Contract - January 2009 - (Page 14)

editorial from fantasy to reality Finally there is reason to celebrate, as Contract presents its annual recognition of design excellence in the form of the 2009 Interiors Awards, Legend Award, and Designers of the Year Award. Last October, four esteemed members of the design community gathered in Contract’s New York offices to review a record-breaking number of entries in 14 project categories. Philip G. Freelon of The Freelon Group in Research Park Triangle, N.C., our 2008 Designer of the Year, was joined by Cat Lindsay of Lindsay Newman in New York, Jennifer Luce of Luce Studio in San Diego, and James Biber of Pentagram Architects in New York for the formidable task of reviewing more than 630 projects representing the A&D community’s best work in commercial interior design and architecture during the past two years. This year’s jury was a tough bunch, but after a long day of thoughtful consideration and some wrangling, their deliberations yielded an exceptional group of 12 winners, which are presented here in our annual awards issue. As always, these winners, along with our 2009 Legend and Designers of the Year, also will be honored at our Interiors Awards Breakfast in New York on January 30. Here at Contract, we are poised at the intersection of two significant anniversaries. This year marks the 30th annual Interiors Awards Competition, which we inherited in 2001, and 2010 marks the 50th anniversary of the magazine itself. Considering these milestones, one of our best opportunities to celebrate the heritage of the Interiors Awards and Contract brands lies in our choice of honorees for Designer of the Year and Legend in 2009 and 2010. These decisions are never made lightly, but at this particular point in time they convey a special meaning about what we represent to the design community, and our belief in what design can represent to the world. We think we’ve gotten it exactly right in 2009. Our choice of Wing Chao, executive vice president master planning, architecture and design, resort development for Walt Disney Imagineering and vice chairman, Asia Pacific development, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, recognizes the importance of design to the stratospheric success of the Walt Disney Company, and celebrates the man at the core of so much of it. Admired by the A&D community for his unrelenting pursuit of design excellence, and considered the most demanding of clients for the same reason, Chao’s name is synonymous with Disney. In a career spanning more than three decades, he has overseen the design of Disney properties as varied as hotel resorts, theme parks, office buildings, convention centers, theaters, and planned urban communities in North America, Europe, and Asia, and on the high seas in the form of the Disney Cruise Line ships. Among his many earned degrees, including both a Bachelor of Architecture and a Master of Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley, a Master of Architecture with a focus in Urban Design from Harvard University, and postgraduate work in Urban Planning and Real Estate Development at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chao received an honorary Doctorate Degree in Business Administration and Hospitality Management from Johnson and Wales University in 2002. At that ceremony, one professor remarked about Chao: “Through your imagination, drive, and attention to detail, you have built entire venues that represent all that is good in our world—peace, family, love, and happiness.” What better tribute? Chao has proven himself to be a man of great vision, who has invariably lived and worked by these principles. His accomplishments for Disney offer a repeated example of how carefully considered and executed design can speak the universal language of joy, and share in the very celebration of life. As committed as Chao is to design as it relates to fantasy, our 2009 Designers of the Year are dedicated to harnessing the power of design to address harsh reality in the world. In an age where the desire to “give back” seems to be a growing response to the weariness of excess, John Peterson and John Cary of San Francisco-based Public Architecture have Jennifer Thiele Busch Editor in Chief increased awareness around the possibilities of socially responsible design, inspired a greater sense of purpose among those interested in practicing it, and—most importantly—offered a practical, organized approach to executing it. Working on the belief that charity begins in one’s own back yard, Public Architecture encourages designers and firms to seek out local opportunities to design for the greater good. These efforts, no matter the size, can be duplicated anywhere and repeatedly, creating the potential for a widespread and democratic approach to addressing the everyday injustices of society through intelligent design solutions. They do not wait for disaster to inspire action, but seek to make the world a better place bit by bit, creating a sustainable model for social change. Neither Peterson nor Cary started out anticipating alternative career paths, and neither of them has achieved the kind of celebrity status often required of those who win major design awards. But their shared, passionate belief that design can be used as an instrument for good, and the clarity and dedication with which they approach this mission, make them, in our opinion, giants among their peers. If you choose any example to follow, let it be theirs. Public Architecture’s The 1% initiative can start you on your way. At the close of the first decade of the 21st century, it is clear that design serves fantasy and reality equally well. And both will be necessary to get through the uncertain times that lie ahead, which are nevertheless rife with possibility. Submit a Letter to the Editor at 14 contract january 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Contract - January 2009

Contract - January 2009
Urban Elegance
Beyond Fad
Designers of the Year
Legend Award
The 30th Annual Interiors Awards
Large Office
Small Office
Public Space
Environmental Design
Designers Rate: Furniture Systems
Leader, Not a Follower
Deconstructing Costs
Ad Index

Contract - January 2009