Highlights from the Wallpaper* Design Awards 2010.

The winners of the annual Wallpaper* Design Awards were recently announced. Of the 66 categories, from best city to best hotel and more, 11 of them were selected by a panel of international judges, and this year included artist Carsten Höller, executive James Murdoch, creative director John Galliano, interior designer Kelly Wearstler, film director Pedro Almodóvar and architect Steven Holl. The remaining 55 were selected by Wallpaper’s own editorial panel. (How fun would it be to be a part of the selection process?)

Let’s take a look at some of the winners.

Judge’s Awards: Life Enhancer of the Year – The High Line.

This one did not come as a surprise as in the previous post I wrote about why this was such an amazing place. Joshua David, one of the co-founders of the Friends of the High Line, a non-profit, community-led organization to preserve the High Line and to reuse it as a public park, puts it very well, he said, “What I really hope to see up here this is a really a live and exciting and vibrant and surprising reflection of all of the qualities that make public life in New York so enriching.” Check out the video below as well.

Judge’s Awards: Best Furniture Designer of the Year – Konstantin Grcic.

A designer who prefers to call himself a man of simplicity rather than a minimalist, Mr. Grcic was noted for his Monza chair for Plank during the Salone del Mobile last year as well as some of his other creations, including the Pipe desks and chairs by Muji manufactured by Thonet. Check out his work by clicking on the link below.

Wallpaper* Design Awards: Best Building Site – Tokyo Sky Tree.

This 634m tower will serve as the new TV tower for Tokyo, situated in the northeast section of the city. Set to open in the Spring of 2012, Tokyo Sky Tree will have two observation towers along with restaurants and shops, along with a “town within a tower” connecting a train station with nearby parks and a river.

The Shard at London Bridge Quarter.

the shard by renzo piano, london.

In 2012 (perhaps just in time for the Olympics), a new building will open adjacent to the London Bridge Station, adding to the changing London skyline. At 1,016 feet (306 meters) with 72 stories, the building will be the tallest building in Western Europe.

Designed by architect Renzo Piano, whose vision for the Shard is a ‘City in the Sky’ with office space, residential apartments, restaurants as well as a hotel. There will also be a viewing gallery on floors 68, 69 and 72. This viewing gallery will provide a vantage point that is almost twice the height of the London Eye.

the shard by renzo piano, london.

the shard by renzo piano, london.

My Favorite Japanese Magazines.

Whenever I travel to a foreign country, I usually try to bring back some local magazines that are about design and travel. Some of my favorite ones are from Japan. There’s just something about Japanese “packaging” of magazines that makes you want to buy them. So here are my favorites:

japanese magazines.


What I love best about this magazine are the city pages towards the front cover. For each edition (the magazine is published twice a month, on the 1st and the 15th of the month), there is a summary of what is hot in major cities around the world. In the most current edition, the editors introduce new places to stay in Stockholm and discount stores in London, as a few examples. These noteworthy items can be easily torn out and kept for future reference.

Recently, the editors of pen have also published the guide for the “XXIst Century Man” exhibit at the 21_21 Design Sight in Tokyo, which is also worth a look.



Casa BRUTUS ad.

The main magazine BRUTUS is all about design, culture and lifestyle in Japan. Its sister magazine, the Casa BRUTUS, is dedicated to home furnishings and design. These two are definitely fun magazines to flip through even if you may not read Japanese.

Real Design.

I have to admit, this one is actually a recent find, even though the magazine recently celebrated its two-year anniversary. As per the magazine title, this magazine is all about design. But don’t get fooled by the title, as reportages cover a variety of topics, including culture, food and more. The most recent issue dedicates nearly 40 pages to gifts to everyone on your list. There are also articles about modern design in Kyoto and where to buy great gifts with unique packaging. Now that’s truly Japanese. No website for this one though, sadly.