The New AD100

Architectural Digest, January 2010

There are untold thousands of architects and designers in the four corners of the world. Almost all are hardworking. Design is not a profession that rewards the lazy or half-hearted. Many are talented and some are truly gifted. But only a very few rise above the usual superlatives. Those few, whose work we have featured in the past several years, we have joined together in the new AD100, our listing of the world’s top designers and architects--men and women who have climbed to the summit. They come from all parts of the globe: North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Good design knows no boundaries and requires no passports. Their styles and methods are equally diverse. They are united only in their originality and the unyielding adherence to excellence. Design, it has been said, is an exercise in alchemy. Like the alchemists, who tried to turn base metals into gold, designers attempt to take everyday materials--bricks and stones, plaster and fabrics--and transform them into something beautiful, as well as useful. The alchemists never succeeded in pouring gold from their streaming flasks and beakers. But those in the AD100 have succeeded in creating something even more precious: structures that excite and please the eye and rooms that give it never-ending delight. 

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“I’m amazed at what can be done today with three-dimensional walk-through models and renderings--every detail can be visualized prior to production,” says Laura Hunt. “I recently started using Skype for videoconferencing, which will be very useful for communicating with the design team and my clients, especially when they’re in faraway areas.” But advances in technology haven’t altered the fundamental nature of the designer’s “boutique firm,” which she founded in 2000. “I’ve worn the hat of both the designer and the client, which I think gives me a unique perspective. But I always ask myself three questions before taking on a new client: Is the project going to inspire and challenge me? Do I want to spend the next year or two working with this client? Will this be a project I’ll be genuinely proud of?” She designs upholstered pieces and creates fabrics for her clients and is currently at work on a beach house in Los Cabos, Mexico.