The architect Sir David Adjaye, born in 1966, seen as one of the leading architects of his generation, is the first to receive the Charlotte Perriand Award, organized in the framework of the Créateurs Design Awards and named for the famous French designer.
Already honored with a knighthood, and the first architect of color to be assigned the prestigious Royal Gold Medal, the British-Ghanaian architect remarked on this new development during the prize ceremony, saying that Charlotte Perriand has always been one of his models: “she was really expansive in thinking about what the profession could be, and she understood the role of designers in their responsibility toward making the 21st century as beautiful and as empowering and as edifying [as possible] for people of all races – and for our human civilization to thrive.”
This is the first time the Perriand family has allowed the name of Charlotte Perriand to be used for a prize: Perriand’s daughter, Pernette Perriand-Barsac, defines Adjaye’s work as admirable, and says that her only regret is that her mother Charlotte did not have a chance to meet him prior to her passing in 1999. She adds: “When I read [Adjaye’s] words in the press or his approach that he describes on social networks, I see how great [his and my mother’s] proximity is, to the point that a real dialogue takes place beyond time.”
Both David Adjaye and Charlotte Perriand have understood the importance of collaboration. Adjaye has written that “collaboration between art and architecture is central to [my] studio’s practice. And in 1935 Perriand said: “Today there is a return to the great idea of collaboration: painting, sculpture, architecture, décor.”
Both hold the firm conviction that design can improve the society: “Architecture moves from the inside to the outside, it is a round trip. It has to fulfill our needs, to offer extensions of our everyday actions, whether it is a house, a hospital or an embassy,” Perriand said.
The Créateurs Design Awards are the only design honors whose main prizes are named for iconic women, such as the Charlotte Perriand Award, and the Andrée Putman Lifetime Achievement Award, which will be assigned in March to the legendary centenarian Iris Apfel.