Meet the Jury for the 2020 NYCxDESIGN Awards

With the submission period now open for the 2020 NYCxDESIGN Awards, which will take place in New York during NYCxDESIGN (May 12-20), Interior Design has assembled a prestigious Jury of architects and designers. These A&D professionals will judge submissions in project, product, student, and several new design categories to select the winners.

Heading the panel will be Interior Design Editor in Chief Cindy Allen, who has established herself as an industry champion and a force in elevating the design profession’s importance and exposure. She leads an editorial team that produces 17 print issues annually along with digital content that reaches an audience of more than 8 million. Here are the 11 Jury members who will work alongside Allen to choose the winners.

Julio Braga, Managing Director, Principal of IA Interior Architects

As Managing Director of the New York office of IA Interior Architects, Julio Braga has managed and designed projects for clients that include Google, Spotify, King and Spaulding, Jones Lang LaSalle, JWT, and Bancolombia. Previously, he was Design Director at IA/NY and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. Braga, who received his Diploma in Architecture from Argentina’s University of Buenos Aires and is an IIDA Fellow, was earlier in his career a partner at interdisciplinary studio Braga Oris Associates and a design Director at WalkerGroup/CNI. Throughout his career, Braga says his primary focus has been to bring a high quality of design and planning to projects to meet both the functional and cultural needs of clients.

Cheryl Durst, Executive Vice President and CEO of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA)

Committed to achieving broad recognition for the value of design and its role in society, Cheryl Durst serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA). Using her exceptional communication and leadership skills to oversee the strategic direction of IIDA, its International Board of Directors, and its professional staff (who support the work of 15,000 members in 58 countries), she has driven change and encouraged expansion of the interior design industry. Durst, who is a sought-after keynote speaker, holds dual degrees in journalism and economics from Boston University and is a member of the Board of Trustees for both the New York School of Interior Design (NYSID) and Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

In a recent 10 Questions With… interview, Durst—who was inducted into Interior Design’s Hall of Fame in 2016—noted that the best advice she could give a young designer is to “Stay curious. Stay optimistic. Ask great questions. Listen more than you speak. Design with joy. Believe in humanity. Lead with empathy. Learn something new, every day. Trust gut instinct. Try not to take everything personally—no one thinks about you as much as you. Read, a lot. Embrace, revel in, and accept change.”

Russell Groves, Principal of Groves & Co.

Russell Groves, who was born in Nova Scotia and raised in New York City, received his architecture degree from the Rhode Island School of Design, where the multi-faceted curriculum provided a remarkable insight into an array of design disciplines. He began his career at Richard Meier Architects, followed by a tenure at Kohn Pederson Fox, before joining Peter Marino Architect, where he created and managed commissions for an array of stellar clients, including Giorgio Armani, Donna Karan, and Barneys New York. He launched his eponymous firm with The Tea Box at Takashimaya, which won a prestigious American Institute of Architects award, among many others. 

“It is important to have awards like NYCxDESIGN Awards,” notes Groves, since it is crucial to hone in on and expose new and noteworthy projects/products during the industry’s launch season in the U.S., celebrating and inspiring minds of students to experienced professionals.” He says he will be looking for “innovative, timeless projects that move the eye seamlessly throughout the space” and products that “showcase new ideas and techniques.” Groves says he sees the latter aspect as important “being that we as architects and designers incorporate these products as a part of a designed space. Well-developed products have the capability of altering the surrounding interior design of a space.”

Peter Marino, Principal and Founder of Peter Marino Architect

Peter Marino is the principal of Peter Marino Architect, a 160-person, New York-based architectural firm founded in 1978. His work includes award-winning residential, retail, cultural, and hospitality projects worldwide, among them showstopping stores for Chanel, Fendi, and Bulgari. A member of Interior Design’s Hall of Fame, Marino is well known for integrating art into his architectural designs and he has commissioned more than 300 site-specific works of art. He is also Chairman of the Venetian Heritage Foundation and sits on the board of the International Committee of L’Union Centrale des Arts Decoratifs. A graduate of Cornell University with a degree in architecture, Marino began his career at Skidmore Owings & Merrill, George Nelson, and I.M. Pei/Cossutta & Ponte.

Carlos Martinez, Principal of Gensler

Now a Principal at Gensler focused on fostering the next generation of talent at the company and shaping the strategic role of design in its client enterprises, Carlos Martinez has provided thought leadership and innovative solutions in architecture, design, and business strategy for more than 30 years. A graduate of Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Architecture degree and the University of Illinois at Chicago with a Masters in Architecture, Martinez was for more than 25 years a visiting professor of design at the Art Institute of Chicago. He has received numerous honors, including induction into the IIDA’s College of Fellows and Gensler’s prestigious Don Brinkmann Award for design excellence. 

Design awards are an amazing way for us to cross-pollinate across the industry,” he says. “Programs like NYCxDESIGN keep the design community connected and raise the bar on our collective innovation as a discipline.” Martinez notes that in this year’s project submissions he will be looking for “purpose, and how it manifests itself through design…when design and purpose align in a meaningful way it validates and elevates the human experience.” As for products, he notes: “We want products to work well, do great things, but more importantly, to connect with our emotions.”

Deborah Marton, Executive Director of the Van Alen Institute

Deborah Marton is the Executive Director of Van Alen Institute, a 125-year-old organization that helps cities and communities become more socially and physically inclusive through inclusive design. She leads an interdisciplinary team with experience in urban planning, public health, civic advocacy, community engagement, ecology, and arts and culture. Marton, who received a Master of Landscape Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a J.D. from New York University School of Law, also currently serves as Board Chair of the Public Policy Lab and sits on the Board of Trustees of the Landscape Architecture Foundation. Prior to joining Van Alen Institute, she was Executive Director of the New York City-based non-profit New York Restoration Project. Regarding her role on the NYCxDESIGN Awards jury, Marton notes: “Design makes our lives more resilient, socially and physically. With that in mind, I'll be looking for designs that foster social connections and take an environmentally sound and sustainable approach."

Lionel Ohayon, Founder and CEO of ICRAVE

Founder and CEO of ICRAVE, a New York-based design firm known for its unconventional and innovative approach, Lionel Ohayon has grown the studio into an internationally renowned practice that creates spaces as experiences that capture people’s attention. Working with Fortune 500 companies, top developers and retail innovators, his award-winning work spans healthcare, hospitality and entertainment, airports and air travel, and mixed-use residential. A graduate of the University of Waterloo School of Architecture, Ohayon is passionate about fostering creativity in the world around him—both inside and outside the office—donating his time to Performance Space 122, a not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to contemporary performance art in New York City. 

It is hard to understand the depth of talent in New York and how many projects around the world are conceived of in this city,” Ohayon says of the importance of the NYCxDESIGN Awards. “The pace of the design industry here is such that we have sometimes forgotten to take a minute and love the city that we love and these awards are designed to do exactly that.” He notes that when it comes to projects, he is looking for range. “On the one end, we want to see projects that offer up new ideas and try and solve big problems, and on the other, we also want to see projects that are simple and just speak to the passion and detail of what it means to be a designer.” Product wise, he will be looking for “rigor, imagination and execution.”

Alison Rose, Creative Director of Alison Rose NY

Alison Rose founded her creative design studio, Alison Rose NY, in New York City in 2004, specializing in interiors, furniture design, and collectible arts. As a creative visionary looking to establish the connection between the physical space, the inhabitant, and the objects within, she obsesses about even the most minute of details, tailor making designs that allow a visual narrative to be formed for each project. Rose has built a strong foundation for her own design collections using authentic materials such as metal, wood, plaster, leather, and suede, most recently launching Alison Rose X Artistic Tile Collections, which won a 2019 Best of Year Award.

Asked why it’s important to have awards like the NYCxDESIGN Awards, Rose notes that “creating comes with responsibility and realizing the impact of what we create is crucial.” She says she’ll look for “design that creates dialogue and evokes emotion” in this year’s project submissions and “an element of surprise…let’s see what fascinates me,” in the product categories.   

Wisse Trooster

Netherlands native Wisse Trooster, who launched his design studio while studying Industrial Design at Eindhoven University of Technology, describes himself as a passionately curious designer. His first products were known for their industrial touch and he presented his Hands of Time clock, which featured a clock face made from a worn sanding disc, at gallery Rosanna Orlandi in Milan in 2017 and was an Interior Design Best of Year honoree in 2018 for his sustainable cardboard 900 LED pendant. In addition to designing interior products, Trooster participates in international light festivals with his fairytale-like installation Luccinole, which creates the illusion of millions of fireflies floating through trees.

Citing the NYCxDESIGN Awards as “an indispensable addition to the events taking place in the five boroughs of the city as it is highlighting good design,” Trooster  adds that “good design is not only showing what design brings us now, but also what it can bring us in the future.” What is he looking for in submitted projects? “I'll be looking for projects that enrich the daily life of the end-users by answering questions they weren't aware of and projects that tackle sustainability at the same time,” he says. As for products, he notes, “I'll be pleased to review submitted products that are in balance by combining a timeless design with the use of durable or sustainable materials; products that are made to last!”

Lori Weitzner, Founder of Lori Weitzner Design

As Principal and Creative Director of Lori Weitzner Design, Weitzner has achieved international recognition for her work in the fields of textiles, wallcoverings, rugs, passementerie, stone, bedding, and other products for interiors. Her work is in the permanent collections of both the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York and the Victoria & Albert in London and she has received more than 30 prestigious design awards. Weitzner recently authored her first book, Ode to Color: The Ten Essential Palettes for Living and Design, and lectures around the world on the effects of color on human well-being. She also recently launched her first collection of textile-infused jewelry and accessories under her own name.

Weitzer lauds the NYCxDESIGN Awards, saying “it’s great to have a trusted curated platform like Interior Design, where the best of the best can be highlighted,” and noting that in projects she will be “looking for innovation and out-of-the-box thinking, yet at the same time with practical application—that is the ultimate.” Products, she adds, should be “beautiful, clever, problem-solving and engaging all the senses.”

Clive Wilkinson, President and Design Director of Clive Wilkinson Architects

An architect, designer, writer, and strategist with more than 30 years of experience working at the intersection of urban design, architecture, and interior design, Clive Wilkinson is a Fellow of both the AIA and IIDA as well as a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects and a former Board Director of the AIA Los Angeles. The Founder and Design Director of Clive Wilkinson Architects, a bespoke architecture and interior design firm established in 1991 and based in Culver City, California, he was inducted in to Interior Design’s Hall of Fame in 2005, named a “Pioneer of Design” by IIDA in 2011, and received the prestigious National Design Award for Excellence in Interior Design from the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in 2012. His practice is internationally renowned as a leader in workplace design, with large-scale projects for clients that include Disney, Google, Macquarie Group, and Microsoft having established new paradigms for building creative and educational communities. 

“NYCxDesign is a celebration of the products of the community of this city,” he notes, “and as such it is a wonderful reflection of human values inextricably connected to a ‘genius loci.’ As the world becomes an increasingly undifferentiated and bland global community, it is ever more important to emphasize and celebrate the genius of ‘place.’” His focus when judging projects, he says, will be on those that address the overwhelming changes taking place in society.  We will be looking for projects that acknowledge this fact, and endeavor to offer solutions to help people swim with the change and not be pushed under. Sustainable design is important, but the most sustainable aspect is human and societal resiliency, without which we could descend into all manner of conflicts again.”

For more information and to enter the awards program, visit NYCxDESIGNawards.com

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