Letter: What’s Timeless Design?
June 1, 2017
July 25, 2015
ELLE Decoration is published in 33 countries around the world, from Argentina to the Philippines via Mexico and Hong Kong. It is a phenomenal network of editors, journalists, stylists and photographers, all looking to find and share the latest and best design alongside the most stylish homes. What’s particularly fascinating, though, is our sister editions’ coverage of talent in their own territories: ELLE Decoration local, rather than global. Through the lens of the ELLE Decoration standards of quality, you can glimpse the hot new shops in South Africa, discover the names to watch in India and take a peek inside the homes of the most creative people in China. And once a year, all of the editions come together to vote in the ELLE Decoration International Design Awards (EDIDA), an opportunity to honour those brands and designers that have achieved international acclaim. How thrilled we were, then, that it was one of our own, the talented partnership Doshi Levien, who won the coveted EDIDA Designer of the Year award this year.
It is perhaps typically British that this pair, hailing originally from Scotland (Jonathan Levien) and India (Nipa Doshi), both migrated to London in order to study at the Royal College of Art, an institution rightfully celebrated as one of the best in the world and where they met, fell in love and married. It is arguably the British way to offer the opportunities, teaching and inspiration to attract people from many diverse cultures, who subsequently stay and contribute to the richness of our design landscape.
It’s also why, as the British edition of ELLE Decoration, we seek to feature our pick of the world’s most beautiful homes, not just the British ones. We understand that you seek your inspiration far and wide too, and that borders make no difference – what’s important is design excellence, a good story, and great ideas. Every month, we mix up styles, influences and provenances, in order to truly represent that aforementioned British richness. We are a country composed of many worlds: this issue particularly reflects that.
However, because we’re also fiercely proud to be the British edition, for the last 13 years we’ve hosted the ELLE Decoration British Design Awards (the BDAs) to support and promote the wealth of creative talent that has chosen to make its home on these shores. Started in 2002 as a small event celebrated on our stand at 100% Design, London’s premier design fair at the time, it evolved into a celebrity-studded gala party in 2008 and on to enormously fun ‘celebrating the shortlist’ parties followed by very elegant winners’ lunches. And now we’re moving forwards again.
The British Design Awards will now be…
1. Dedicated to new and emerging talent only, in order to provide a platform for young designers trying to get a first foot on the ladder
2. Chosen by you – we are asking you to nominate the people that you feel are worthy of winning, so that we can be sure we won’t miss anyone, and
3. Clearer, tighter and simpler, with new streamlined categories. They are: Best New British Craft Maker; Best New Eco, Furniture, Lighting and Accessories Designers and Best Use of Print and Pattern.
But what’s really exciting about the BDAs is that we go on to put the winners forward as our nominations for next year’s EDIDA awards, so we come full circle: celebrating our global excellence with the world!
First published as my Editor’s Letter in the August 2015 edition of ELLE Decoration
Michelle Ogundehin is internationally renowned as an authority on interiors, trends and style. She is an influencer with expertise and the multi award-winning former Editor-in-Chief of ELLE Decoration UK.