Welcome to the ninth Wallpaper* Design Awards, our annual pat on the back to the people, places and products that have brightened up our world over the last year. Eleven major awards have been handed out by our panel of big-hitting international experts, while the rest have been nominated and fought over by Wallpaper* staff, and our international network of contributors.

To see the roll-call in full, pick up a copy of our February issue or download the iPad edition today. Here on Wallpaper.com, we'll be revealing the winners over the coming weeks, plus spotlighting the best of the best on film. Keep checking back for the next installment.


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    Rick Owens

    Fashion Designer

    Despite labels such as ‘anti-fashion’ and ‘avant-garde’, the gritty elegance of Rick Owens’ restrained, highly personal designs has given him a fanatical following among fashion mavericks, a certain kind of celeb and rock stars, not to mention a Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award. His edgy, asymmetrical and dramatic fashion designs often feature sculptural lines and draping, so the Californian’s move in to designing muscular gallery furniture was eminently logical. Featuring marble and bronze, antler, wood and bone, his beds, chairs and loungers are as brutally honest in construction as his clothing.

    Photographed by Sofia Sanchez & Mauro Mongiello
    in his atelier in Paris

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    Wang Shu


    Hangzhou-based architect Wang Shu has vaulted over his more metropolitan counterparts to become the world's best-known Chinese architect. Having won the 2012 Pritzker Prize, the 49-year-old, who works in partnership with his architect wife Lu Wenyu, is on a discreet mission to re-shape and re-direct the country's titanic building boom into something more sustainable, atmospheric and human-scale. His analogue approach might seem at odds with contemporary architecture's digital fetish, but the end results are warm and welcoming, while still displaying a defiantly modernist sense of materials, forms and space.

    Photographed by Philip Sinden in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London

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    Julian Opie


    British artist Julian Opie has produced multimedia investigations into the representation of faces, form and landscapes. His high/low investigations have been shown in galleries around the globe and his sculptures enliven many public squares, while that album cover for Blur gave him and his posterised faces a million Opiesque online avatars and Facebook profile pics. As befits an artist whose influences include trade catalogues and 18th-century commercial portraiture, he has a unique online shop selling Opie mugs, postcards and bookmarks.

    Self-portrait, 2012, created exclusively for Wallpaper*

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    Oki Sato

    Nendo founder

    Last year's Wallpaper* Designer of the Year (W*155)
    was just the latest of the garlands to have been bestowed on the Canadian-born Oki Sato and his prolific team at the max-power minimalists Nendo. Their deconstruction of everyday objects has expanded from 'talking' salt and pepper pots and lampshades with petals that expand as the bulb heats, to a climbing wall in Tokyo that uses picture frames, deer heads and flower vases as climbing holds. In only ten years Nendo has expanded to Milan and Singapore and has worked for clients such as Boffi, Häagen-Dazs, Lexus and Louis Vuitton. Despite his busy schedule, Sato found time to design this year's Judges' Awards trophy, a typically smart play with angles, dimensions and optic verve.

    Photographed by Satoshi Minakawa in
    his meeting room in Tokyo

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    Ferran Adrià


    El Bulli was only open six months a year so Ferran Adrià, the Catalan culinary deconstructivist who aims to surprise as well as feed his customers, could spend the rest of the time on what one hesitates to describe as simply recipes. They were technical inventions, performance art and philosophical musings on gastronomy. The place responsible for making nitrous oxide a kitchen aid and 'air' a menu item was until its closure in 2011 widely regarded as the best restaurant in the world. Getting a reservation was, literally, a lottery. He will reopen it as a culinary think-tank in 2014.

    Photographed by Hannah Collins at the now closed El Bulli

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    Farida Khelfa

    Schiaparelli ambassador

    The daughter of an Algerian railway worker who grew up
    to be French fashion royalty, Farida Khelfa has been a model, an actor, a documentary film-maker as well as a directrice for Jean-Paul Gaultier and a muse for Azzedine Alaïa. In an inspired move, last year Diego Della Valle, the owner of Tod’s, Hogan and Roger Vivier, asked her to become brand ambassador for his much-anticipated revival of the Schiaparelli maison. Khelfa will lend her star appeal to a historic label that has a reputation among the cognoscenti
    for arty, unconventional and visionary couture.

    Photographed by Ali Mahdavi at the House of
    Schiaparelli, Paris

Judges awards

Best domestic design

Best in shows

Best in shows- Coming soon