Inside Interior Design’s 2023 Hall of Fame Gala
Amidst an atmosphere of glamour and glitz, Interior Design Editor-in-Chief Cindy Allen played host to the 39th Hall of Fame gala, drawing nearly 1,000 designers, architects, and industry trailblazers to The Glasshouse in Manhattan on December 6. Embellished with elegant decor and panoramic city views, the venue once again served as the distinguished setting for the annual event that honors a prestigious group of inductees for their influential contributions to the design world.
“Welcome everybody to the 39th annual Hall of Fame!” Allen said under beaming lights as she commenced the ceremony. “One more year of all of us walking together to a brighter future. You do that through design.” On the grand stage, each honoree received an award from Allen and documentary shorts, produced for the event, showcased their respective achievements.
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First up, Allen introduced dynamic design duo David Darling and Joshua Aidlin, founding partners of San Francisco-based Aidlin Darling Design. Known for their ideology that design is a social act that can advance the human condition through the senses, Allen described the firm founders as “always moving forward, always painstakingly innovative, and always striving to be timeless.”
“Our ideas are so driven by how humans physically engage their environments and objects. The spirit and the soul of that comes through making,” says Joshua Aidlin as he walks through an airy residential project in the pair’s Hall of Fame documentary.
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Up next, Allen introduced textile designer and weaver Suzanne Tick, calling her a “true art master among masters.” In Tick’s Hall of Fame inductee film, she sits with Allen to discuss what she loves most about design. “I think that we innately, as human beings, have the ability to solve problems and design is that beautiful, mechanical thing that allows us to solve every situation, any situation in the most elegant, beautiful way,” she said. “That’s the thing a designer is about.”
Driven by a commitment to sustainability and wellbeing, Tick’s endeavors revolve around exploring new materials and the reimagination of manufacturing processes. With an award in hand, Tick stressed the importance of designing with the environment in mind: “If you put nature first, nature will organize to put you first so always think about sustainability first.”
Beaming at the audience, Allen then revealed Hall-of-Famer Carlos M. Martínez Flórez, principal and managing director of Gensler New York with almost 40 years of experience in the field. Allen praised Martínez Flórez’s one-of-a-kind design methods, defining him as a “designer who leads, and a leader who designs.”
Martínez Flórez reflects on his journey moving from Cuba to America, highlighting how English being his second language shaped his experience as an architect in his Hall of Fame documentary. “I started concentrating on making my work talk for me,” he said. “Not being able to use my voice to tell a story, I started telling a story through my work.”
Just before the ceremony wrapped up, Allen bestowed a special Icon Award to long-standing Hall-of-Famer David Rockwell. Blending elements of theater, music, art and architecture to craft distinct narratives for each design endeavor, his projects continue to innovate hospitality design. “It’s all in a day’s work for our design action hero, my hero, and our 2023 Icon—the very first, my very special David Rockwell,” said Allen as Rockwell walked to the stage, greeted with roaring applause and a standing ovation.
“I’m a little overwhelmed,” Rockwell expressed, teary-eyed. “I create work with a strong point of view, telling stories through design and most importantly, designing spaces that welcome those stories to flourish.” Words that ring true for Interior Design‘s stellar 2023 Hall of Fame inductees.
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As in years past, a portion of the Hall of Fame gala proceeds will be donated to two deserving organizations: Center for Architecture + Design, which creates a public-focused dialog on architecture, design, and the built environment in the San Francisco Bay Area, and DIFFA by Design, which grants funds to organizations providing treatment, education, and assistance for people impacted by HIV/AIDS, homelessness, hunger, and mental health issues.
A very special thank you to our Hall of Fame partners, who played an integral role in creating the evening’s festivities: Diamond Sponsor, Shaw Contract; Platinum Sponsors, Bernhardt Design, Material Bank, which also offset the carbon footprint of the Hall of Fame gala, Mohawk Group, Skyline Design Architectural Glass, Teknion; Gold Sponsor and Garden Installation Sponsor, Garden on the Wall; Gold Sponsors Humanscale, Williams-Sonoma, Inc. Business to Business; Centerpiece Sponsor, Turf; Inductee Awards Sponsor, Hubbardton Forge; Tablecloths by Luum.
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