Despite an arctic freeze gripping much of the Northeast, more than 600 members of the design community braved biting winds and bitter cold to attend Contract
magazine’s 34th Annual Interiors Awards Breakfast on Friday morning, January 25. Cipriani’s 42nd Street in New York was the site of celebration for 2013’s winning projects that exhibit excellence and innovation across 13 categories of interior design projects, including education, corporate, retail, hospitality, healthcare, and a new sustainable project category. And, the coveted Designer of the Year award was given to Joey Shimoda of Shimoda Design Group, and Michael Graves was honored as the 2013 Legend.
editor in chief John Czarnecki introduced the morning’s theme of transformation, noting many of the competition’s winning projects helped transform iconic buildings by Breuer, Saarinen, and Safdie. “Yes, we have a winner in the adaptive reuse category, and yes that’s pretty to understand as a transformation,” he tells the audience. “But many of the other winning projects, in various categories, are actually transformations of existing interiors, and that’s exciting because it demonstrates that your work in designing interiors has a real impact.” Representatives from all the winning firms were in attendance to accept their awards, including one firm from Austria and one firm from China.
Joey Shimoda, founder of Shimoda Design Group in Los Angeles, accepted his award for Designer of the Year. In addition to his professional achievements, Shimoda was able to not only sustain but also grow a small firm with major clients like Steelcase, MTV, Mikimoto, and TOM’s Shoes. Czarnecki credits Shimoda’s “exceptional design talent” that transforms the business of his clients.
The breakfast concluded with Michael Graves’s acceptance of the 2013 Legend award to a standing ovation. During his closing speech, Graves expressed gratitude for the opportunity to work as an architect and the significance of designing interiors, both personally and as an industry. “When we design a room, we are always at the center of that room,” he says. “I think that is pretty exceptional.” Graves received the 11th Legend award from Contract
magazine, and is the first Designer of the Year (1981) to receive both of Contract’s
highest distinctions bestowed upon an individual.
See the complete list of winners here