The DNA Paris Design Award was established in Paris in 2019 by the Farmani Group and a creative collective known as “In Between”.
The Farmani Group is also an organizer of the International Design Award (IDA), the Architecture Master Prize (AMP), the European Product Design Award (EPDA), the Paris Photo Award (PX3), the London International Creative Awards (LICC), the International Photography Awards (IPA) and the Lucy Photography Awards, which is considered the most prestigious photography awards in the world.
In Between is a Paris-based collective of philosophers and creators who come together to create something new and unprecedented.
From the launch of the fashion brand 〝Supermarket Paris“, to rooftop construction and design, to the production of content and documentaries, the collective continues to inspire the world as a group that pushes the borders of what it means to be a complex thinker.
The DNA Paris Design Award is an international award recognized by design professionals around the world, presenting and celebrating the achievements of architects and designers whose practical, beautiful, and innovative designs can improve our daily lives.
The ‘Beijing Xidan JoyCity 2F Jewelry Zone‘ is not a classical space that emphasizes the luxury of a traditional jewelry shop, but rather a “BrandMix“ that includes a casual café space。The result is a “self-first” space with diversity.
The concept keywords are (1) “Mine” (jewelry mine/one’s own) and (2) “Shine” (the sparkle of the jewelry/life), derived from the characteristics of the jewelry. To realize the concept, the design was inspired by the image of a soft, bright, clean, and calm jewelry mine.
The result is a wonderful space with a sense of unity as a zone, that also respects the concept and spatial expression of each brand.
Every year, GARDE actively engages in PR activities to promote design spaces and design excellence by entering several national and international design awards.
The VMware Japan office designed by GARDE was awarded a “5 Star” award in the Interior Design Awards/Office Interior category of The Asia Pacific Property Awards.
Now in their 29th year, the International Property Awards are judged by a panel of over 80 industry experts, with a focus on design, quality, service, innovation, originality, and commitment to sustainability.
The International Propety Award is widely recognized worldwide as a highly prestigious design award.
The Asia Pacific Property Awards are the most recognized design awards in Asia, with many properties entering each year to compete in terms of design, quality, innovation, and originality.
Among a large number of entries, the design of the VMware Japan office was selected as a 5 Star entry.
VMware, Hong Kong and Indonesia were the only three properties in Asia to receive the “5 Star” award, and the only one from Japan.
The International Propety Award is proof that the office designs created by GARDE are comprehensively superior in terms of “quality”, “service”, “innovation”, “originality” and “sustainability”. Designs created by GARDE will continue to develop into the future with high expectations for the potential of GARDE’s designs.
Every year, GARDE actively engages in PR activities to promote design spaces and design excellence by entering several national and international design awards.
The Candeo Hotels Kyoto Karasuma Rokkaku won GOLD in the MUSE DESIGN AWARDS 2022.
Francesco Ristori and Anna Nishigori are young designers who are steadily developing their skills and practice, including interior design for the hotel.
In this interview, we focused on the design work conducted at Candeo Hotels Kyoto Karasuma Rokkaku, and interviewed the two about how they became interested in design and their personal lives.
*Francesco Ristori, hereafter referred to as “Francesco”; Anna Nishigori, hereafter referred to as “Nishigori.”
◆First of all, please tell us about your backgrounds.
Francesco: “I studied architecture at the University of Florence. After graduation, I worked in Italy designing residential and retail buildings and restoring many historical buildings. In the process, I became interested in designing new buildings and decided to move to Japan, where there are many historical buildings, just as in Italy.”
Nishigori: “I originally majored in civil engineering. However, I became interested in the renovation of historical buildings after encountering Tate Modern in the UK. So, I decided to study interior design in England.”
◆Please tell us about the properties you have worked on since joining GARDE.
Francesco:“Since coming to Japan in 2014, he has participated in a wide range of office, hospitality, residential, retail, and department store projects in Japan and Asia, including, MetLife Tokyo Garden Terrace Olinas Tower, Candeo Hotels Kyoto Karasuma Rokkaku, Kosugi 3rd Avenue, HOTEL ARU KYOTO Sanjo-Kiyamachi, and many other projects in Japan and Asia at large, in a wide range of genres including office, hospitality, residential, commercial, and department stores. My current focus is office design.”
Nishigori: “Since joining the company, I have worked on interior design for various genres such as hotels, retail, and food halls. For example, I have been in charge of designing various properties with a focus on hospitality design, such as Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel, Candeo Hotels Kyoto Karasuma Rokkaku, and US HOTEL.”
◆What did you keep in mind when designing Candeo Hotels Kyoto Karasuma Rokkaku?
Francesco: “I felt that Kyoto has a strong identity and connection with its neighborhood associations in a positive sense;where communities are formed,and culture is nurtured. I thought this was very valuable and would continue to be so, so I tried to ensure that the hotel design would gently blend in with the town while maintaining harmony with the surrounding community.
Nishigori: “When we first toured the house, the machiya was very dark, but due to the nature of the lounge, we tried to create a bright space that everyone would want to enter as a place welcoming to guests. On the other hand, there were many regulations that made it difficult to design the space, such as not allowing holes in the beams due to the fact that is a historical building. In this situation, we worked while considering how to integrate `character` of Candeo Hotel, and how to express it in the design.
◆What are some of the things that have inspired you?
Francesco:“The key to the design of the Candeo Hotel is its femininity. Therefore, we picked up the best materials that convey a soft and elegant image, starting with feminine colors, and worked to incorporate them into the design without being obnoxious.”
Nishigori: “Since the concept of the `character` of Candeo Hotel was `glitz and glamour`, we were inspired by jewelry as a symbol of that concept.”
◆What are the key points of the design and what do you definitely want people to see here?
Francesco:“The courtyard is the focal point of Candeo Hotels Kyoto Karasuma Rokkaku, where the fragrance of the historic machiya house and the gentle, modern design of the new building merge. I hope you will see and feel it.
Nishigori: “The structure of the room currently used as a BAR is interesting and definitely something to behold”
◆Through the MUSE DESIGN AWARDS and other design awards, our designs have been highly evaluated. What are the points that you think have been highly evaluated?
Francesco: “I believe that the gentle blend of the new structure with the historic building is a key point in its evaluation.
Nishigori: “I think the key to the design is in the fusion of old and new, with a connection between the historical value of the townhouse itself and the new building that takes advantage of this value.”
◆What have you learned through the design of Candeo Hotels Kyoto Karasuma Rokkaku?
Francesco: It was very exciting to be involved in a project that blends historical buildings that tend to be untouched depending on their intended use with new architecture, transforming them into completely new structures, and I believe it was a wonderful experience for my future design work.
Nishigori:There were more regulations than for buildings I had experienced before, so I learned a lot thinking about how to give shape to the design I envisioned. Specifically, I did research on buildings in advance and designed them while thinking about where to show them off.”
◆How do you want to use this in your future design work?
Francesco: “In future projects, as in this one, I would like to design with consideration for the surrounding history and community. The reason for this is that regardless of whether it is a new property, renovation, or refurbishment, we believe it is the job of the architect/designer to pass on to the next generation the history and culture that has already been nurtured in that location, and the connection to the surrounding area that has always existed.”
Nishigori: “When designing, you must think about the actual construction method and how it will fit together beautifully.”
◆What design or project (either domestic or international) would you like to be involved in or work on in the future?
Francesco:“Based on this experience, we would like to reincarnate and renovate historical buildings as office environments, making the best use of modern technology and methods.”
Nishigori: “If given the opportunity, I would like to design a renovation of a historical building again.”
◇From here on out, we’re going to talk about the designer`s private lives…
◆I think your schedule becomes quite hard when you are close to the deadline. Is there anything you do to keep yourself going even in such a situation?
Francesco:“I am not doing anything special. The closer the deadline gets, the more efficient my production naturally becomes (laughs).”
Nishigori:“I try to get a good night’s sleep.”
◆How do you spend your days off?
Francesco: “I leave the city with my family and get in touch with nature.”
Nishigori:“Schooling, working on assignments, playing with my cats, and going out for a nice dinner with my husband!”
◆I think that a balance between design and mind/body is very necessary. What do you recommend to keep this balance?
Francesco:“For me, the moment I leave the office, I try to forget about work and switch to personal mode!”
Nishigori:“It’s all about eating good food and getting a good night’s sleep!”
◆What do you think is the one thing you must not lose when you are involved in the design business?
Nishigori: “The spirit to never give up”
◆What do you want to convey through architectural design that will last for 100 or 200 years?
Francesco:“I believe that the quality of design can be found in the importance of history. In other words, architectural design is connected by connecting history. That is what I would like to convey
Nishigori: ”Quite simply, I think good design is appreciated regardless of time.
◆What advice would you give to those who want to get involved in design and make a living from it?
Francesco:“Design is a multi-sensory experience, not just a desk study. Always be curious about what happens in before your eyes, and be curious about a wide range of things, not just design!”
Nishigori:“I think it’s important to actually experience it for yourself!”
◆What appeals to you?
Francesco: “I think this is where I have an international mindset and like to take in even more different perspectives, ways of thinking, and ideas.”
Nishigori: It’s an INFP-T type of place!
The two artists strive to improve their senses and skills while maintaining a good daily life-work balance and at the same time feeling the importance of design. We look forward to seeing their designs enriching the eyes and hearts of many people around the world in the future!
◆Candeo Hotels Kyoto Karasuma Rokkaku
International Design Division, Office Department, Architect, Designer
After achieving a master’s degree in architecture at the University of Florence, he specialized in Italy in housing and retail projects, as well as heritage buildings restoration. Since 2014 he has been involved as designer at GARDE, operating in Japan and Korea, China, and south-east Asia, involved in several project scales, such as corporate offices, hospitality, residential, commercial facilities, and department stores.
Design Division, Large-scale Facility Design Department, Designer
After studying interior architecture in the UK and obtaining MA, she joined GARDE in 2017. She was involved in the concept planning, schematic design and construction document of Kyoto Candeo Hotel and Osaka’s new hotel. Utilizing the interior architecture technology she learned in the UK, she has been involved in various projects both in Japan and overseas with the focus on hospitality design.
The MUSE DESIGN AWARDS were established in New York to honor creative and design professionals and is a well-known and well-recognized competition that is open globally.
It is organized by the International Awards Associate (IAA), which aims to promote excellence in various creative and design industries by providing a forum for professionals to compete against their peers.
The IAA maintains impartiality by having a review committee composed of industry professionals as well as by having an established evaluation criteria based on industry standards.
The mission of the judges is to seek out companies and individuals with exceptional talent that will become new benchmarks in their respective industries.
In 2022, more than 6,000 entries were received from all over the world, among which “Candeo Hotels Kyoto Karasuma Rokkaku” and “Ningbo Hankyu” designed by GARDE were awarded GOLD and “Beijing Xidan Joycity 2F Jewelry Theme Zone” was awarded SILVER.
■Features of each property…
The” Candeo Hotels Kyoto Karasuma Rokkaku” preserved and restored a valuable machiya (townhouse). It was the former Banke Residence, a tangible cultural property registered by the city of Kyoto. It does not simply make the old new, beautiful, and easy to use; but also, further optimizes the “completed design” (the optimal solution) at a high level.
“Ningbo Hankyu” was designed to be an oasis where people can gather and spend time comfortably, and to transmit Japanese elements, not simply expressing traditional Japanese culture as it is, but sublimating it into a modern design.
The “Beijin Xidan JoyCity 2F Jewelry Theme Zone” was designed as a “BrandMix” space with a casual café space, rather than a classical space with a heavy emphasis on luxury like a conventional jewelry store.
We believe that winning the “MUSE DESIGN AWARDS 2022” serves as proof that GARDE’s originality, ingenuity, and thoroughness in design creation have been recognized around the world.
GARDE enters numerous national and international awards each year with the goal of spreading the word about the excellence of its space and design, even after the property design is completed.
The iF DESIGN AWARD, sponsored by the Germany-based International Forum Design (Industrial Design Association), was established in 1953 and is well-known worldwide.
In 2022, more than 10,000 entries were received from over 60 countries, and 132 renowned design experts from over 20 countries selected outstanding designs based on the criteria of “IDEA,” “FORM,” “FUNCTION,” “DIFFERENTIATION,” and “IMPACT” to discover the next rising stars in the design world.
The new workplace for VMware Japan, designed by GARDE, was awarded the iF DESIGN AWARD 2022.
The concept of the space design is simple and understated yet projects future technology. The design is inspired by a unique Japanese concept of uramasari, which has an inner richness, expression, and color that is hidden by a humble and unassuming exterior.
The concept is expressed by making the visitor area subtle and harmonious while the staff area is colorful and expressive.
This focus on flexibility and collaboration serves a role in inspiring and facilitating new ways of working.
GARDE enters numerous national and international awards each year with the goal of inspiring others with the excellence of our space and design well after the design is completed.