Kick back, drink some nog, take a deep breath or two (or a zillion). You’ve earned it. As this most challenging of years winds down — and Azure takes a break until January 4, 2021 — we’re leaving you with some of the most interesting stories we’ve covered to make your holidays even more rewarding.
One of the silver linings that’s come out of this year is the conversations it’s brought to the fore around equity in urban life. From the early hysteria about the impact of urban density on pandemic preparedness to more nuanced discussions of socio-spatial discrimination, urban advocacy, transit access, outdoor amenities and public parks, COVID-19 has spurred us to confront the discrimination and disparity woven into the fabric of our cities. Read the full series here.
In September, we celebrated the 10th annual AZ Awards with our first-ever virtual gala. Representing the best work in global architecture and design today, the 20 winning projects — selected from a record pool of 1,241 entries — include a modular housing complex in Portugal, a chemical-free pool in Alberta and an ingenious blown-glass assemblage that appears to float between rings of ambient light. In case you missed the online gala, you can watch a full replay on AZURE’s YouTube channel and read more about the winners here.
While 2020’s event cancellations and global supply chain delays disrupted much of the global design industry, a uniquely challenging year was still marked by outstanding accomplishments. Rounding up the very best in interiors, houses, architecture projects and product design, our annual Top 10 list celebrates a timely, diverse and inspiring array of innovative designs from around the world.
This year, Azure teamed up with The Bentway to co-publish a series of critical essays focusing on the theme of Safe in Public Space. So far, the ongoing project comprises an essay on Indigenous design principles by Mohawk architect Matthew Hickey, a sobering call to action on homelessness by activist Asante Haughton and an incisive look at the historical correlations between public health and urban geography by Nahomi Amberber.
And last but not least, Azure marked another major milestone this year: our 35th anniversary. To celebrate three and a half decades as a leading forum for architecture and design, we opted to do what we do best — tap the minds of groundbreaking industry players for their insights on the state of design today. From architects Renzo Piano and Francis Kéré to curator Paola Antonelli and product designer Yves Béhar, see what these 10 global giants have to say about the past, present and future of the discipline.
As we say goodbye to 2020, we wish you and your loved ones a safe and healthy holiday — with some inspiring reading material.