2023 AZ Awards: Meet the Jury!

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Azure announces the jury for its AZ Awards 2023.


A group of leaders in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, interiors and product and furniture design to adjudicate the submissions to the international program, now in its 13th year.


Here is this year's jury:



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An associate principal at Adjaye Associates – and co-lead of the firm’s New York office – Pascale Sablan has over 15 years of experience spanning numerous projects around the world. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Pratt Institute and a Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Sablan is the 315th living African-American woman registered architect in the United States. She is an activist architect who works to advance architecture for the betterment of society by bringing visibility and voice to the issues concerning women and BIPOC designers. She founded the Beyond the Built Environment organization to address the inequitable disparities in architecture.


She has been quoted in the New York Times regarding her efforts, and Forbes magazine described her as “the powerhouse woman…actively changing history with a simple mission: women and designers of colour must claim and be credited for their contributions to the built environment.” More recently she was featured on Oprah’s Future Rising platform for Black trailblazers moving our world forward in the Audacious category.


Sablan serves as the Global President of the National Organization of Minority Architects, the 5th woman to hold this position in the organization’s 52-year legacy. She was awarded the Architectural League 2021 Emerging Voices award and the 2021 AIA Whitney M. Young. Jr Award for her advocacy efforts and ascended to the AIA College of Fellows, the youngest African American in the nation to reach that honour in the organization’s 167-year legacy. She has given lectures at colleges and universities nationally and cultural institutions such as the United Nations and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.



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Design as a second life: After a brief stint in the financial world, Alain Gilles returned to study industrial design, at the urging of his wife, in France. His gamble paid off and in 2007, he opened his eponymous studio, where he envisions an impressive array of product and furniture design, as well as art direction and interior architecture, for such international manufacturers such as Ligne Roset, Bonaldo, Buzzispace, Varaschin, Casamania, La Chance and Another Country. Gilles expresses his two main design approaches as “simplexity” – the creation of simple yet complex designs – and the “new simplicity,” whereby he creates designs that have a true identity but use a minimum amount of material.


His threefold inspirations are: the human interaction or human-centred aspect of a project; its architectural and structural aspect; and its graphic aspect, or how it can be correctly read and understood. “Overall, my aim is to design pieces that are fresh, that can evolve over time, that are strong and graphic enough to be easily read and remembered, and thus that could one day become classics,” he says.



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Dr. David Fortin is a registered architect in Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and British Columbia. He is also a professor at the the University of Waterloo School of Architecture and previously served as the Director of the McEwen School of Architecture and inaugural Associate Director of the Maamwizing Indigenous Research Institute at Laurentian University. He has taught architectural history, theory, and design in the UK, U.S., and Canada and has published on topics related to Indigenous design, Métis architecture, and speculative architectural thinking, including the relationship between science fiction and design.


Dr. Fortin is a citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario and in 2018 became the first Indigenous person to direct a school of architecture in Canada. He is also Principal Architect of David T Fortin Architect, a small design firm primarily working with Indigenous communities across the lands now known as Canada. In 2022, he was named an Aspiring Innovator of the Year by the Coalition of Innovation Leaders Against Racism (CILAR).



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Jay Osgerby is co-founder of London-based industrial design studio Barber & Osgerby with designer Edward Barber. The duo established the studio in 1996 after studying architecture together at the Royal College of Art. Its approach is characterized by an emphasis on experimentation and innovation and an exploratory attitude to materiality and colour, qualities that have been expressed in collaborations with some of the world’s most progressive companies and a diversity of output that encompasses architecture, interiors, sculpture, product and exhibition design. Projects range from the Loop Table for Isokon and Soft Work for Vitra, to the 2012 Olympic Torch and a £2 coin commissioned to commemorate the 150th anniversary of London Underground.


In 2001, the firm founded Universal Design Studio, which is focused on the fields of architecture, interiors and exhibition design, and is now recognized as one of the world’s most innovative creative design consultancies. In 2012 Barber Osgerby launched the strategy-based industrial design consultancy Map Project Office.


Barber and Osgerby have garnered numerous accolades throughout their career; in 2013 they appointed to the Order of the British Empire and in 2015 were awarded the London Design Medal. Their work is in the permanent collections of the V&A and the Design Museum in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Olympic Museum in Switzerland and the Vitra Design Museum.



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!melk’s founding principal Jerry van Eyck applies an unusual breadth and depth of skills to every project under his purview. Trained as a landscape architect and industrial designer, he approaches each commission balancing both the macro-scale – how open and public space fit into the larger context of a city’s fabric and the urban experience – with the micro, that is, the notion of materiality, ornamentation and pattern as expressed through custom furniture, lighting, paving and other details that provide each project its singular identity. His firm has developed a portfolio of built/unbuilt work all across the world, ranging from private gardens and estates to parks, waterfronts and urban master plans.


Before moving to New York in 2008, van Eyck practiced in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, where for over a decade he was responsible for the design of many internationally renowned and award-winning projects that today are regarded as exemplary precedents within the discourse of landscape architecture and urban design.


Van Eyck leads !melk with the philosophy to always focus on the design – what works best and creates the most optimal outcome for the project. What does it mean for the city, or the adjacent context? What impact does design have on the identity of a place? What do people experience, and do they embrace the places we design for them?



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Lawrence Scarpa has garnered international acclaim for the creative use of conventional materials in unique and unexpected ways. He is also considered a pioneer and leader in the field of sustainability. His firm, Brooks + Scarpa Architects, which he leads with his partner Angela Brooks in Santa Monica, is renowned for combining green design and formal experimentation in the creation of affordable housing. Their standout projects include Colorado Court Housing in Santa Monica, Rose Mixed-Use Apartments in Venice, California, The Heron in Miami Beach and the NEST Toolkit.


Scarpa has received more than 200 major design awards, including 29 National American Institute of Architects Awards – Brooks + Scarpa received the National and State of California Architecture Firm Award from the AIA and, in 2022, he received the National AIA Gold Medal, the institute’s most prestigious honour – as well as six AIA COTE “Top Ten Green Building” Awards. Interior Design magazine also bestowed Scarpa with its Lifetime Achievement Award.


He is currently on the faculty at the University of Southern California; he has also taught at Harvard University, UCLA, SCI-arc, Washington University in St. Louis, University of Florida, University of Michigan, University of Southern California and the University of California at Berkeley. He is a co-founder of the A+D Museum, Los Angeles, Affordable Housing Design Leadership Institute and Livable Places, Inc.; a nonprofit development and public policy organization dedicated to building mixed-use housing and to help develop more sustainable and livable communities.



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Expectation, elegance, longevity are the key words that describe the career of Marie Christine Dorner. Each project she has worked on during a career which has spanned Tokyo, London and Paris is an occasion to tell a story which she relates with rare elegance and a keen sense of her environment. The singularity of Dorner’s work rests in the rigour of her research into materials, the clarity of her discourse and her sophisticated implementation. The object becomes a jewel, whether in gold or bamboo. Many producers of furniture and objects have benefited from her expertise: Ligne Roset, especially, as she has designed a strong collection over the last years for the French manufacturer; others include Saint-Louis, Baccarat and Bernardaud in France, Zeus and Falci in Italy, Idée in Japan, Montis in Holland, Kinnasand in Denmark, and Le Louvre museum.


She recently implemented a new showroom concept in Lyon, “L”Appartement by Ligne Roset.” Among her best-known projects are ambassadorial residences in both France and abroad, the hotel La Villa in St Germain des Prés, exclusive private residences in France, Belgium and England, and the presidential podium for the 14th July celebrations at the head of the Champs-Elysées (a lasting project if ever there was one, since the podium was designed in 1990 and has been reused 30 times since then). With orders from institutions and private individuals alike, and with her personal research such as her emblematic series, ‘Une Forme One Shape’, from tradition to new technologies, Marie Christine Dorner expresses herself in a unique language in which expertise and formal synthesis become remarkable luxury.


Awarded the Grand prix du design de la Ville de Paris in 1995, she was decorated with the title of “Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres” in 2012.



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Widely respected within Canada’s architecture and real estate communities, and known for her design acumen, rigour and hands-on approach, Meg Graham co-leads Superkül’s thriving practice, overseeing the firm’s residential, commercial, academic, institutional and mixed-use projects. The firm’s projects include such stellar homes as Birdhouse and the Oben Flats townhouses as well as commercial projects including the new Toronto home of Universal Music Canada and numerous Aesop shops alongside institutional interiors for the University of Toronto.


A mentor and design advocate, Meg has taught architecture at the University of Toronto since 2001, is Co-Chair of the City of Toronto Design Review Panel, and sits on numerous boards, panels, and juries. She received a Bachelor’s from the University of Waterloo, winning the AIA Gold Medal in her thesis year, and holds a Master in Design Studies from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.



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Peter Segopotso Mabeo established Mabeo, his eponymous design brand, in 2006 with the idea of going beyond commercially influenced ideas of economic development and success for its own sake – and applying the values of traditional craft and modernism as a basis for cultivating relationships with craftspeople and artisans in Botswana.


The Mabeo platform works within the confines of design brand structure yet with an internal sense of creating space for curiosity, experimentation and broader views that transcend aestheticism, materiality or design philosophy – emphasizing relationships and interactions, with others and with nature. To articulate this vision, Mabeo reached out to international designers to engage in collaborative translations of techniques that exist in Botswana, using design as a translator between seemingly disparate cultures to create objects for everyday use.


Over the past 16 years, Mabeo has exhibited in global design events and has received many awards, including for best craftsmanship at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York. The brand has also been published in the most respected publications and its furniture has been featured in both 5-star hotels in Stockholm, Milan and New York as well as special residential and cultural projects. Peter Mabeo recently established a design studio, Mabeo Studio, a broader collaborative framework through which architecture, craft, design and art can converge.



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In his young career, Thom Fougere has already spearheaded the design arm of an international furniture manufacturer and established his own label. In 2010, Fougere was appointed creative director of Canadian design house EQ3. During his nine-year tenure in that role, he crafted numerous product collections for the company and led the brand through a transformative global re-positioning. This included designing EQ’s New York flagship, which was completed in 2019.


In 2021, he established his design practice, Thom Fougere Studio – which works within the fields of furniture design, product design, and architecture – in Montreal. It has created furniture and industrial products for such brands as Mjölk and Division Twelve (Keilhauer) as well as spatial designs and installations, including the NIX pavilion (with artist Wanda Koop) as part of Winnipeg’s Warming Huts program for 2023. His work has been exhibited internationally at design fairs in Milan, Stockholm, New York, Montréal and Toronto.