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The esteemed 10 2023 | International Designers

  • Discover the international names to know in 2023.

    The esteemed 10 recognises influential voices in the international architecture and design community in 2023. Criterion based on approach, current achievements and completed and anticipated projects.

    This piece originally appeared in est Magazine Issue #47.

    Proudly supported by Winnings

    Studio Mellone

    Director Andre Mellone

    New York City, North America

    Where do you go to appreciate exceptional design?

    Small design museums and galleries around the world.

    The one thing people always ask me is:

    How much is this going to cost?

    Three words that most appropriately sum up my our approach to design are:

    Simplicity, rigour and common sense.

    What is a key influence we anticipate seeing in projects you are yet to release?

    Brazilian mid-century design.

    What is the one piece of advice you would share with a young designer?

    Don’t be responsible for things you don’t understand.

    When you walk into a room, what is the first thing you always notice about a space?

    The way it makes me feel.

    What does designing for a better world mean to you in 2023?

    Design that’s locally sourced.

    Jardim Chelsea by Studio Mellone | Photography by Adrian Gout 

    Nathalie Deboel

    Designer

    Knokke-Heist, Belgium

    Where do you go to appreciate exceptional design?

    It’s mostly when travelling or while working abroad that I take the time to discover exceptional design. For example, in Paris, London and Venice but also in Brussels.

    The one thing people always ask me is:

    To create a comforting home for them with a calm atmosphere.

    Three words that most appropriately sum up our approach to design are:

    Space, connection, light.

    What is the one piece of advice you would share with a young designer?

    Be curious, keep your eyes open, travel and follow your own path.

    What is a key influence that we can anticipate seeing in projects you are yet to release?

    I’m very much influenced by everything that has a connection with nature and natural materials.

    When you walk into a room, what is the first thing you always notice about a space?

    The proportions of the room, orientation to the light and view and interaction with the outside.

    What does designing for a better world mean to you in 2023?

    Working as much as possible with natural materials. Focusing on upcycling and recycling beautiful things, instead of demolishing them and starting from scratch.

    I believe in respecting the history of a building for a better future.

    Nathalie Deboel

    Halleroed

    Founders Christian & Ruxandra Halleroed

    Stockholm, Sweden

    Where do you go to appreciate exceptional design?

    Our latest sublime design experience was in Venice at the Gallerie dell’Accademia, where Carlo Scarpa worked on the renovation of the interior for the exhibitions between 1945 and 1959. It was an impressive dialogue between the old, original rooms and Scarpa’s ‘new’, extremely well-thought additions.

    The one thing people always ask me is:

    How do you manage so many projects despite the scale of your studio?

    Three words that most appropriately sum up our approach to design are:

    Curiosity, craft and less is more.

    What is a key influence that we can anticipate seeing in projects you are yet to release?

    Our upcoming projects are very diverse in terms of type, client and location. We’re hopeful for our (almost) first new projects in one of our favourite cities – Tokyo that we long to see again after all the years with restrictions.

    What is the one piece of advice you would share with a young designer?

    To work very hard – harder than you think and to be curious about other cultural practices such as art, fashion, craft and music.

    When you walk into a room, what is the first thing you always notice about a space?

    We love powerful spatial qualities together with a well-thought material and detailed palette.

    What does designing for a better world mean to you?

    Think and reflect on why and what you are doing. To not do unnecessary, short-lasting instagramable crap.

    Christian & Roxandra Halleroed

    Sana Labs by Halleroed | Photography by Henrik Lundell

    Gumshornsgatan by Halleroed | Photography by Henrik Lundell

    Fleur Delesalle

    Designer

    Paris, France

    Where do you go to appreciate exceptional design?

    Paris (Muse?e des Arts De?coratifs), Milan (foire de Milan) and Bellas Artes Madrid.

    The one thing people always ask me is:

    How do you deal with colours? I could compare my work to a makeup artist. The countless variations of white and beige are the fabulous ‘foundation’ of all my projects. Then I lay shadows; I proceed by touches.

    Three words that most appropriately sum up my our approach to design are:

    Light, colour and roundness.

    What is a key influence we anticipate seeing in projects you are yet to release?

    I am very inspired by painters like Matisse and Fernand Leger. My last rug collection, ‘Shimmer’, is inspired by a work by Fernand Leger around reflections on the water.

    What is the one piece of advice you would share with a young designer?

    Don’t be constrained by constraints. Let your creativity run wild.

    When you walk into a room, what is the first thing you always notice about a space?

    Light, always. This is the first thing I see in a space, the orientation, how the light enters it and how I can make the most of it.

    What does designing for a better world mean to you in 2023?

    Reuse and reinvent. I always introduce antique pieces into my decor, which gives them character and gives a second life to antique furniture.

    Fleur Delesalle

    FORTUNY Paris XVII by Fleur Delesalle | Photography courtesy of Fleur Delesalle

    FORTUNY Paris XVII by Fleur Delesalle | Photography courtesy of Fleur Delesalle

    Jean-Charles Tomas

    Designer

    Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. France

    Where do you go to appreciate exceptional design?

    A careful blend of city and nature. New York for the craziness and the latest, Connemara for the peacefulness and the ever-changing landscapes. I find my balance between the rush of big cities and taking my time and reflecting in nature, and I wouldn’t have one without the other.

    The one thing people always ask me is:

    How would you describe your style? I don’t think it is up to me to say. An interior is only completed when people move in.

    Three words that most appropriately sum up our approach to design are:

    Elegant, intuitive, geometrical.

    What is a key influence that we can anticipate seeing in projects you are yet to release?

    I like everything to be integrated, recessed, to belong in its right place. We’ve been asked more and more to design furniture. We do. But we sculpt it from the room itself. We feel like it has to belong to the space and, therefore cannot be transposed to another one.

    What is the one piece of advice you would share with a young designer?

    Trust your instinct; follow your intuition instead of basing everything on a logical analysis. Do not overthink the whole creative process. Design by doing and you’ll figure things out along the way.

    When you walk into a room, what is the first thing you always notice about a space?

    All the details no one would look at. The tiniest pieces of hardware, the alignments, the symmetry, how things are interconnected and assembled with each other. That’s what makes a space feels complete.

    What does designing for a better world mean to you in 2023?

    To find solutions that are “beautiful” responsible, and accessible to all.

    Jean-Charles Tomas

    Benoît Viaene

    Designer

    Ghent, Belgium

    Where do you go to appreciate exceptional design?

    I love to take time to walk around in cities like New York or Antwerp, to visit galleries, vintage dealers, or a museum. Recently I visited the Noguchi museum in New York which was a true source of inspiration.

    The one thing people always ask me is:

    ‘To create something unique, something different’. This is also the starting point for my projects as an architect, and in my designs. As a curious person, this element gives me great satisfaction.

    Three words that most appropriately sum up our approach to design are:

    Matter, light and craftsmanship brought to life.

    What is a key influence that we can anticipate seeing in projects you are yet to release?

    The quest to redefine rawness, using raw natural materials, yet stay in balance with elegance, and a certain level of comfort.

    I’m always testing new techniques, to bring out the surprising characteristics of natural materials. My main focus in materials, are those I call the ‘team players’. They include all natural materials, like clay, lime, oil, and wood. The materials are the instruments that create the music. I serve as a conductor.

    What is the one piece of advice you would share with a young designer?

    Don’t be afraid to fail. Try, and try again. Every mistake or failure is a source of new knowledge.

    When you walk into a room, what is the first thing you always notice about a space?

    The balance between design, the light, and the materials.

    What does designing for a better world mean to you in 2023?

    Not to create in order to feed an ego, but to listen and observe the person(s) who is in front of you. That person is the main focus in the project, not the project or the design on its own.

    Benoît Viaene

    Studio Andrew Trotter

    Director Andrew Trotter

    Barcelona, Spain

    Where do you go to appreciate exceptional design?

    Mexico. For me, right now, there is amazing design happening in Mexico. This is probably due to the freedom they have and the climate. Many architects are doing wonderful housing, hospitality and public buildings. They have a great mix of modern design and artisan crafts.

    The one thing people always ask me is:

    Which part of Masseria Moroseta is old? The answer is none of it. It’s a brand new building, now seven years old. We built it traditionally, making stone walls and vaults, painted with local lime paint, making the building feel like the old buildings rather than a copy.

    Three words that most appropriately sum up my our approach to design are:

    Simplicity, light, and tranquility.

    What key influence can we anticipate seeing in projects you are yet to release?

    Tradition and artisans are the key to our work at the moment. I don’t want to lose these, so we try to use them as much as we can, this makes our work belong to the place that we are building. Using local materials and traditional methods roots the buildings to a place.

    What is the one piece of advice you would share with a young designer?

    Believe in yourself, and be relaxed. You don’t need everything at 25 years old; it will come. Work hard, and most importantly, enjoy your work. We are doing something creative; we are the luckiest people in the world.

    When you walk into a room, what is the first thing you always notice about a space?

    It isn’t necessarily something I notice; it’s a feeling. Every room is different, but each room gives you something special. But the best thing ever is when a room makes you feel comfortable, makes you relaxed, and that you feel at home.

    What does designing for a better world mean to you in 2023?

    I think we need to be as local as possible. Work with the local people, see the local materials, and the local building methods. With these, we keep traditions going, build networks, and make long-lasting friendships.

    Casa Maiora by Studio Andrew Trotter | Photography by Salva López

    Andrew Trotter

    Casa Maiora by Studio Andrew Trotter | Photography by Salva López

    OSKLO

    Founders Arya and Michael

    Los Angeles, North America

    Where do you go to appreciate exceptional design?

    We become inspired through our travels, where we source many of the accessories and furnishings used in our design projects – antiquities that we’ve personally found in the stalls of the Moroccan bazaar, mid-century furniture from the Paris Antiques Market or Tokyo ceramicist are then shipped to our warehouses in Los Angeles.

    The one thing people always ask me is:

    How do you devise ways to recreate houses that no one thinks possible?

    Three words that most appropriately sum up our approach to design are:

    Luxurious, timeless, curated.

    What is a key influence that we can anticipate seeing in projects you are yet to release?

    Our exterior architectural designs and surfaces are now a seamless transition to our interiors. This year you’ll also see a wonderful mixture of Bauhaus and Brazilian influence, Hollywood regency, Classicism and farmhouse interpretations of the classic OSKLO look.

    What is the one piece of advice you would share with a young designer?

    Be perfect in every way. Don’t settle or compromise on the quality and execution of your finished work, even if that means doing things twice. It’s the perfection of details that define a truly great project, and nothing less is acceptable to us.

    When you walk into a room, what is the first thing you always notice about a space?

    The first thing we notice when we walk into the room is the windows and ceiling height. Natural light defines everything, and windows are the eyes of a home.

    What does designing for a better world mean to you in 2023?

    Designing a better world for us means creating projects that live in harmony with their surroundings and the past.

    Doheny by Osklo

    Arya and Michael

    Doheny by Osklo

    Doheny by OSKLO | Photography by Sam Frost

    Doheny by Osklo

    Doheny by OSKLO | Photography by Sam Frost

    Woods + Dangaran

    Directors Brett Woods and Joseph Dangaran

    Los Angeles, North America

    Where do you go to appreciate exceptional design?

    Museums, galleries and bookstores are always great sources for exceptional design.

    The one thing people always ask me is:

    Do you still draw by hand? The answer is yes!

    Three words that most appropriately sum up my our approach to design are:

    Simplicity, honesty, natural.

    What is a key influence that we can anticipate seeing in projects you are yet to release?

    The site, context and client are always the key influences on any project.

    What is the one piece of advice you would share with a young designer?

    Patience.

    When you walk into a space, what’s the first thing you always notice?

    Was the front door handle and front door well crafted?

    What does designing for a better world mean to you in 2023?

    Sourcing project materials is always a point of discussion. The more local the materials, the less impact on the earth.

    Brett Woods and Joseph Dangaran

    Gachot Studios

    Founders Christine and John Gachot

    New York City, North America

    Where do you go to appreciate exceptional design?

    My church is The Met. Time and time again, it’s where I go to get inspired. I have more photos of the floors at The Met than of the actual exhibits, but those certainly inspire me, too. Colour palettes from the Winslow Homer show, window details from MoMA – to say I love a museum would be an understatement.

    The one thing people always ask me is:

    How do you and John spend so much time together? And the answer’s easy; he’s hot, talented, and fun as hell.

    Three words that most appropriately sum up my our approach to design are:

    We are responsible. Whether we’re working on someone’s personal space or a hospitality setting that will be experienced by many people, we are thoughtful down to the smallest details.

    What key influence can we anticipate seeing in projects you are yet to release?

    Across the board on all of our projects, a key influence is always the client. With a new client comes a new approach and a unique perspective. We’re in a service industry and we design in collaboration with our clients – it’s their home or their brand and that’s always at the forefront. Yes, we get creative, but we also get technical. We listen, and we care.

    What is the one piece of advice you would share with a young designer?

    Know what you don’t know and surround yourself with people you can learn from. As principals, we’ve never shied away from hiring people who bring new strengths to the team.

    When you walk into a room, what is the first thing you always notice about a space?

    Lighting is always something we consider in a space. Nothing’s better than a warm, glowing room, and nothing’s more painful than cool, harsh lighting – it’ll ruin any experience.

    What does designing for a better world mean to you in 2023?

    Being selective with our work and creating for longevity. The world is finally getting back to a pre-pandemic sensibility. People are eager to move into new homes. I’m eager to see hotel financing loosen up a bit more. The economy will have people thinking more deliberately about their actions, but the energy is certainly there.

    Soho Triplex by GACHOT | Photography by Nicole Franzen

    Beekman by GACHOT | Photography by Nicole Franzen

    Christine and John Gachot

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