by STIRworldJul 30, 2020
Celebrating the best in global design from over 70 countries, the 2021 edition of the DNA Paris Design Awards recently unveiled its full list of winners. Chosen by an esteemed jury, which included creatives, editors, and design luminaries such as Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari (Toiletpaper), Suchi Reddy, architect and founder of Reddymade, Fernanda Marques, Yoko Choy (Wallpapermag China), Amit Gupta, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, STIR, and Serhii Makhno, among many others, the awards honour achievements across the categories of Architecture, Landscape, Interior, Product, and Graphic Design, falling into either 'Professional' or 'Emerging' sections - with the latter dedicated to exemplary student projects. The awards are organised annually by Farmani Group - a global leader in the curation and promotion of architecture, design, and photography, alongside In Between - a Paris-based collective of thinkers and makers.
Aside from further subdivisions according to typology for individual design awards, the most exceptional projects from each year in all the five main categories and their two sections are honoured with the Grand Prix - the awards' highest accolade. Grand Prix winners receive a trophy designed by Studio Briand & Berthereau, that aims 'to create the perfect balance between form and function, whilst simultaneously optimising responses to financial and environmental constraints inherent to every project’.
The five Grand Prix Winners in the 'Professional' category:
1. Architectural Design of the Year - Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts Lausanne by Barozzi Veiga
Spanish architecture firm Barozzi Veiga aimed to transform a complex urban setting facing the rail yards of Lausanne, Switzerland, into a new arts district, centered on three museums. The first of these buildings is a monolithic grey volume featuring rhythmic louvred projections on its facade. Built on the site of a former 19th century structure, it pays tribute to the neighbourhood's industrial past by incorporating pre-existing elements such as the large arched window. Inside, the Barcelona-based practice created hermetic and austere spaces filled with light that enhance the design’s near-monochrome aesthetic and strong geometric sensibility.
2. Interior Design of the Year - Dois Tropicos by Mnma Studio
In a commercial space that marries precise craftsmanship with the celebration of earth and soil, Brazil-based Mnma Studio sought to create a home-like hosting experience within a retail space design. An intricate, twisting staircase is among the highlight features of an interior design scheme that employs nostalgia and earthy textures to reference contact with the earth and the passage of time. By contrast, the shimmering, gridded exterior facade adds a contemporary element to an otherwise natural palette.
3. Landscape Design of the Year - Aux · Flora Bloom by Jumu Landscape Design Co., ltd
Designed as a gentle transition from a monochromatic landscape area to a back field garden, the project is situated between a park and municipal road, allowing people to experience nature while playing in a sea of flowers, away from the frantic atmosphere of the city. Chinese-firm Jumu Landscape Design Co., ltd resolved the opposition between urban architectural elements and landscaped space, by modifying the challenges of the site to their advantage. The landscape design follows a minimalist style that displays its own distinctive charm.
4. Product Design of the Year - FoveAI by Saddleye
An artificial intelligence-based, deep learning device, developed to enhance safety - particularly for lightweight travel, FoveAI by the USA-based company Saddleye, connects users with their surroundings by detecting, locating, and predicting the movements of objects in their vicinity. Aiming to make the road safer and more enjoyable for travellers, the device is compact and versatile - for convenient deployment in the realm of micro-mobility.
5. Graphic Design of the Year - Festival Filmar 2020 by WePlay Design
In Switzerland, Filmar en América Latina festival is one of the premier patrons of Latin American cinema and culture, supporting independent filmmakers, particularly those of Latin American origin. Swiss design practice WePlay Design drew from the ancient Mayan language in crafting the visual identity for the film festivals' 2020 iteration, using selected glyphs that reference actions related to film such as shooting, composition, and framing.
The five Grand Prix Winners in the 'Emerging' category:
1. Emerging Architect of the Year - HAMBO.Bolonia’s Multidimensional Habitation Sergio Mutis of Pontificia Universidad Javeriana
This experimental transdisciplinary project spans multiple dimensions of urban housing solutions for socially vulnerable residents in the Bolonia and Usme neighbourhoods of Bogota, Colombia. Based on an in-depth study of these urban locales over three years, combined with Complexity Theory, HAMBO devises methods to fund a resilient, complex, mixed-use social housing solution through participatory design, flexibility, and informal spatial strategies. It also challenges the country's current social-housing monetary-cap policies with a complex alternative strategy.
2. Emerging Interior Designer of the Year - LIFE FLOW by Shun-Yuan Chang and Unique Things Interior Design of Chung Yuan Christian University
An aesthetic feast that strove to embody the aesthetic of light luxury, LIFE FLOW by Shun-Yuan Chang of Chung Yuan Christian University in Taiwan is a workspace design project that deconstructs elements of meeting areas to recreate the luxury of a boutique space. Pervaded by an air of delicacy, with a sophisticated, cosy atmosphere, the space features an intriguing play between its distinctive shelving, geometric design elements, and the linear lighting units suspended between beams running across its ceiling.
3. Emerging Landscape Designer of the Year - Mercury Hotel Garden by Cmu University
Drawing from coral reefs, fish, and the undersea landscape of the Persian Gulf, near Kish Island off the coast of Iran, the Mercury Hotel garden brings a sense of serenity to this hospitality design endeavour through biomorphic design elements. Illuminated at night, the coral garden forges a spatial experience reminiscent of late-night walks along the beach, near Gulf waters filled with bioluminescent organisms.
4. Emerging Product Designer of the Year - Popsitable by Daniel Huang of National Taiwan University
A furniture design project developed at the National University of Taiwan, Popsitable is a desk collection made in carbonised bamboo that combines the elegant, rounded edges of popsicle sticks with the golden ratio. The functional, minimalist product design stems from intense attention to detail, ensuring that each of its facets is a 'constant symbiosis between imagination and reality’.
5. Emerging Graphic Designer of the Year - Beirut Street Museum by Sama Beydoun of American University of Beirut
This conceptual museum is an invitation to wander the streets of the Lebanese capital, experiencing verbal artifacts and visual stimuli that are often overlooked in the bustling metropolis. Implemented using locally accessible, repurposed materials, and an augmented reality experience, Beirut Street Museum offers insight and food for thought on what constitutes notions of culture and heritage.
With the DNA Paris Design Awards 2020 ceremony suspended due to the pandemic, the organisers are hopeful about conducting this year's event later in the calendar as life gradually returns to normal in France.
Click here to view the full list of this year's winners.