Western Living Magazine
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Introducing Western Living’s 2022 Designers of the Year Award Winners
WL Architects of the Year 2022: Measured Architecture
WL Robert Ledingham Memorial Award for an Emerging Interior Designer 2022: Studio Roslyn
Our Designers of the Year look back at the early clues that design was their destiny.
Are designers born designers? We asked our 2021 Designers of the Year winners to look back and see if their early years held any clue as to their future profession and passion… and it does seem like for many, a life in design was destiny.
I was always keeping the cardboard boxes that things were packaged in and rebuilding them into structures for my toys. When I eventually pursued a degree in architecture I think my parents probably had a real connect-the-dots moment. When I was a little older, they gifted me with a small pocket knife and I would spend hours collecting sticks from the forest and whittling off the bark. I had absolutely no end goal in mind, but I really liked the hands-on process. A child would never describe anything as meditative, but it was that equivalent. Deagan McDonald, Origins, Furniture Designer of the Year 2021
The Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. Understanding that spaces that felt real could be created purely from the imagination… and being excited that maybe I could do that one day. Lisa Bovell, McLeod Bovell Modern Houses, Architectural Designer of the Year 2021
My grandparents and my father were avid gardeners. There is no question that I came from a green-thumb family. I remember working in the garden with my dad when I was 10 years old and specifically telling myself that one day I wanted to be as good as my dad was at gardening. Id like to think I'm as good or better than him now, but he probably wouldnt agree! Ryan Donohoe, Landscape Designer of the Year 2021
When I wanted to watch decorating shows over cartoons on Saturday mornings. Amanda Evans, Robert Ledingham Memorial Award Winner 2021
I really bounced around between artistic mediums in my early years, but it was always about finding a creative outlet. I think the path toward architecture and design emerged from hand sketching. Kelsey Nilsen, Origins, Industrial Designer of the Year 2021
A general dislike of buttons (an attribute I later learned that I shared with Rudolph Schindler). Matt McLeod, McLeod Bovell Modern Houses, Architectural Designer of the Year 2021
I kept getting sent for multi-media art competitions by my school, even though I dropped out of art class. And, to my surprise, I was winning, although I didnt think I was good. I must have been doing something right. Sumer Singh, Maker of the Year 2021
I was obsessed with paper origami and still am. Becki Chan, Fashion Designer of the Year 2021
The many times I repainted my bedroom. The worst that it got was when I painted my room in grade 10 to mimic my boyfriend's bedroom, which had been professionally finished. The base colour was a terribly dull grey with sponged-on purple veins intended to look sort of like cracks in the drywall. It was horrific. Needless to say, Ive come a long way! Amanda Hamilton, Interior Designer of the Year 2021
When I was a child, there was a huge assorted box of Lego at our houseI don't recall seeing the specific model instructions anywhere. My parents might have bought the whole bin at a garage sale… I don't know. The fun was in making new creations, breaking them apart and starting fresh again. Caine Heintzman, Industrial Designer of the Year 2021