Alberto Alessi, Martyn Lawrence Bullard Receive International Design Honors

alessi egg cup.jpgThe post-Labor Day awards train has left the station! Getting things off to an emozionante start is the Abitare il Tempo prize, which this year will be awarded to Alberto Alessi, whose dulcet pronunciation of his own last name once hypnotized us into buying this puckish Stefano Giovannoni-designed eggcup—and we don’t even like eggs! The president of Alessi and the man you have to thank (or blame) for the Philippe Starck-designed juicy salif citrus squeezer and Michael Graves‘ avian-accented tea kettle will be presented with the prize next Thursday in Verona, Italy as the massive interiors fair celebrates its 25th anniversary. The selection committee lauded Alessi for having “expressed a personal and innovative vision of the role of his company, transforming it, in these decades of major change, into one of the most important names in Italian and international design.” Now in its ninth year, the Abitare il Tempo prize is awarded to individuals or institutions that have contributed to the development of design as an ethical and aesthetic activity designed to improve the quality of contemporary living. Previous winners include Ettore Sottsass, Ingo Maurer, and Alessandro Mendini.

Meanwhile, back stateside, Los Angeles-based Martyn Lawrence Bullard has been named 2010 Andrew Martin International Interior Designer of the Year. And oh, to have been a fly on the wall during the deliberations of the judging panel, which included the rapier-witted AA Gill, British Vogue editrix Alexandra Shulman, chinoiserie mogul David Tang, the fragrant Jo Malone, celebrity chef and Hell’s Kitchen devil Gordon Ramsay, and the Duchess of York. “Martyn brings an exhilarating fresh talent to the world of interior design,” said Martin Waller, head of Andrew Martin Design Company. “His ability to transcend different styles…underlines his technical skill as well as his remarkable sense of wit and invention.” Bullard will receive the award next month in L.A. at a Pacific Design Center gala. Meanwhile, he’s keeping busy with projects that range from restoring a 12th-century castle in Umbria to designing the London corporate headquarters of Jimmy Choo (president Tamara Mellon is a huge fan). London-based Andrew Martin Design has previously presented its Interior Designer of the Year award to the likes of Jamie Drake, Kelly Hoppen, and Stephen Falcke.

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Interiors designed by Martyn Lawrence Bullard, winner of the 2010 Andrew Martin International Interior Designer of the Year Award.