New Delhi – Kohler Bold Design Awards 2016

In the beginning of December we inaugurated the Kohler Bold Design Awards in association with Elle Décor in New Delhi, India. The award competition celebrates Indian architecture and innovation and has the purpose to thank the fraternity of architects and designers and shows our love for the creative process. This year it was also an occasion to celebrate our ten year anniversary on the subcontinent.

The most talented Indian and international architects and designers received the Golden Pencil Award trophy in four major categories for their contemporary designs: The Extraordinaries, the Visionaries, the Master Patrons, and the John Michael Kohler lifetime achievement.

Within the first two categories “Extraordinaries” and “Visionaries” the jury looked at under-categories such as commercial, hospitality, residential, public institutions, retail, rebuild and revive, bold luxury, community harmony, and the big idea.  While the “Extraordinaries” encompassed commercial buildings, projects, mall, and offices, the “Visionaries” focused on functional of practical projects of public infrastructure such as community toilets, parks, museums bus stops, railway stations and others.

For example for “rebuild and revive” the jury was looking for rehabilitated or restored buildings in India that now serve as private or public spaces e.g. theater, libraries, museums or other. Fully completed interior and exterior home projects fell under the category of bold luxury.

All criteria for submitting to these categories can be seen here.

The award in the master patron category was given to the dream client and, of course, the JMK lifetime achievement award honored a personality in the architecture and design community and his entire body of work. Christopher Charles Benniger was honored with the JMK lifetime achievement award.

Some of these categories have never been seen in other architectural and design competitions in India or elsewhere in the world. Participants were, in particular, intrigued by the “Big Ideas” category.

Architects and designers from all over the country sent in more than 1,400 entries for completed and planned projects and innovations. To date this is the highest entry rate of any architectural award in India.

A jury of ten internationally acclaimed architects and designers reviewed each project with complete confidentiality. The jury members were:  India Madhavi, Lyndon Neri and Rosanna Hu, Sanjay Puri, Sanjay Mohe, Rahul Kadri, Solani Bhagwati, Sarabjit Singh, Manit and Sonali Rastogi.

Alex Davis of Indi Store designed the Golden Pencil trophy for this new Indian architectural award. He thought about the most important tool of an architect – the pencil – and the daily ritual to ready the instrument for the work at hand – sharpening it. The shavings inspired him to cast them in gold representing a classic language, timelessness and a level of maturity.

In addition to the newly designed award trophy the team also produced the Golden Book of Design Excellent that captures the entries of all the nominees. David Kohler unveiled it during the award ceremony evening and it will be available in India starting February 2017.

The planning of the competition, the event and the book took about six to seven months.


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