in association with Airbnb
Welcome to the 10th Wallpaper* Design Awards, where we reveal our honours list for the people, places, pieces and phenomena that have raised our pulses over the past year. Eleven major awards have been selected from the shortlist by our judging panel of six high-altitude achievers - Victoria Beckham, Michael Chow, Ron Gilad, Spike Jonze, Thom Mayne and Thaddaeus Ropac. The other 33 awards were fought over by the Wallpaper* team, together with our international network of contributors.
Trophy design by Nendo; photography by Jessica Eaton
Victoria Adams joined the Spice Girls in 1994 at the age of 20. The all-girl pop group split six years later, having sold over 55 million records. In 1999 she married David Beckham. Together they are Brand Beckham, but Victoria is now a successful solo operator. She has displayed a deft touch in handling her brand profile and runs a highly regarded fashion-to-fragrance business empire. She launched a range of sunglasses in 2006, followed by a jeans line, but it was her first dress collection, launched in 2008, that earned Victoria Beckham her fashion bona fides, receiving uniformly glowing reviews.
Photography: Sølve Sundsbø
Spike Jonze is one of the most interesting film directors working today. His pop videos include Beastie Boys’ Sabotage (the 1970s cop one), The Pharcyde’s Drop (the backwards played forwards one) and Fatboy Slim’s Praise You (the crazy dance troupe one). His feature films include Being John Malkovich and Where the Wild Things Are, both offbeat studies of alienation, loneliness and fantasy as a coping mechanism. Jonze’s latest film Her is a sci-fi romance staring Joaquin Phoenix and the voice of Scarlett Johansson. At 43, he remains a poster boy for a particular type of American cool.
Illustration: Geoff McFetridge
Connecticut-born Thom Mayne set up his interdisciplinary firm Morphosis in 1972 and went on to win numerous awards for his forward-thinking, powerful work that marks a clear departure from traditional styles and modernism. His accolades include the prestigious Pritzker Prize, which he was awarded in 2005. One of Mayne’s most recent offerings is the Perot Museum of Nature and Science that opened in Dallas in 2012, while the studio’s current work includes the Emerson College campus in Hollywood.
Photography: Laura Wilson
A specialist in European and American contemporary art, Thaddaeus Ropac set up business in Salzburg at the age of 23, having served time as a dogsbody at Joseph Beuys’ studio in Berlin and partied in New York with Robert Mapplethorpe and Keith Haring. His debut offer was ten paintings by his friend Jean-Michel Basquiat. He moved to Paris in 1990 and last year entered the mega-gallery elite, moving from the Marais to a vast space, which includes four galleries, a performance centre, offices and an archive, in the eastern suburb of Pantin. He opened the new gallery, housed in a former factory converted by architects Buttazzoni & Associés, with a show by Anselm Kiefer.
Photography: Azim Haidaryan
Born in Shanghai, the son of a famous actor, Chow was sent to boarding school in England and studied architecture and art before opening the first Mr Chow restaurant in London’s Knightsbridge in 1968. It became famous as much for the collection of pop art on its walls as the food. A Beverly Hills version followed six years later. He has since added branches in New York, Miami and Malibu. Chow is a serious collector and commissioner of contemporary art. His ex-wives include fashion maven Grace Coddington and the late model, jewellery designer and style icon Tina Chow. He lives with his current wife, Eva, in Los Angeles.
Photography: Dana Lixenberg
Born and now based in Tel Aviv after over a decade in New York, Ron Gilad operates on the increasingly porous border between art and design, expertly balancing concept and function. Gilad trained as an industrial designer at the prestigious Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem and relocated to New York in 2001, where he established his studio Designfenzider. Gilad’s breakthrough came in 2005 with his spidery ‘Dear Ingo’ chandelier, now produced by Moooi. He was last year’s Wallpaper* Designer of the Year.
Photography: Tim Gutt