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Dezeen Awards China

Dezeen Awards China 2023 Designers of the Year winners announced

Dezeen has announced the winners of the six Designers of the Year categories at this evening's Dezeen Awards China 2023 ceremony, which include Open Architecture, Mario Tsai Studio and AIM Architecture.

Designers of the Year rewards the best emerging and established talent across architecture, interiors and design and recognises those whose innovative work has made a notable impact on the industry in their field.

The six winners were awarded at the first Dezeen Awards China ceremony. Launched this year, Dezeen Awards China shines a spotlight on the best Chinese architecture, interiors and design, providing international recognition from around the globe.

Open Architecture and Mario Tsai Studio among winners

Beijing-based Open Architecture took home the architect of the year award and firm MUDA-Architects won emerging architect of the year.

The interior designer of the year accolade was won by studio AIM Architecture and emerging interior designer of the year was awarded to FOG Architecture.

Design practice Mario Tsai Studio was crowned designer of the year, while emerging designer of the year was awarded to Shanghai-based Studio Kae.

View the winning Designers of the Year on the Dezeen Awards China website or read below:

Shanfeng Academy by Open Architecture. Photo by Jonathan Leijonhufvud

Architect of the year: Open Architecture

Founded by architects Li Hu and Huang Wenjing in New York City, studio Open Architecture works across urban design, landscape design, architectural design, and interior design, as well as research and design strategies.

Recently completed projects by the architecture firm include a space museum and experience centre in Yantai and a sweeping white-concrete cultural centre informed by traditional Chinese gardens in Suzhou.

"Open Architecture has consistently produced architecture that is radical and poetic but also functional," commended the judges.

"Its daring work strikes a rare balance between the man-made and the natural, with often spectacular results."

Read more about Open Architecture ›

Haikou Xixiu Park Visitor Center by MUDA-Architects, Image courtesy of Archi-Translator

Emerging architect of the year: MUDA-Architects

Founded in 2017, MUDA-Architects has completed a diverse range of work in public architecture, cultural architecture, commercial architecture and urban planning.

The architecture studio was shortlisted in Dezeen Awards 2022 for its bookshop in Chengdu featuring a roof that resembles an upturned book. Last year, Muda Architects revealed its design of a yin-yang-shaped museum in Chengdu dedicated to the history of Chinese medicine.

"This practice brings a playful approach to each project with its sensitivity to the user's experience and building context resulting in elegant and clever solutions," said the judges.

Read more about MUDA-Architects ›

Harmay Wuhan by AIM Architecture. Photo by WenStudio

Interior designer of the year: AIM Architecture

Founded by Belgian and Dutch architects Wendy Saunders and Vicent de Graaf in 2005, AIM is an architecture, interior and design practice headquartered in Shanghai.

Commercial spaces by the studio include a store that resembles a 1970s office for cosmetics brand Harmay and a playful clothing store featuring a fibreglass staircase centrepiece.

The judges said: "Shanghai-based studio AIM Architecture has shown its versatility across all typologies, but most notably in a wide variety of impressive retail projects."

"Its work is bold and emotive, while always respecting the local environment," they added.

Read more about AIM Architecture ›

To Summer Beijing Flagship Store by FOG Architecture. Photo by InSpace-scaled

Emerging interior designer of the year: FOG Architecture

Based in Shanghai, Chongqing and London, FOG Architecture is a cross-disciplinary architecture and interior design studio.

The local practice also won Dezeen Awards China 2023 interiors project of the year at tonight's ceremony in Shanghai for its flagship store for fragrance brand ToSummer in a 280-year-old courtyard.

Other interiors by studio FOG include a retail store with over a hundred moving display boxes and a clothing shop featuring playful tailoring motifs.

"A young studio with a fresh perspective on retail design," said the judges. "It has a unique approach to creating sensory retail experiences, which build connections between consumers, brands and the community."

Read more about FOG Architecture ›

Pagoda by Mario Tsai Studio. Photo by Mario Tsai

Designer of the year: Mario Tsai Studio

Founded in Hangzhou by designer Mario Tsai, the eponymous studio is a research-based practice that produces products, installations, strategies and exhibitions.

The practice also provides consulting services in product design, art installation and event planning, as well as brand strategy and art direction for brands.

Projects by Tsai's studio include a modular lighting system informed by scaffolding structures and a furniture collection made from bent sheets of flexible steel.

"Founder Mario Tsai has developed a variety of projects that span product, installation and exhibition design," said the judges.

"In recent years, his dedication to exploring new technology and unconventional materials has elevated his work in innovative and surprising ways."

Read more about Mario Tsai Studio ›

Veneer Bleed Collection by Zhekai Zhang. Photo by Chun Yang

Emerging designer of the year: Studio KAE

Shanghai-based Studio KAE is a product design consultancy and material research studio founded by Royal College of Art graduates Zhekai Zhang and Keren Wang.

Practice KAE – an abbreviation for Kaleidoscope, Affair and Explorer – examines craft traditions and experiments with everyday materials to give homeware products a contemporary flair.

"This young studio demonstrates a deep understanding of materials to boldly reinterpret traditional crafts, which speaks volumes of this new generation's cultural confidence in Chinese design," said the judges.

Read more about Studio Kae ›

Dezeen Awards China 2023

Dezeen Awards China is the first regional edition of Dezeen Awards, to celebrate the best architecture, interiors and design in China. The annual awards are in partnership with Bentley Motors, as part of a wider collaboration that will see the brand work with Dezeen to support and inspire the next generation of design talent.