Are you a professional, a true art and design enthusiast or simply a curious? Did you ever wonder what are the best interior, furniture or product designers and the best architects in the world? Today, we will help you discover some of these talented minds and hands which are behind the masterpieces we admire in contemporary design.
Incredible Talent in the United States of America (USA)
Jonathan Adler was born in August 11, 1966 in New Jersey. He is an American potter, designer, and author. Adler launched his first ceramic collection in 1993 at Barneys New York. Five years later he expanded into home furnishings, opening his first boutique in Soho, Manhattan. He now has 17 stores and runs a huge design business.
He strives to create luxury yet functional interiors that are carefully designed, but don’t take themselves too seriously. His commitment to the finest craftsmanship and luxury is echoed in all he does. His projects go from furniture, lighting, home accessories, decorative objects to tabletop collections, bedding, bath accessories, candles, rugs, pillows, and many more. His extraordinary designs can be found in the best restaurants, hotels, and homes around the world.
Ryan Korban started his career in interior design after graduating from The New School in New York. Without any formal training, he developed his unique aesthetic, characterized by a fusion of luxury, old-world romance, and urban cool.
Evoking several inspirations fluctuating from Monet paintings to Helmut Newton’s photography, he creates enchanting, astonishing spaces that surpass trend to redefine traditional design for a new generation.
His portfolio includes the homes of prominent figures in the worlds of fashion, film, and music. Specializing in retail design with an emphasis on luxury, Korban has completed some of the finest spaces in New York’s retail landscape. His work has been profiled in publications as Vogue, W, Harper’s Bazaar, Architectural Digest, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times.
Rockwell Group is an interdisciplinary company that nurtures innovation in every project. Founded in 1984 by David Rockwell and commanded by partners Shawn Sullivan and Greg Keffer, they create extraordinary experiences and build environments in every single corner of the world.
Based in downtown New York with a satellite office in Madrid, they specialize in a wide collection of fields from luxury hospitality, cultural, and healthcare projects, to educational, product, and set design.
The merging of interactive technology, handmade pieces, custom works and furniture creates environments which perfectly incorporate technology, craftsmanship and design together.
Crafting a unique and individual narrative concept for each project is vital to Rockwell Group’s successful design approach. From the big picture to the smallest detail, the story expresses and leads the design.
“We’re driven by a deep curiosity about the world. This keeps us open to possibilities—for our clients and ourselves”, explains David Rockwell.
Mesmerizing Skills in the United Kingdom (UK)
David Chipperfield founded David Chipperfield Architects in 1985. He was Professor of Architecture at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Stuttgart from 1995 to 2001 and Norman R. Foster Visiting Professor of Architectural Design at Yale University in 2011. He taught and lectured worldwide at schools of architecture in Austria, Italy, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In 2012, David Chipperfield curated the 13th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale.
He is also an honorary associated of both the American Institute of Architects and the Bund Deutscher Architekten, and a past winner of the Heinrich Tessenow Gold Medal, the Wolf Foundation Prize in the Arts, and the Grand DAI (Verband Deutscher Architekten- und Ingenieurvereine) Award for Building Culture. David Chipperfield was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2004, appointed a Royal Designer for Industry in 2006, and elected to the Royal Academy in 2008. In 2009, he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and in 2010 he was knighted for services to architecture in the UK and Germany. In 2011 he received the RIBA Royal Gold Medal for Architecture, and in 2013, the Praemium Imperiale from the Japan Art Association, both given in recognition of a lifetime’s work.
Kelly Hoppen‘s look has become one which is both widely recognized and used by many people around the world when developing the interior style for their own homes. Neutral palettes, beautiful textures and an East meets West aesthetic are all parts of her signature look. She always wanted people to feel a great sense of warmth in their home, wrapped in comfort and surrounded by gorgeous pieces, all of which help to enhance those feelings of calm and relaxation.
For many years she dreamed of designing her own collection of wonderful products for the home to maximize that feeling of serenity and happiness. This is the culmination of her years of experience and of knowing what works well. Her first collection of beautiful luxury products inspired all of us and gives us the confidence to create the home of our dreams. Hoppen wishes to encourage everyone to create their own aesthetic vision for interior design.
David Collins Studio is an award-winning interior architecture atelier which creates creative and inspirational designs, residential and retail projects worldwide. It is a globally-renowned brand and an expert in contemporary luxury design.
Established in 1985, The Studio collaborates with luxury brands and businesses which represent the best in their field, and with private clients that share its fascination with detail, craft and refinement. Based in London, The Studio organized projects across five continents, including The Wolseley, The Connaught Bar and Harrods Shoe Heaven in London, Gleneagles in Scotland, The Ritz-Carlton Residences at MahaNakhon in Bangkok, and The Delaire Graff Estate in South Africa.
Wonderful Know-How in France
Jean Nouvel was born in Fumel, France in 1945. After joining the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux, Jean Nouvel ranked first in the entrance examination of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1966 and obtained his degree in 1972.
Assistant to the architect Claude Parent and inspired by urban designer and expert Paul Virilio, he started his first architecture practice in 1970. Soon afterwards, he became a founding member of the Mars 1976 movement whose purpose was to oppose corporatism in architecture. He also co-founded the Labor Union of French Architects in opposition to the existing national Board of Architects.
His strong beliefs and provocative opinions on contemporary architecture in the urban context together with his constant ability to insert a sense of originality into all the projects he accepts created his international reputation. Jean Nouvel’s work does not result from considerations of style or ideology, but from a quest to create a unique concept for a singular combination of people, place and time.
Ateliers Jean Nouvel (AJN) is a world-renowned design company with a multicultural team of 140 people from more than twenty countries. AJN combines the fields of architecture, urban planning, interior design, landscape design, graphic design, and product design into a single integrated practice. Jean Nouvel’s award winning designs and reputation attracted many prestigious collaborations. His portfolio of projects currently in progress includes museums, concert halls, conference centers, theaters, hotels, residential buildings, office buildings, commercial centers, and private residences.
“Subversive, ethical, ecological, political, humorous… this is how I see my duty as a designer”, explains Philippe Starck. His career is filled with 10,000 creations, global recognition and fruitful creativity, however the main point of Philippe Starck’s success is his mission, a vision: that creation, whatever form it takes, must improve the lives of as many people as possible.
Starck passionately believes this poetic and political, rebellious and benevolent, pragmatic and subversive quest should be shared by everyone. He sums it up with the humor that made him stand out from the very beginning: “No one has to be a genius, but everyone has to participate”.
In his bright eyes, sharing his ethical and humanist vision of a more equal planet is a responsibility, if not a moral duty, that results in unconventional projects, bearing abundant surprises. It’s easy to guess his course of action: every object must be useful before being beautiful.
Starck’s prophetic concern with ecology, his deep understanding of contemporary transformations, his enthusiasm for imagining new lifestyles, his determination to change the world, his commitment to sustainability, his love of ideas, his concern with defending the intelligence of usefulness made him iconic.
From everyday products like furniture to revolutionary mega-yachts, intensely vibrant, stimulating and phantasmagorical hotels and the miraculous technologies of the electric car, he never stops pushing the limits of contemporary design. Starck is a true visionary who puts art of innovation to the service of design and democratic ecology, being respectful to both human and nature’s heritage.
Tristan Auer’s style is eclectic, similar to the approach of the 20th century’s designers. He knows how to navigate between periods, from baroque to contemporary, and how to honor craftsmanship.
“I like to get carried away in adventures and be close to my clients. The ideal is to ensure that the design and decoration soften their lives”, explains Auer.
More Incredible Expertise All Around the World
Karim Rashid is one of the most creative designers of his generation. Over 3000 designs in production, over 300 awards and working in over 40 countries show that Karim is legend of design.
His award winning designs include luxury goods for Christofle, Veuve Clicquot, and Alessi, democratic products for Umbra, Bobble, and 3M, furniture for Bonaldo and Vondom, lighting for Artemide and Fontana Arte, high tech products for Asus and Samsung, surface design for Marburg and Abet Laminati, brand identity for Citibank and Sony Ericsson and packaging for Method, Paris Baguette, Kenzo and Hugo Boss.
Karim’s work is featured in 20 permanent collections and he exhibits in several art galleries worldwide. Karim is a recurrent winner of the Red Dot award, Chicago Athenaeum Good Design award, I. D. Magazine Annual Design Review, IDSA Industrial Design Excellence award.
“For the longest time design only existed for the elite and for a small insular culture. I have worked hard for the last 20 years trying to make design a public subject”, Karim Rashid explains.
Patricia Urquiola (1961) was born in Oviedo (Spain) and currently lives in Milan. She studied architecture at the Polytechnic of Madrid where she graduated in 1989. From 1990 until 1992 she was an assistant professor in the courses given by Achille Castiglioni and Eugenio Bettinelli, both at the Polytechnic of Milan and E.N.S.C.I. in Paris. Between 1990 and 1996 she worked for the development office of new products of “De Padova” and signed with Vico Magistretti the products: “Flower”, “Loom sofa”, “Chaise” and “Chaise Longue”.
Between 1992 and 1996 Urquiola opened a studio with two friends, Renzio and Ramerino, working with architecture, interiors, restaurants, among others. In the next 4 years she was manager of the Lissoni Associati Group and in 2001 she opened her own studio in Milan, focused on product design and architecture. Patricia won many design awards, such as Antares-Flos, Artelano, Boffi, Cappellini, Cassina, Kartell. In addition to attending events, conferences and lectures she designed for B & B, Bosa, De Vecchi, Fasem, Kartell, Liv’it, MDF Italy, Molteni & C., Moroso and Tronconi.
Her products were selected for the 2001 Design Exhibition in Italy and for the Annual International Design Catalog of 1999 and 2001. In 2001 she was a jury of the 19th CDIM Design Competition and lectured at the Domus Academy. She currently conducts her professional career at her own craftsmanship studio in Milan in the fields of design, exhibitions, art direction and architecture.
Emiliano Salci and Britt Moran invested in the fields of Design, Art and Fashion, and founded Dimore Studio in 2003. Since that moment, they designed and carried out every project with their own unique signature style: pieces created by historical design master artisans merged with domestic materials and other modified objects to forge a singular atmosphere. A timeless visual and emotional pathway.
Their research is focused on details which makes every new creation exquisite and sophisticated. Their language is inspired by a collection of emotional alchemies made of unexpected choices, appreciation of prints, lights, lacquers and oxidations. An uncensored aesthetic where each item has its own power and expressive “raison d’être. Dimore Studio interprets memories and creates dreams, crossing the boundaries between art and design, fashion and architecture.
Marcel Wanders is a talented product and interior design studio credited with more than 1.900 iconic projects. Under the creative leadership of the artist and craftsman Marcel Wanders, who is supported by Gabriele Chiave since 2014, the multi-disciplinary team of 40 breathes creativity across several fields.
Marcel Wanders works with notorious luxury brands such as Alessi, Baccarat, Bisazza, Christofle, Kosé Corporation, Flos, KLM, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Louis Vuitton, Morgans Hotel Group, Puma, Swarovski. Today, many of Marcel Wanders’ designs are celebrated in some of the most renowned museums in the world, including the Centre Pompidou (FR), MoMA (US), and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (NL).
Marcel Wanders is reshaping the design industry and encouraging a more romantic and humanistic design thinking. Respecting the past and the diversity of cultures, he develops a contemporary language that is personal yet a catalyst for the post-post-modernist era he calls the “Contemporary Renaissance of Humanism”.
India Mahdavi is the ruling queen of color. “It’s the best way to bring sunshine into a space,” says the Paris-based interior designer. “Sunshine is happiness, and my work is about happiness.” Her admirers request for more. “They aren’t looking for mainstream,” Mahdavi explains. “They tend to be people who are looking ahead.” Indeed, the unique creativity of her rooms is not for the faint of heart.
The architect and designer India Mahdavi was born in an Anglo-Persian family and spent her childhood between Massachussetts, New York, Heidelberg, South France and Paris. Her style reflects her personality: multilingual, multicultural and polychrome.
She graduated in architecture (DPLG – Paris), industrial design (Copper Union, New York), graphic design (School of Visual Arts, New York) and also specialized in furniture design (Parson’s NYC). Her studio, founded in 1999, is internationally celebrated for signing several designs, ranging from architecture to interior, furniture and product design.
India Mahdavi designed famous hotels and restaurants such as: Condesa DF in Mexico, on Rivington in New York, Monte Carlo Beach in Monaco, Coburg bar and Hélène Darroze restaurant in London’s Connaught, Claridge’s suites in London, Hôtel Thoumieux in Paris, Hôtel du Cloître in Arles, Café Français in Paris (Place de la Bastille) in collaboration with M / M (Paris), L’Apogée Courchevel co-signed with Joseph Dirand and The Gallery at Sketch restaurant from London. The interiors signed by her are elegant, fluid, and always characterized by a strong connection with the essence of the place.
Tadao Ando was born in 13 September 1941 and he is a Japanese self-taught architect whose approach to architecture and landscape was categorized by architectural historian Francesco Dal Co as “critical regionalism”. He is the winner of the 1995 Pritzker Prize.
Ando was raised in Japan where religion and life style deeply influenced his architecture and design vision. Ando’s architectural style is said to create a “haiku” effect, emphasizing nothingness and empty space to represent the beauty of simplicity.
He loves designing complex yet beautiful interiors while maintaining the appearance of simplicity. Tadao Hando also treasures his Japanese culture and language, keeping them in mind while he travels around Europe for research. As an architect, he believes that architecture can change society, that “to change the dwelling is to change the city and to reform society”.
The Campana Brothers, Fernando (b. 1961) and Humberto (b. 1953), are, undoubtfully, prodigies of contemporary design. They were born in Brotas and started working together in 1983 in São Paulo, Brazil, where they still live and work at Studio Campana.
Despite being two of the best designers in the world, their lives weren’t always in that path. Humberto studied to be a lawyer but decided that his true passion was sculpting. Fernando decided to study architecture, but soon wanted to work with his brother and create innovative and groundbreaking furniture design.
The world started to notice their true talent in 1991 when they developed the “Favela Chair”, made from scraps found in a São Paulo shanty town. From there, they brought to life “Vermelha Chair”, “Cone Chair” and “Estrela Lamp”. The media started to cover them in 1998, when they became the first Brazilian artists to showcase their work at the renowned Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, along with the German lightning design Ingo Maurer, in an exhibition called “Project 66”, curated by Paola Antonelli.
In that year they also started a partnership with the Italian brand Edra. Every year, the brothers launch new works of art and concepts in collaboration with international brands such as Alessi, Artecnica, Bernardaud, Baccarat, Corsi Design, Consentino, Nodus, Magis, Moleskine, Skitch, Plus Design, Venini, and Trousseau, among many others.
In 2002, Studio Campana began to craft its own line of exclusive, limited edition and unique handmade designs. These special editions are represented by the best international art galleries including Friedman Benda in New York, Galleria O in Rome, Carpenters Workshop Gallery in London, Firma Casa in Sao Paulo, David Gill in London and Kreo in Paris, among others.
The outstanding “Vermelha Chair” is still their best seller. At the Design Museum in London, the history of their work was told and nowadays their art pieces are frequently exhibited at acclaimed museums all over the world.
Stay with us to find out more about the best of contemporary art, design and craftsmanship.
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