INTRODUCING THE 2020 GRAY AWARDS
Each working at the top of their game, across all genres of design, these international icons now focus a discerning eye on the excellent work of their peers. What they are about to review will blow them away.
Tom Dixon, OBE, is founder and creative director behind the Tom Dixon brand. Established in 2002, the studio covers lighting, accessories, and furniture and has offices in London, New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. Dixon also runs Design Research Studio, an interior and architectural design studio. High‑profile projects include the Restaurant at the Royal Academy, Shoreditch House, le Drugstore in Paris and Alto in Hong Kong. Self-taught, he is among the most prolific and exciting designers today. He rose to prominence as an industrial designer in 1991 with his 'S' chair for Cappellini and has continued to develop iconic pieces including the Jack "sitting, stacking, lighting thing,” and his globally lauded Mirror Ball, Copper Shade, and Fat chair, to name a few. His works have been acquired by museums around the globe, including MoMA, Pompidou Centre, and the V&A. In 2019, he was awarded the London Design Medal.
MMA Design Studio
Mphethi Morojele is the founder and owner of MMA Design Studio, an international award-winning architecture practice based in Johannesburg, South Africa.
He studied at the University of Cape Town and at the Bartlett School of Architecture, London, and was a studio master at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
He was a leading member of the Scientific Committee for the 2014 UIA congress in Durban and has curated exhibitions on South African Architecture at the Venice Biennale, the Royal Institute of British Architects, and the 2010 Shanghai expo to name a few. He was a member of the London School of Economics “Urban Age” series and is an international speaker and guest lecturer on architecture in Africa.
Martha Schwartz Partners
Martha Schwartz is a landscape architect and artist who formed Martha Schwartz Partners in 1979, which now has offices in Shanghai, London, and New York. Her firm’s work spans the globe, developing and improving sites in places such as Beijing’s mixed-use Beiqijia Technology Business District; the Place de la République in Paris; Sowwah Square in Abu Dhabi, UAE; and Dublin’s open public space Grand Canal Square. Schwartz is a tenured professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design in Landscape Architecture and works to highlight how design can aid in the mitigation of climate change. She’s also a founding member of the Working Group of Sustainable Cities at Harvard University, and a member of the Landscape Architecture Foundation Climate Change Task Force.
Named one of the most influential people in the world by TIME magazine, Architect Jeanne Gang, FAIA, is the founding principal and partner of Studio Gang, an international architecture and urban design practice headquartered Chicago. The firm's award-winning work includes projects throughout the Americas and Europe, ranging from community-centered cultural institutions to public projects that connect citizens with ecology and high-rise towers that foster community. Ongoing projects include an expansion to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City; a new United States Embassy in Brasília; the University of Chicago’s European hub for study and research in Paris; a unified campus for the California College of the Arts in San Francisco; and the new O’Hare Global Terminal in Chicago.
Guo Pei Paris
Guo Pei, with an eponymous studio in Paris, is China's most renowned couturier. For more than 20 years, she's dressed celebrities, royalty, and political elite in her show-stopping creations. Pei's modern adaptation of embroidery and painting traditions are revealed in pieces from womens daywear to elegant red carpet and bridal couture—including the notable gown worn by Rihanna to the 2015 Met Gala and the diamond-studded garment Song Zuying wore during the 2008 Beijing Olympics closing ceremony. The 2016 unveiling of her “Courtyard” collection was Pei's Paris Haute Couture debut and was met with wide critical acclaim. She was named one of TIME magazine's 100 Most Influential People and Business of Fashion's 500 Most Influential People Shaping the Global Fashion Industry.
Pierre Yovanovitch is an interior architect who launched his Paris-based design atelier nearly two decades ago after working as a menswear designer for the legendary Pierre Cardin. Known for his signature haute couture aesthetic, in which he blends high art, architectural elements, and vintage furniture to create a refined yet unpretentious setting, Yovanovitch has been revered by industry experts for his mastery of volume and proportions, as well as his ability to restructure historic spaces to fit a contemporary lifestyle.
In 2019, Yovanovich debuted his first monograph, Pierre Yovanovitch: Interior Architecture, a work detailing his design process via first-person narrative. His work spans globally from residential, hospitality, and commercial undertakings.