Jewellery designer Delfina Delettrez on judging the W* Design Awards 2016

Milan store
Delfina Delettrez at her Milan store
(Image credit: Laura Sciacovelli)

Delfina Delettrez Fendi, the latest in a line of creative female entrepreneurs with her surname, set up her jewellery company in 2007, at the age of 20. Her unique aesthetic, combining the surreal and contemporary with classic goldsmith techniques, made her the youngest designer to be included in the permanent collection of fine jewellery at the Louvre’s Musée des Arts Décoratifs.

Judging our awards was, she maintains, a fun and inspiring experience: ‘I appreciate the idea that design can embrace so many different categories and visions.’ Among her prize picks was the Lattice House by Sameep Padora & Associates: ‘The material doesn’t look like timber but almost a metal, and the house doesn’t look like a house. It looks impenetrable from the outside, but from the inside it is the complete opposite. I loved to imagine the dancing movement of shadows changing with the light during the day.’

Delettrez is also a fan of our Best City, Copenhagen. ‘Its architecture is expanding in a smart way, using natural resources and avant-garde design,’ she says. Meanwhile, Milan provided her with her Best New Public Building, the Fondazione Prada. ‘I observed when I first visited the complex on a grey and rainy day that an enormous amount of light in the form of reflections changed the perception of the whole area. So not only the foundation tower, but many of the surrounding buildings seemed golden.’

Many of the Judges’ Awards nominees were inspiring, says Delettrez, especially those designers she hadn’t come across before: ‘I was happy to discover Max Lamb’s work. Especially the 'Marmoreal Black' bathroom. Divine!’

As originally featured in the February 2016 issue of Wallpaper* (W*203)

The design awards 2016

(Image credit: Laura Sciacovelli)

See the Design Awards 2016 in full – including our extra-special Judges' Awards - here