CID Awards celebrate success

Awards ceremony highlights the diversity of regional interior design

The winners of the CID Awards 2009
The winners of the CID Awards 2009

The breadth and sophistication of the region’s interior design industry were highlighted at the third annual CID Awards, which took place at the Park Hyatt Dubai on November 15.

In a year characterised by slashed budgets and extremely competitive market conditions, a record number of entries were put forward for a CID award. There was a 100% increase in the number of nominations as compared to last year, and the geographical scope of entries was also unparalleled.

From hotels in Doha to sales centres in Tunis and retail facilities in Damascus, this year’s entries were truly representative of the region’s interior design industry as a whole – and a reflection of the growing importance of the annual awards ceremony, now in its third year.

“The awards mean a lot to our company,” said Bluehaus design manager Cathy Ingram. “Within the industry these awards are well recognised and it's really great to be a part of the evening and to actually win an award is fantastic. It makes all the work worth while.”

Some 250 members of the region’s interior design industry gathered at the Park Hyatt Dubai for the unveiling of this year’s winners. A total of 14 awards were handed out, covering the whole spectrum of commercial interiors, from retail and residential to public sector and institutional.

A number of new categories were also introduced this year, including the Outdoor Design, Innovative Lighting and Behind the Scenes awards, as well as the hotly-contested Interior Designer of the Year award.

Projects were judged on aesthetic value, originality and innovativeness, but also on functionality and practicality. The aim was not to celebrate design for design’s sake, but to herald spaces that enhance the lives and experiences of their users.

The judging panel consisted of John Alexander Smith, professor and Emeritus chairman of the Department of Interior Design at the American University in Dubai, George Katodrytis, associate professor at the American University of Sharjah’s School of Architecture and Design; Alan McCready, managing director of Al Habtoor ISG; Victoria Redshaw, CEO of the UK-based trend forecasting company, Scarlet Opus; Lu Buchanan, exhibition director of Index; and Sergio Padula, light planning manager at iGuzzini.

This year’s winners were Kenneth Laidler Design for Interior Design of the Year: Residential; Alfred Johnson for Interior Design of the Year: Retail; Enrico Botta for Interior Design of the Year: Public Sector & Institutional; Woods Bagot for Interior Design of the Year: Office; Rockwell Group for Interior Design of the Year: Leisure & Entertainment; and KCA International for Interior Design of the Year: Hospitality.

DPA Lighting Consultants was awarded for its work on Okku in the Innovative Lighting Category, and Godwin Austen Johnson was recognised in the Outdoor Design Category. The Sustainable Design of the Year award went to Bluehaus for the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, and AMBB Interiors was named Interior Contractor of the Year in the first ever CID Readers Choice Award.

Augustin Pido was the winner of the inaugural Behind the Scenes award, while Bahrain-based Dinan Salaheddine was named Young Designer of the Year. In the two biggest awards of the evening, Bishop Design Associates was named Interior Design Firm of the Year and Isabel Pintado of Godwin Austen Johnson was named Interior Designer of the Year.

“It’s been a rough year for the industry and winning this award is obviously a big honour to accept an award like this given the fact there is so much competition in the industry,” said Alfred Johnson.

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