At the 2018 AZ Awards Gala, taking place June 22 at the Evergreen Brick Works, the winners in 19 design and architecture categories will take home this unique sculpture by acclaimed UK-based designer Michael Anastassiades.
Each year, a designer is invited to create the AZ Awards trophy. This time around – for our eighth edition – we were pleased to have AZ Awards juror and acclaimed lighting and furniture designer Michael Anastassiades envision the piece. Created in collaboration with manufacturer Salvatori, the 10-centimetre-tall trophy subtly displays the letters A and Z in finished Carrara marble. We caught up with Anastassiades to ask about the ideas behind the unique work. Get your tickets to the gala now!
What inspired the mono-block idea (of having the A and Z in one piece of marble)?
We wanted to create an abstract object that communicated the letters that represent Azure, but using a gesture that was subtle and indirect. Aside from its intention as a trophy, we wanted the object to have the ability to function in various ways depending on the improvisation of the user.
How did you design it – with sketches on paper or via computer modelling?
We tend to design from sketch to model and this is the design process we followed in this case. We produced various 1:1 mock ups until we arrived at the final results. It is important for me to see the objects in space, proportion is an essential part of my work.
How did you settle on the proportions?
We decided very early on that we wanted the object to be in marble. It’s a material we are very familiar working with. You have to consider the weight of the stone, so the decision as to the size and weight was very intuitive.
How was the collaboration with Salvatori?
We have a long-standing collaboration with Salvatori. Our first project together was Love Me Love Me Not and The End of the Affair, [two tables] that debuted at Salone del Mobile in 2017. Working with them is always a truly collaborative process, and they are unmatchable when it comes to natural stone and the way in which it is transformed into object.
What was the biggest challenge in making the trophy and how did you resolve it?
The biggest challenge was designing an object that was discreet in its form, whilst still clearly communicating the AZ lettering and the identity of Azure.
The piece is also a little sculpture – and quite beautiful! How do you hope it will be used, other than as a trophy?
I’m curious to see the different functions the object takes on. It has been designed to facilitate multiple uses; a decorative object perhaps, but even something that has a more practical function, like a paperweight.
The 2018 AZ Awards is presented by Cosentino, Keilhauer, Stone Tile and Laminam, and was sponsored by Flos, Landscape Forms, Urban Capital, and George Brown College School of Design. Gala sponsors were Alpi, DXV, Farrow&Ball, Scavolini, and Tas. The hotel sponsor is The Drake Hotel.