- Carpet designer Stephanie Odegard heads the jury
Hannover. The Carpet Design Awards, the world's top international accolade for contemporary hand-made carpets and rugs, has a new jury lineup for DOMOTEX 2017. The new jury of specialists from the design world and the carpet industry is now chaired by the award-winning carpet designer Stephanie Odegard from New York. She is joined on the panel by interior designer Vanessa Brady from London, Wilhard Kühne, carpet expert and buyer from Dogern in Germany, Kustaa Saksi, designer and graphic artist from the Netherlands, and Hadi Teherani, architect and designer based in Hamburg. They will be working together to select the best and most original designer carpets and rugs, which represent a special combination of design, quality and artisan skills. This coveted award will be presented next year for the twelfth time at the world's leading trade fair for carpets and floor coverings.
The carpet designer Stephanie Odegard is renowned worldwide for the superlative quality of her luxury products and her unique design flair. She was one of the first designers in recent decades to have combined the matt texture of wool with the subtle shimmer of silk in a hand-made carpet. Odegard set a new global standard with this unusual mix of raw materials – both with her variations on traditional floral motifs and with her classic tone-on-tone colorways. Her designs are characterized by the use of natural dyes in carpets that are made from hand-spun and hand-knotted wool sourced from the Himalayas. Many of Odegard's signature designs draw their inspiration from the natural world. But she is also inspired by traditional Tibetan motifs, such as tiger skins and Buddhist symbols, ornately delicate wrought-iron work, architecture and the collections of antique textiles in the Art Institute of Chicago. The name Odegard is also associated with a passionate commitment to social responsibility. Her support and encouragement have helped private carpet workshops in Nepal and other countries to improve the economic and social conditions of their local communities. She has received numerous awards and prizes, including the "Hamptons Cottages & Garden Innovative Designer Award" of the New York House Magazine (2012), and the "Innovative Green Design Award" (2010).
"Back in 1987 I was one of the first to work on developing new designs, and I have seen how the contemporary carpet scene has evolved amazingly over the last 30 years and really made its mark. So I am all the more delighted to be a juror for this year's competition. As I am no longer part of the firm I founded some time ago, I can approach the competition in a completely neutral way – fully aware of the hard work and the hard-won successes that sustain our industry. As the chair of the jury, I feel very honored to be among the first to have sight of this year's entries. Having been a prize-winner myself in the past, I know how important winning an award is for designers, and how much our industry as a whole benefits from such awards", says Odegard.
Dr. Vanessa Brady is the founder of the "Society of British and International Design". As an interior designer living in London, she has worked in the field of interior design for more than 30 years and has been awarded numerous international prizes. In 2013 she won the Woman in the City "Woman of Achievement Award for the Built Environment". She has also been awarded an OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for her services to the design industry and the UK economy. Nominated in 2010 and 2013 by NatWest Bank for their "Business Women's Award", Brady is also internationally known as a business consultant. In addition to her design work, she writes articles for various national trade journals and international publications.
Wilhard Kühne has worked in the carpet industry for nearly 40 years, mainly as a buyer for large furnishing stores. Even as a young retail trainee, he knew he wanted to be involved in selecting and sourcing the merchandise he was being trained to sell. As a carpet enthusiast, he travelled to the countries of origin in order to learn more about the art of carpet-weaving. Alongside his work as a buyer, he is also a very active member of EUCA – the European Carpet-Importers Association. Kühne currently works in the long-established furnishing house Möbelmarkt Dogern near the German/Swiss border.
Kustaa Saksi is a Finnish-born designer, graphic artist and illustrator who now lives in the Netherlands. He works mainly in the fashion, entertainment and music businesses. His clients include Jennifer Lopez, adidas, Nike, Issey Miyake, Lacoste, Diesel and Levis. Saksi's designs are characterized by surreal landscapes and characters and an atmosphere of unreality. The artist's distinctive style has ensured that his works are regularly exhibited in museums and art galleries. Saksi's artworks have been on show in London, Portland, Singapore, Bangkok, Paris and other major cities of the world.
The portfolio of internationally renowned architect and designer Hadi Teherani includes high-rises, corporate headquarters, residential buildings, shopping centers, railway stations, government buildings and universities – complete with interior design. Among his projects are also tradeshow stands, showrooms and flagship stores. Yet another focus of Teherani's work is on the development and realization of innovative approaches to urban residential structures. As the creative force behind Hamburg's Hadi Teherani Group, Teherani puts architecture at the service of a more all-encompassing approach to how buildings are designed. His work – which has earned him a host of awards and distinctions – embraces the entire spectrum of product and interior design, e.g. floor coverings, lighting, seating products, door fittings and even modular kitchens. Among the distinctions received are the Federal Republic of Germany's Design Award, the iF Design Award, the Red Dot "Best of the Best" Award and the Best of Neocon Gold Winner title. The Hadi Teherani Group is based in Hamburg and is active in the fields of architecture, interior design, product design and consulting. The company also maintains branch offices in Moscow, Bangalore and Teheran.
The new jury will evaluate all the entries in November 2016 and choose the three best carpets in eight categories: Best Studio Artist Design, Best Modern Design Superior, Best Modern Design Deluxe, Best Modern Collection, Best Traditional Design, Best Transitional Design, Best Innovation and Best Traditional Collection. Entries will be judged on design, quality of materials, product concept and innovation.
The presentation of the Carpet Design Awards is one of the highlights of the annual DOMOTEX show. Excitement mounts each year when the winners are presented with their prizes on the Sunday of the show, at a special award ceremony attended by numerous guests from the international carpet industry.