Last month the Illinois chapter of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) rolled out the red carpet at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago for its third annual RED—Recognizing Exemplary Design—Awards, honoring the state’s very best in interior design. Cheryl Durst, executive vice president and CEO of the IIDA, led the ceremony that followed cocktails amongst the art.
Seeking projects that exemplify, says Mindi DeVries, a designer at Harley Ellis Devereaux and co-chair of the RED awards committee, “a unique solution to a design problem executed in the most creative way," 2015 judges considered more than 50 entries submitted by more than 24 Illinois-based design firms and schools. Recognizing a lead designer or architect with less than five years of professional experience at the time of project completion, the inaugural Emerging Professional award was given to Vara Design, which won for its work on Bow & Stern Oyster Bar, a restaurant that closed in December after a year in operation.
“Great design should be shared, viewed, and appreciated by everyone in the industry. It is also a source of creative inspiration,” says DeVries. “By submitting a project for consideration in the RED Awards, Illinois design firms have an opportunity to showcase their projects in a wide variety of categories, with a chance to be recognized as one of the finest projects of that year.”
“Illinois wants to recognize the creative projects that firms in our state are completing and show them off,” adds Jane Kielb, IIDA, IDEC, assistant professor and interior design program coordinator, College of DuPage. Keilb, the event’s other co-chair, is also IIDA Chicago’s president-elect.
The Michelle Roberts Student Award, given to the best student work, went to the “Today is a Good Day” team from Harrington College of Design for its DIFFA's Dining by Design 2014 project. Three other design schools were in competition: College of DuPage, Columbia College Chicago, and Illinois State University.
Other 2015 RED winners include Hunter Kaiser, for its Chicago Luxury Beds retail project, and bKL Architecture for its GEMS World Academy Lower School educational project. “There are so many fine projects submitted that our judges have a daunting task to choose a winner,” says Kielb.
Submissions for RED 2016 will open in the fall.