Gifts Today magazine

Awards for first Chilewich store

De-Spec Wins IIDA + AIA Awards for The First Chilewich Store in New York City

De-Spec, the renowned multidisciplinary design practice, has won two prestigious awards for The Chilewich Store in the Flatiron District in New York City; The International Interior Design Association (IIDA) ‘Interior Design Competition’ Award and the New York Chapter of The American Institute of Architects (AIA) ‘Design Merit Award for Interiors.’

The IIDA awards, now in their 42nd year, celebrate originality and excellence in the design and furnishing of interiors spaces. “These competitive arenas showcase the dynamic creativity and innovation in the design industry,” Executive Vice President and CEO Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA, LEED AP, said. “We are proud to honor entries that so strongly reinforce the standards IIDA supports.”

This is the second IIDA Interior Design Competition Award and third AIA Design Merit Award for De-Spec, who previously won both in 2012 for the XOCOLATTI store in New York City. This store was in fact the inspiration for Chilewich to work with De-Spec.

“While walking in SoHo with my husband and business partner, Joe Sultan,” says Sandy Chilewich, Creative Director and Founder, “we noticed a tiny artisanal confectionary store called XOCOLATTI. We were so impressed with the impactful and ingenious presentation which they created in such a small space that we tracked down the designers, De-Spec.”

Sandy goes on to explain, “We asked them to submit concepts for displaying our wide range of products in a unified and powerful way. They presented such a compelling display solution, which was so elegant in its simplicity, that we realized we wanted to introduce this concept in our very own retail store. I take a great deal of pride that our brand and product inspired such enormous creativity.”

Farnaz Mansuri, Founder and Principle Designer at De-Spec, describes the process and concept for the store: “For me, a project is always about how to capture the spirit of a brand in and through their products in time and space, and here for Chilewich through the 3D matrix of colors, textures, threads and shapes, we defined both the problem and the solution.”

Tom Shea, Principle Designer at De-Spec elaborates: “The design hinges on the simplicity of a system that allows for maximum flexibility and interchangeability. An even point grid receives the variety of display components while each component, tailored to the product it displays, finds its origin in the language of point, line, plane.”

The result is a pioneering store layout that features a modular display system allowing a myriad of shapes, sizes and styles to be displayed and interchanged effortlessly in a 820 square foot space. Opened in November 2014, this is the first Chilewich retail store and it offers the most comprehensive collection of Chilewich tabletop and flooring designs under one roof in the world.

Tom Shea shared his reaction to the announcement of the Chilewich Store winning the IIDA Interior Design Competition Award and the AIA Design Merit Award for Interiors: “We are honored and excited that the project is receiving this recognition. It has been a great experience working with Chilewich to conceptualise this system of display and there is nothing better than seeing the store fully realised.”

About Chilewich
Sandy Chilewich and her original textiles have been enhancing interiors around the world since 2000. Each season, from her NYC studio, Sandy creates a new collection that reflects her distinctive aesthetic and unique vision. Woven exclusively in the USA, Chilewich manufactures a wide range of products using their
proprietary textiles which are sold worldwide to the best retail stores, restaurants and hotels and are used for both commercial and residential interiors. Together with her husband and business partner, Joe Sultan, Chilewich continues to stretch the boundaries of what to expect from a textile.

About De-Spec
De-Spec is an award winning internationally recognized multidisciplinary practice with focus on relation of space and its occupant, developing spatial typographies for an architecture that is experienced inside and out. The name De-Spec itself is a derivative of de-speculative. The act of de-speculating is applied to most projects as a form of ‘de-construction’ of site and program in search of content and experience. Located in the heart of the Chelsea Arts District of NYC, De-Spec was founded in 2002 by Farnaz Mansuri.

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