industry insider | Oct 23, 2019 |
A new design award—chosen by designers

Film has the Oscars. TV has the Emmys. Music has the Grammys. Interior design has … well, a lot of awards, spread out across the globe, hosted by dozens of magazines, schools and organizations. Yuri Xavier, CEO of the marketing and strategy agency Ligné Group, is hoping a new set of honors will stand out from the pack—next year will mark the inaugural debut of his brainchild, the Créateurs Design Awards. The hook? The submissions will be global in scope, and awarded by designers’ peers.

Loosely modeling the CDAs after the Oscars, Xavier has established a design-world version of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, with a voting membership made up of roughly 130 designers, editors and photographers from around the world. Among the marquee names are Ralph Pucci, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Robert Couturier, Ryan Korban, Luca Nichetto and Nina Campbell.

Members will vote online for their favorite products and projects, culled from submissions gathered from around the world. The final awards will highlight six categories of achievement: best residential design, best hospitality design, best product design, best new collection, best design collaboration and an interesting left field choice—best project photography. (“People aren’t used to submitting for that,” Xavier tells Business of Home. “But we all know that a great project won’t look great if it’s photographed badly.”)

Xavier is hopeful that giving the design community’s cognoscenti control over the voting will lead to interesting—and possibly unexpected—results. “The quality of the work will be as good as any [other awards],” says Xavier. “But it’s going to lean a little more artistic and refined. [CDA members] are all established, they all have a keen eye for things they like, I think that will attract a different perspective.”

The CDAs are a platform that invites you to look a little beyond your Instagram feed.
Yuri Xavier

In addition to the category awards, there will also be a lifetime achievement honor named after the late French hospitality and product designer Andrée Putman. The first recipient will be Pierre-Yves Rochon, the French designer best known for iconic hospitality projects like the Four Seasons George V in Paris and the Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills.

In addition to highlighting great work, Xavier is hopeful that the CDAs will lead to new connections and push designers to venture outside of their well-curated bubbles. “Designers will usually shop with the same vendors, but there are so many new innovators, new companies, designers. [The CDAs] are a platform [that invites you] to look a little beyond your Instagram feed,” says Xavier. “The winners will be the winners, but if everyone is participating and making the community in the design industry stronger and more open to new ideas, I think everybody is winning.”

The awards—underwritten by the Ligné Group, StyleRow and Gaggenau, will be handed out at an intimate dinner at the Hôtel Ritz Paris at the start of January’s Maison&Objet design fair. There’s no cash prize, but there is a trophy—which begs the question, How do you design an award for designers?

“Everybody’s talking about that,” says Xavier with a laugh. “We’re working overtime to make sure it’s something interesting.”

Homepage photo: A room by Pierre-Yves Rochon | JF Romero

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