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Pintado named 'designer of the year'

GAJ's Isabel Pintado wins highly-coveted CID Award

Isabel Pintado, interior designer of the year
Isabel Pintado, interior designer of the year

Isabel Pintado of Godwin Austen Johnson (GAJ) has been selected as the winner of CID’s inaugural Interior Designer of the Year award.

“Isabel's work has an extraordinary lightness of touch that is inspiring. She is also an excellent role model for aspiring young female businesswomen in the region,” the judges commented.

Pintado joined GAJ Architects in 2005 and was responsible for launching the GAJ interiors brand and then developing it into a 20-person design team. In addition to her design skills, Pintado’s business acumen, inter-personal skills and affable personality have proven instrumental in the evolution of the department.

She has worked on a range of projects, including Al Forsan restaurant and Dune Pizzeria at the Bab Al Shams Hotel and Resort. Her portfolio also includes palatial residences in Emirates Hills and on The Palm, the Palm Tree Court restaurant – which will form an extension to the Jebel Ali Hotel – and the Sharjah museum café. By February 2010, she will also have completed a flagship seven-star hotel in Libya.

“It’s surprising to have won because there are so many other designers who are very, very good,” said Pintado.

“This award isn’t just for me, there are a whole load of staff behind me who are incredibly talented. It’s nice to see that people like what we do because we put a lot of passion into our projects. It is lovely to get this type of recognition.”

The CID Awards were created to celebrate innovative design in the Middle East. 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.

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