The jury of The Great Indoors Award 2015 honours radical and social approaches to interior design.
Forever Now is the theme of The Great Indoors Award 2015. The theme addresses our inclination to colonize past and future in a desire for something new, a tendency that results in an overt celebration of façade, aesthetic form and the commodity. This description might lead one to think of the field of design as a shallow discipline. The challenge facing the jury, however, was to select designs that define the now – projects emerging from an attitude that requires our attention to what is current, urgent and actual.
The jury of The Great Indoors Award 2015 consisted of Alexis Georgacopoulos (director, ÉCAL), Nora Fehlbaum (Co-CEO, Vitra), Brendan Cormier (curator, Victoria and Albert Museum), Deyan Sudjic (director, Design Museum) and Jaspar Jansen (designer and cofounder, i29).
While formulating criteria for assessing the 271 submissions, certain members of the jury looked for ‘spatial solutions that respond to the location and the client’s identity’ and for ‘concepts of how we control spaces and their representation’. Others pointed out designs in which ‘technology and materials communicate the contemporary condition of global connectivity’. The jury concurred in its assessment that the best projects ‘should be flexible and sustainable but, above all, should push the boundaries of how we inhabit spaces, both culturally and socially’. In conclusion, the jury emphasized the search for ideas, because, in the words of Deyan Sudjic: ‘If we’re not judging ideas, then we’re just judging appearances.’
In light of his statement, it will come as no surprise that the award-winners display a radical, often social approach to designing interiors. In RAAAF’s ideas about future office life, chair and desk have made way for an activating workscape. India Mahdavi’s pink colour scheme and inclusion of art work for London restaurant Sketch marvellously evokes fin-de-siècle tea parlours, but with a distinctly modern twist. The ceramics store that Yusuke Seki designed in Nagasaki invites visitors to walk on what seems to be an installation of stacks of precious earthenware, which turn the showroom into an exciting visceral and acoustic experience. And what about the hotel that AllesWirdGut (German for ‘all will be well’) built in Vienna? It features 78 ‘designer rooms’ for conventional guests and two apartments for refugees awaiting asylum. It puts the haves and the have-nots under one roof, facilitating an exchange between travellers who arrive by choice and those accommodated by necessity.
As this handful of examples makes abundantly clear, Forever Now is a theme that provides room for multiple interpretations. What follows is an enumeration of all the nominees of The Great Indoors Award 2015.
NB: download the digital jury report for details about all winners and nominees.