has resulted in an entirely virtual commemoration, the organisers hope to bring the design community together for a more formal celebration of the DNA Paris Design Awards in the French capital later this year.
(Click here to read more about the other winning projects.)
(Text by Saamia Makharia, an intern at stirworld.com)