Design 50 2022: interior architecture and design for the home

For this year’s list, we’ve kept our overall ranking numbers but organized everything by category.

Design 50 2022: The Fifty People Who Shape Chicago (Introduction)
Design 50 2022: exhibitors and defenders
Design 50 2022: Fashion
Design 50 2022: Architecture and the built environment
Design 50 2022: Graphic design and brand image
Design 50 2022: Innovation, Incubation & Acceleration
+ Designer of the moment: Andre Brumfield of Gensler Chicago

Here are the ones shaping interior architecture and design for the Chicago home.

Sarah Freeman/Photo: Nathan Keay

Sarah Freeman
Co-Founder, SAUCED Night Market
SAUCED Night Market offers quite the shopping experience, bringing together a hand-picked collection of up-and-coming Chicago chefs, artists and makers – think about shopping for handmade goods, jewelry, apparel, clothes and printed with a drink in hand, a DJ on the decks and a late-night bite (from gourmet dishes and boozy cupcakes to street food and ice cream). “The Night Markets’ mission has always been to bring together the city’s most promising creative minds and put them in the spotlight,” says co-founder Sarah Freeman, who sees the market as a vehicle for exciting cultural experiences. “I have been overwhelmed by the amount of new talent the pandemic has brought to light. It has made the past difficult years feel like hibernation rather than a waste of time. Last year, says- she, “SAUCED received over 150 new vendor applications, welcoming dozens of local vendors to their first markets. Fingers crossed this year, SAUCED will host four full-scale markets, including one at a new venue opening this summer.” “, she says. “I hope that 2022 will bring even more opportunities for cultural exchange – because people feel more comfortable taking part – and that the artists and small businesses that have started during the pandemic will finally be able to shine.”

Stella Brown/Photo: Nathan Keay

Stella Brown
Director, Buddy Chicago
“I hope the future becomes even more local and Chicago-centric and continues to blend the boundaries between fine art, design, crafts and artifacts. This city has such an incredible history – from the Imagists of Chicago has a rich, intuitive art scene – something I hope Buddy will support,” says Stella Brown, who is behind the Chicago Cultural Center’s new art and design boutique. Institute and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), this initiative provides visibility and opportunities for artists and small makers in the Chicago area – a place to showcase and sell their products and artwork to a huge audience of locals and visitors alike.” Buddy has only been open for six months, so I plan to work to make the store a home for design in every sense of the word with new new artists and products, as well as shows and pop-ups highlighting specific artists,” says Brown. , mentioning Envision Unlimited artists’ shag rugs, a custom piñata show, and a Midwestern boutique in October during the new iteration of the MDW Art Fair organization. “We also have several artist product collaborations coming out this year under the Buddy MFG name,” she adds. Their mission? For Buddy to become a place that introduces the world to the people who do in Chicago, a place that helps them create a sustainable world that we all want to work, play and live in.

Elizabeth Cronin/Photo: Nathan Keay

Elizabeth Cronin
Founder/Creative Director, Asrai Garden
“I think Chicago design will always be based on a real Midwestern mentality,” says Elizabeth Cronin. “The design landscape here remains more authentic and humble than in other major cities.” She hopes that “it leads those of us with privilege and a dedicated following to continue to share our resources, time and spotlight with others, especially saving space and helping propel queer designers.” , trans, non-binary, black and people of color. .” More than a destination for otherworldly floral arrangements, fine jewelry, and magical curiosities, the Garden of Asrai is all about building community. “We are working to create a foundation that will provide resources and support to promising black florists,” says Cronin. Also a host and judge of the HBO Max “Full Bloom” florist contest, she offered a small but mighty gesture: Do you have in mind a Chicago-based black organizer, activist or essential worker who has worked tirelessly in and for their community? You can nominate them for a chance to receive a Free Gratitude Bouquet.

Obi Nwazota
Owner, Orange Skin and Okpara House
“Meaningful change can be slow to implement,” says Obi Nwazota. He founded Orange Skin, a leading contemporary furniture retailer in Chicago more than two decades ago, to enrich physical, cultural, emotional and spiritual life through good design. But “2022 will see the germination of ideas that will mark our journey towards better representing the rich treasures of diversity and inclusion that have so far been locked away and denied.” Constantly evolving, Nwazota works on Okpara House: “It’s a cultural platform inspired by my roots, the Igbo culture”, he says, describing it as a large project that involves editing, design, dialogue, performance and exhibition space. “We are inspired by a time when we black Africans controlled our lives materially and spiritually. Okpara House reinvents, reclaims and affirms Igbo cultural assets as an essential and relevant part of contemporary black lifestyles. Chicago is a melting pot of cultures. It’s a contribution from my community in Chicago and, by extension, America.

James Geier/Photo: Nathan Keay

James Geier
Founder, 555 International
Since its launch in Chicago more than thirty years ago, 555 International has grown into an award-winning global design, development and manufacturing company specializing in the commercial, retail and hospitality sectors, from Soho House , The Girl and The Goat, Andros Taverna and Ina. Mae Tavern, SoFi Stadium Pro Shop and Madhouse Teamstore, Whole Foods and Lululemon. “We design without using a computer,” says founder and president James Geier. “We have to think about all the elements and how each affects the space and the person using it. With this old-school approach, we are able to solve many of the challenges that are part of the process and are better able to assess the importance of each decision before the final drawing process. Never standing still, Geier has some exciting plans to share: “I developed a master’s program in entrepreneurial hospitality with Tulane University’s Freeman Business School; Northwestern University Block Museum Advisory Board; a new restaurant, Marvin’s Food & Fuel, opened during the pandemic in my building and at my location in the Fulton Market District; and a new immersive traveling art and large-scale sculpture experience I’m planning, TRANSFIX. Our vision is to create a walking maze out of shipping containers that will showcase installation art, often illuminated in some way – think Burning Man meets Cirque du Soleil.

Angie West and Alberto Vélez/Photo: Nathan Keay

Alberto Velez and Angie West
Co-founders, Réfractaire
Founded by Angie West and longtime Holly Hunt design director Alberto Vélez, Refractory, a furniture, lighting and object brand and design studio, embraces a fascination with materiality. The founders describe it as both an evolution and an extension of a community of artisans who seek to create in a space where art meets collectible design. Dividing their time between Refractory and sister company West Supply (think heirloom-quality metal and cast glass crafts), the duo look to the future: enjoying a rebirth,” they say. “The Midwest is a hub for this new momentum in domestic manufacturing, and we believe Chicago will grow to meet this new peak in demand while leveraging its manufacturing power. Many companies have also looked within during the pandemic and emerged with more innovation, new ideas and new insights. It will be exciting to see how that pans out for Chicago this year and beyond.

Norman Teague/Photo: Nathan Keay

Norman thegue
Founder, Board
Specializing in bespoke furniture that offers a personal touch and unique aesthetic details, Norman Teague’s design experience spans consumer products, public sculpture, performance, purpose-built retail spaces and more. Teague, also an educator and co-founder of blkHaUS, a Chicago-based social design studio whose name was inspired by the Bauhaus, describes Plank’s aesthetic as reclaimed, artisanal, and unique. Their mission is a process: “We take found objects and turn them into something beautiful that has value, and translate that creativity into economic opportunities for our community.”

Neil Zuleta/Photo: Nathan Keay

Neil Zuleta
Director of Interior Architecture and Design, House of Hunt
Neil Zuleta describes his work as a constant observation and exploration of the world around him through architecture, design and marketing. His design philosophy is to create functional, beautiful, nuanced and artistically rich projects. Zuleta has worked at Holly Hunt as an interior designer for years, created and led the interior architecture and design studio within the company, and recently became a partner in House of Hunt, a design lab and creative studio founded by Holly Hunt in 2021, which specializes in interior architecture, design and furnishings while exploring a vision of modern living.

The Hall of Fame: interior architecture and design for the home
*= new this year

*Cheryl Durst
Executive Vice President/CEO, International Interior Design Association (IIDA)

* Felicia Ferrone
Main, fferrone design

* Holly Hunt
Founder, Holly Hunt and House of the Hunt

Kara Mann
Founder/Creative Director, Design by Kara Mann

Scott Wilson

Richard Wright
Founder/President, Wright

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