Amsterdam – For the second edition of the St-W Awards, which will take place in February of 2019, our main mission is to celebrate projects that push the boundaries of interior architecture on a truly global scale. But then we asked ourselves, ‘whose boundaries?’ As much as we keep our ear to the ground, our perspectives are the product of our context – and, for better or worse, we are inextricably linked to the realities of Western Europe.
As much as we keep our ear to the ground, our perspectives are the product of our context
That’s why, when choosing in charge of handpicking , we aimed to that, even within the same category, would challenge yet feed off each other. With a balanced alloy of gender – our jury is half male, half female –, age – ranging from mid-twenties to late sixties – and cultural background – literally every continent is represented –, we are thrilled to showcase a mix that is bound to challenge and further our vision of what interior architecture is.
For example, , Shanghai-based , is now part of our Retail panel. While she is known for her punctilious attention to visual details, one of her partners in the team, Swedish designer Anny Wang, has a more surreal approach to design. It will be interesting to see where their visions intersect to pick a winner in the category.
Having left her stamp in the hospitality renaissance that is sweeping Madrid and Barcelona, El Equipo Creativo’s Natali Canas del Pozo is one of our judges in that category. Design historian Libby Sellers and Dwell founder Lara Deam are bound to bring some perspective to the choices made in the Residences category, while the same can be said of last year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Sevil Peach, who is part of our Work category, and David Rockwell, part of the Institutions jury.
We’re also looking forward to Turkish designer Eylul Duranagac’s perspective on the immersive side of tech, a welcome contribution to the Shows section. We are also happy to have Humberto Campana on the Societal awards team – his insight on the socioeconomic layers of design is key to this category –, and fellow South American Ana Hernández Palacios in the Executional team. We’re also excited about the artistic input from Didier Faustino and Yinka Ilori – the latter always surprises us with his ability to deconstruct cross-cultural motifs.
At times, the designer community feeds off its own echo chamber, so an engaged outsider’s perspective can provide a helpful break
But in selecting design projects, we were also interested in hearing what three of the most important interlinked sectors had to say. At times, the designer community feeds off its own echo chamber, so an engaged outsider’s perspective can provide a helpful break. That’s why our team also includes forward-thinking representatives from the manufacturing, client and even tech world; they are the pillars that sustain the design industry, and their take on the future of the discipline is informed by forces sometimes imperceptible to those on the other side of the equation.
That’s where brands like Marriott, Ace&Tate and WeWork come in, represented by Patricia Holler, Berit Burema and Andy Heath, respectively. Established global brands that are continuously ahead of the game through a mix of retail sensibility and tech savvy are also part of our panels, with Yutake Hasegawa representing Sony, Kati Barklund voicing Microsoft’s position and Tim Rupp doing the same for Nike.
We are excited about what will happen until September 30, . Last year, we received proposals for almost 1,000 projects; their innovative elements and artistic merits confirmed the need for an award ceremony in the industry. But truth be told, we’re even more excited about the debates and discussions that will take place from October onwards: with such a diverse group of professionals, we’re curious to see what the world’s best interiors will look like, and how their decisions will shape the future of the industry in ways that reach far beyond its perimeter.