London based Architect, Zaha Hadid known for her unique and futuristic designs was recently awarded Praemium Imperiale for Architecture by the Japan Art Association.

“It is indeed an honour to receive this recognition from the Japan Art Association.” said Hadid. “Working in Japan has been critical to the development of my work around the world. I will always be grateful for this support early in my career. My Japanese clients shared a passion for architecture – allowing us to investigate many things and design very powerful projects, interesting in their complexity and essential in developing our repertoire of work. Through our architecture, we can enthuse people and make them excited about new ideas.”

The other Praemium Imperiale Laureates for 2009 are: Painting – Hiroshi Sugimoto; Sculpture – Richard Long; Music – Alfred Brendel; Theatre/Film: Tom Stoppard.

On October 22nd the Laureates will travel to Japan to attend the Awards Ceremony, presided over by the honorary patron of the Japan Art Association, Prince Hitachi, younger brother of the present Emperor of Japan.

Previous Laureates include David Hockney, James Stirling, Anthony Caro, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Richard Attenborough, John Gielgud, Peter Brook, Richard Rogers, Tony Cragg, Norman Foster, Bridget Riley and Richard Hamilton.

For more information on Zaha Hadid visit:


ENNEZERO In arte Valentina
“Il falso Kandinsky”
Design by Giuseppe Canevese

This piece of furniture with two doors and four drawers was designed by industrial designer, Giuseppe Canevese and features the artwork of graphic artist Guido Crepax (1933-2003), who was influential in the development of European comic art in the second half of the 20th century. His most famous storyline, featuring the character “Valentina“, was created in 1965.

The collection “Valentina, la donna è mobile” stems from the theories of the Artistic Movement called Radical Design, which began in the Sixties in Tuscany (Italy) before spreading to other parts of the world. At that time, the way of doing architecture and in general of design, changed radically.

Objects and products were no longer designed just for their mere function, but were transformed into “emotional media” in which to encapsulate ideas, thoughts and yearnings that were, in particular, those of an entire generation.

Thus for the first time design became “radical” in the experience of the pioneers of this new movement of thought such as Archizoom and Superstudio, Alessandro Mendini, Gaetano Pesce and Ettore Sottsass (Memphis) and other designers that joined them as the years went by.

Influences from the world of art and philosophy contributed to the creation of innovative objects and pieces of furniture, projects and prototypes permeated by a new sense of critique on the function of things, which became critical with regards to a specific epoch.

This series was very much in the spirit of the 60s, incorporating eroticism, and psychedelic, and dream-like storylines. In Crepax’s work, many references are made to the works of 20th century ‘Avant-Garde’ artists, such as Magritte, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Piet Mondrian, Roy Liechenstain, and Andy Warhol.

If you are into the comic book genre, then you will absolutely love this piece of furniture.


On the weekend I traveled to Coffs Harbour to attend the Building Designers Association of NSW design awards night at Opal Cove.

Having been a judge over many years for the BDA at both a State and National Level, I am always pleased to be at the awards to congratulate and present awards to the worthy winners. This year was no exception.

When judging, we are not aware of the people behind the entries, so it is always a surprise and a pleasure to discover who the winners are; many of them are well known to me having published their work in past issues of Luxury Home Design or Contemporary Home Design magazines.

Winner: Premier Award for Design Excellence
Winner New Residential Buildings 351-450 sqm
Darren Evans – Solar Solutions Design and Drafting

Members of the BDANSW design literally hundreds of millions of dollars worth of building projects each year. These include commercial, industrial and residential projects, alterations and additions, multi-story and interior design. Many designers specialise in energy efficient building design and sustainable development practices moving towards a more environmentally sustainable future.

Winner: Paul Dass Memorial Award
Commendation: New residential buildings 351-450sqm
Michael O’Sullivan – Vibe Design Group Pty Ltd

Designing and building a new home or commercial development should not be a hit-and-miss affair. Our environment is too important to consider not only how a building will look but also how it will perform and hopefully, enhance the environment. Professional designers are trained to understand the relationship between a structure and it’s surroundings and the more that we use the services of professionals in the design and construction of buildings the more we can look forward to a better built environment.

Here I am presenting the Premier Award
for Design Excellence to Darren Evans
from Solar Solutions Design and Drafting.

Join with me in congratulating the winners and enjoy a selection of images from the night.

For more information on the Building Designers Association of NSW, contact:

For more information on the Building Designers Association of Australia, contact:

On Thursday members of the media and design industry were invited to the launch in Australia of Visionnaire at Style Factory International, Byron Bay. The location was a surprise for such a high-end range of Italian furniture, however, those who attended found the experience enchanting.

We were met at the Gold Coast airport for transfer to our accommodation at the Byron at Byron (another resort not to be missed) and then on to the venue where we were greeted by Maxine Monroe-Deubel and Joachim Deubel.

The property, which is the Visionnaire showroom in Australia, is set on a beautiful site just outside of Byron Bay and is home to Maxine and Joachim. Their home is of course completely fitted out in the Visionnaire brand; from the complete gourmet kitchen to the individual bathrooms, which look more like living rooms than purely functional areas.

Maxine and Joachim decided to bring the Visionnaire range to Australia after a trip to Milan introduced them to the brand, which I remember seeing when I was also at the Milan Fair. Joachim’s industry experience and contacts are based in Europe and gained over many years of working closely with high-end producers of interior collections. Maxine’s 20 plus years experience in senior management sales and marketing roles with blue chip organisations such as LVMH see her specialising in the area of brand management.

This luxury designer range, which has been leading international trends for the last four years and already produced and sold in over sixty countries, is a pre-eminent and significant entry for Australia as the brand is regarded as a benchmark in the international interior design industry for innovative, stylish and glamorous collections.

Launching Visionnaire in Byron Bay was also owner of IPE Cavalli and Visionnaire, Luigi Cavalli – who flew in for just 24 hours – who said that every Visionnaire showroom is the fashion statement of the company. “Visionnaire is a mix of many materials and various styles but also offers new sensations and responds to a need for a different system of furnishing compared to the past – everything you’ve seen up to now will seem old and dated.”

The range was designed by internationally acclaimed designers Samuele Mazza and Alessandro la Spada. Samuele is also a well known media figure today due to his prolific and highly successful career in fashion. La Spada has provided counselling services as Professor at IDI, Interior Design Institute – Milan and has worked as a project leader at the Domus Academy in Milan.

The style can best be described as neo-Gothic: “It happened one day by accident after having read a novel inspired by far-off worlds” explained Samuele Mazza.

The Visionnaire approach is to offer a total concept solution including state-of-the-art luxury kitchens complete with the latest in European appliances from Miele and Gaggenau, bathrooms and Wellness Rooms as well as living rooms, bedrooms, studies, bed linen, lighting and accessories. Every piece has been carefully selected to complete a picture that is both beautiful and functional.

The range includes a mix of luxury materials, styles and sizes which can be tailored to individual tastes and requirements. It is available to leading architectural and interior design practices as well as developers of luxury hotels, hospitality, residential and retail projects. This total solution approach ensures that the finest details are considered resulting in an environment that will definitely surprise.

Whether your taste is pared-back and minimal or glamorous and exotic, there are pieces that will appeal to all tastes; the question is do you dare?!

LEFT: Here I am with Luigi Cavalli
RIGHT: The gorgeous Maxine Monroe-Deubel


Next Saturday 12th September, experience a day in the Blue Mountains looking at three of the most significant houses designed by world reknowned Australian architect Glenn Murcutt recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize and many other Australian and International Awards. The tour will be led by Glenn Murcutt who will give a commentary on each of the houses visited.

The tour includes lunch, all day bus travel and commentary.

For more information and bookings visit