by Anmol AhujaDec 14, 2021
Completing its third year of felicitating the world’s best architects, designers and studios, the Dezeen Awards announced its 2020 winners through a video broadcast hosted by poet and broadcaster Rhael Cape, also known as LionHeart.
The Dezeen Awards 2020 recognised the importance of sustainability and social impact to to set a precedent for responsible architecture and design in the future.
This year’s judging panel comprised 75 leading figures of architecture and design from across the world, looking at over 4,300 entries from 85 different countries, out of which 220 were shortlisted and winners were announced across 45 categories. The awards are divided into four major categories: Architecture, Design, Interiors and Studios.
The section includes 13 sub-categories, with this year’s winners coming from various countries including Iran, Vietnam and Australia. Civic Building, Urban House, Residential rebirth project, and the more traditional Landscape project and Housing Project sections saw a remarkable selection.
Buildings such as Iran’s Noor E Moobin Primary School by FEA Studio, designed as an “educational neighbourhood”, has been announced the Civic building of the year while the Red Roof by TAA, a house designed with a green roof with stepped planters finished in red plaster and tiles in Vietnam, has won in two categories - Rural House and the Overall architecture project. With a panel of judges including Paola Antonelli, Norman Foster, Sun Dayong and several others, the selection exhibited extraordinary innovation, diversity and precision.
Other winning projects that stood out included In Absence by Edition Office and Yhonnie Scarce that highlights the erasure of indigenous knowledge and memory from Australia’s national story. It won in the Small building category. Cycling Through The Trees by BuroLandschap and De Gregorio & Partners is a double-circle cycle pathway nestled within the crowns of trees in Belgium and bagged the Infrastructure project of the year.
The 13 sub-categories in Design include Wearable design, Sustainable design, Graphic design and Exhibition design, among others. The winning designs have inclusivity and consciousness as their marking features, portraying that innovative design attempts to bring solutions to the existing problems of the world. Outstanding designs such as Catch: The HIV Detector, a low-cost, easy to use, self-testing device created by Hans Ramzan to check HIV, won in two categories - Product design as well as the Overall project. Dots by Xiaohui Wang, Valentin Weilun Gong and Lan Xiao won in the Wearable design category for its inclusive interface created for spatial computing, which intends to empower those with different body conditions to interact freely with the future of technology. The panel of judges included the likes of Humberto Campana, Adam Nathaniel Furman and Ruchika Sachdeva.
Some conceptually stirring designs in the list are Climate Change Stamps by Berry Creative, which upon heating will reveal the environmental impact of climate change (Graphic design award) and RAW Rainbow by Studio Curiosity - a community-driven public art installation made from sustainably sourced ribbons (Installation design category). These designs highlight the emergency of responding to the climatic catastrophe that looms large.
With sub-categories such as Restaurant interior, Small workspace interior, Hotel and short-stay interiors, designs for the Interiors category exhibited an eclectic mix of thought and style. The 13 sub-categories featured projects from countries such as Thailand, China, and Spain. Some of the notable projects were Smart Zendo designed by Sim-Plex Design Studio, which converted a two-bedroom living space into a four-bedroom smart home and won in the Small interior category, and Vikasa by Enter Project Asia, a yoga studio comprising of free-form yoga pods - the winning entry in Leisure and Wellness interior category.
Other winning entries were the MuseumLab by KoningEizenberg Architecture in Pittsburgh which converted a library struck by lightning into a children’s museum (Civic and cultural interior category). Beijing’s Capsule Hostel and Bookstore by Atelier Tao+C won in both the Hotel and short-stay interior and the Overall winning project categories. The judging panel included Maria Cheung, Pallavi Dean and Alex Mok.
The final category for the Awards that recognises architectural and design talent comprehensively, looking at practices and studios as a whole, is divided across six sub-categories: Architect of the year, Designer of the year, Interior Designer of the year, Emerging architect of the year, Emerging designer of the year, and Emerging interior designer of the year.
Alison Brook Architects, the London -based studio of thinkers, architects and 3D designers, was announced as the winner for Architect of the year while the Amsterdam -based studio, Formafantasma was awarded the Designer of the year title. Interior designer of the year was awarded to Esrawe Studio, founded in 2003 in Mexico City by Hector Esrawe.
The studios and practices that are up and coming architectural and design powerhouses have been recognised in the ‘Emerging’ category. Hangzhou - based studio, Gad Line+ Studio made it as the winner of the Emerging architect of the year while Shahar Livne Design was awarded the Emerging designer of the year. Formafatal, an interior-design studio that focuses on public spaces was titled the Emerging interior designer of the year. The eminent panel of judges for the Studio category featured Jamie Hayon, Beatrice Leanza, Michelle Ogundehin and others.
This year's winning selection reiterated the power of design and architecture in transforming our contexts and spaces for a better future, inspiring the next level of innovation.
STIR is Media Partner for Dezeen Awards 2020. Read more about the awards here.
(Text by Shreeparna Chatterjee, editorial trainee at stirworld.com)