AZURE is pleased to announce the 10 esteemed jurors of the AZ Awards 2024, who represent the very best from the worlds of architecture, urbanism, interiors, furniture and more.

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Julie Bargmann
AZ Awards 2024 juror Julie Bargmann

Julie Bargmann is internationally recognized as a leader in the design and building of regenerative landscapes as well as a rigorous, adventuresome educator. She founded D.I.R.T. studio in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 1992 to execute projects with the passion, vision, and unflinching honesty that define her unique style. Bargmann’s work hews to themes of economy of means, neighbourhood connections, respect for site histories, and above all a love of the landscape — specifically, the existing and often former industrial landscape.

Highly regarded for her versatility and hands-on approach, Bargmann received her BFA in sculpture at Carnegie Mellon University before earning her Masters in landscape architecture at Harvard. Amongst numerous national awards received for DIRT work, Bargmann became the inaugural recipient of the Cornelia Oberlander International Prize in Landscape Architecture. Simplicity of form, use of extant materials, and deliberate restraint are hallmarks of her evocative and authentic landscapes.

Shirley Blumberg
AZ Awards 2024 juror Shirley Blumberg

One of Canada’s most respected practitioners, Shirley Blumberg is a founding partner of KPMB Architects and a Member of the Order of Canada for her contributions to architecture and community. She has designed many of the firm’s noteworthy and award-winning projects, which range in typology and scale – from architecture and interiors to planning and sustainable strategies. These include the Julis Romo Rabinowitz and Louis A. Simpson International Building at Princeton University; the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre and Ponderosa Hub, both at the University of British Columbia (UBC); Ottawa’s Global Centre for Pluralism for the Aga Khan Foundation of Canada; the Remai Modern Art Gallery of Saskatchewan; and the recently completed Harrison McCain Pavilion for Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Social justice projects have been a core focus of Blumberg’s practice. She has designed affordable housing projects for Toronto Community Housing Corporation, affordable student housing at UBC, and prototypical housing for the northern Indigenous community of Fort Severn. She continues to work on the intensification of suburban neighbourhoods with affordable midrise housing. Inspired by the Order of Canada’s recognition – they desire a better country – Shirley began a conversation with like-minded colleagues that became BEAT (Building Equality in Architecture Toronto), a grassroots initiative to promote equality for women and minorities in the profession; today there are chapters across Canada. She has also led the firm’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) initiative, now a framework for policy and practice at KPMB.

Wanda Dalla Costa
AZ Awards 2024 juror Wanda Dalla Costa

Wanda Dalla Costa is a member of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation. Her firm, Tawaw Architecture Collective has offices in both Phoenix and Calgary. At Arizona State University, she is the director and founder of the Indigenous Design Collaborative, a community-driven design and construction program that brings together tribal community members, industry and a multidisciplinary team of ASU students and faculty to co-design and co-develop solutions for tribal communities. Her teaching and research are focused on Indigenous ways of knowing and being, co-design methodologies, sustainable design, and the resiliency of vernacular architectures.

Dalla Costa received an Honorary Doctorate in 2023 from Athabasca University. In 2022, she was also recognized as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada, and in 2019, she was recognized as a YBCA 100 recipient by the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, a list which celebrates people, organizations, and movements shifting culture through ideas, their art, and their activism.

Héctor Esrawe
AZ Awards 2024 juror Hector Esrawe

Portrait by Alejandro Ramirez Orozco

Héctor Esrawe is a prolific furniture and interior designer, architect, academic and entrepreneur, living and working in Mexico City. Esrawe has a great ability to simply but abstractly transform the shape and expression of natural materials, while being nurtured by Mexico’s rich artisan heritage, aiming for a timeless and honest creation. Since 2013, Esrawe has created unique and limited-edition pieces; his works are part of numerous private collections, as well as permanent collections at the High Museum of Atlanta.

He also co-founded many design institutions, including the nomadic gallery MASA, the experimental glass-making collective VISSIO, the evocative EWE Studio, and – of course – his own design and architecture practice, Esrawe Studio, which he launched in 2003. Esrawe studied industrial design at the Universidad Iberoamericana (UIA), where he would eventually become a design professor; he ultimately established the Industrial Design Degree as Design Director at Centro Study House in Mexico City before starting his own firm.

Alex Holloway
AZ Awards 2024 juror Alex Holloway

Alex Holloway is the founding director of interior architecture studio Holloway Li, based in London and Hong Kong, where he is responsible for overall creative output and design direction. Specializing in the hospitality, residential and workplace sectors, the cross-cultural studio works with forward-thinking brands across the globe to develop lasting experiences. It draws from the rich visual worlds of cinema, theatre and art to combine future-facing strategic insight with fine-tuned delivery to craft experience-led, multi-sensory spaces. With a purpose driven approach and fascination for material alchemy, the studio melds an eclectic mix of high and low cultural references for clients – playing with distortion, reflection and light to transmute the simplest material into unexpected tactile states.

Holloway Li’s portfolio to date spans a hotel in London’s Bermondsey, a rooftop extension for The Hoxton, an experiential showroom in Clerkenwell, a large-scale hotel in Munich, a coach house in Mayfair and Co-Living haven in Wembley. Prior to establishing his practice with Na Li, Holloway realized numerous projects at Michaelis Boyd, John McAslan+Partners, Pernilla Ohrstedt, and Perkins&Will.

Evan Jerry
AZ Awards 2024 juror Evan Jerry

Evan Jerry founded Studio Anansi, based in Nova Scotia, in 2018 in order to represent a reflection on modernity with a nod to the Afrocentric elements that have been missed or masked in contemporary design. The studio’s sculptural and architectural storytelling alludes to Jerry’s Caribbean heritage and global education, and the name Anansi is a direct reference to West African and West Indian folklore. A prominent figure in West African and Caribbean folklore, Anansi is known for taking the form of a spider and is revered as the god of storytelling and knowledge. Evan’s childhood exposure to Anansi’s tales and his global adventures equipped him with a profound tool to interpret the world, gaining a unique perspective on culture and storytelling while furthering his curiosity to understand our connections.

As a prolific design partner to CB2, Jerry served as Creative Director of the Black in Design collection, mentoring designers throughout the design and development process; he has also collaborated on furniture collections with TRNK NYC and Sight Unseen.

Jennifer Keesmaat
AZ Awards 2024 juror Jennifer Keesmaat

Jennifer Keesmaat is an urban planner named one of the “most powerful people in Canada” by Macleans, one of the “most influential” by Toronto Life, one of the top Women of Influence in Canada, and one of the 100 most influential urbanists of all time by Planetizen Magazine. She spent half a decade as Toronto’s Chief City Planner, where she was celebrated for her forward thinking and collaborative approach to city-building. Today, Keesmaat is President and CEO of Collecdev-Markee, developing new communities across the GTA as sustainable, liveable places that prioritize access to high quality, affordable housing.

A Distinguished Visitor in Residence Emeritus at the University of Toronto, Keesmaat continues to share her vision for cities of the future, through her WEBBY Award–winning podcast, Invisible City. Keesmaat is the Chief Architect of the 2020 Declaration for Resilience in Canadian Cities, which is a blueprint for adapting cities post Covid19 that has been adopted by cities around the world. She is on the Advisory Board of the Urban Land Institute, Toronto, and is appointed to the International Panel of Experts, Singapore Urban Redevelopment Authority. Keesmaat is on the Board of Directors for May Mobility and is on the President’s Planning and Growth Advisory Board and Design Review Panel for Ohio State University.

Piero Lissoni
Meet the Jury of the AZ Awards 2024

Portrait by Veronica Gaido

Recognized as a master of contemporary design, Milan-based Piero Lissoni has developed projects the world over in the fields of architecture, landscape and interior, as well as in product and graphic design for over 30 years. From Italy to India, the West Coast of Canada to his Americas base in New York, Lissoni implements his humanistic philosophy through each undertaking. Among his architectural works, created by Lissoni & Partners (established with Nicoletta Canesi in Milan and with an interior design offshoot in Manhattan), are Oakridge x Piero Lissoni in Vancouver; the Ritz Carlton Residences & Villas in Miami Beach, and interior design work for a townhouse by Ten Arquitectos in Manhattan’s Chelsea district.

In addition to this larger scale work, Lissoni has served as creative director for a number of major furniture brands, including Alpi, Boffi, Lema, Living Divani and Porro. He has also designed products and exhibition stands for companies such as Alessi, B&B Italia, Cassina, Fantini, Kartell and Knoll. Regardless of the medium, project scale or location, Lissoni has long embraced a holistic approach to design and especially to placemaking that synthesizes global influences, innovation and context

Tosin Oshinowo
Meet the Jury of the AZ Awards 2024

Portrait by Spark Creative

Tosin Oshinowo is a Lagos-based Nigerian architect and designer. The founder and principal of Oshinowo Studio, which she formed in 2013, Oshinowo has worked on a number of civic, commercial and residential projects throughout the country. She is renowned for her insights into socially responsive approaches to architecture, design and urbanism. One of her key designs is a project with the United Nations Development Programme to build an entirely new community in northern Nigeria for a village displaced by Boko Haram. Her work also spans the conceptual sphere, where it embodies a contemporary perspective on the next generation of African design, innovation, and afro-minimalism. She partnered with Lexus on conceptual design explorations for Design Miami/ 2020 and co-curated the second Lagos Biennial in 2019.

Before founding Oshinowo Studio, she worked in the offices of Skidmore Owings & Merrill in London and the Office of Metropolitan Architecture Rotterdam, where she was part of the team that designed the 4th Mainland Bridge proposal in 2008. Upon returning to Lagos, she practiced at James Cubitt Architects and led on notable projects, including the corporate head office building for Nigeria LNG in Port Harcourt.

Sidhartha Talwar
Meet the Jury of the AZ Awards 2024

Portrait by Noughts and Crosses

Sidhartha Talwar is co-founder of and Principal at Studio Lotus, a New Delhi-based multi-disciplinary design practice. Spanning the domains of master planning, architecture and interior design, the work of the award-winning practice is grounded on the principles of “conscious design” – an approach that celebrates local resources, cultural influences, an inclusive process, and keen attention to detail. Talwar leads the architecture and master planning initiatives for the practice, working extensively on large-scale developments for a diverse clientele; he is also an active member of the Indian architectural community through adjudicating design competitions and speaking at trade events, and represents the practice on a global stage.

He has worked on corporate complexes and campuses for Organic India, Max Estates, and Royal Enfield, in addition to developing the master plan and architectural schematic for Devanya in Matiyal, an eco-development for a luxury residential community in the Kumaoni foothills, and The Oberoi at Bandhavgarh, a boutique hotel in the forest reserve.

The 2024 AZ Awards is presented by Keilhauer and sponsored by Colombo Design America. Gala sponsors are George Brown College’s Brookfield Sustainability InstituteVogt and Landscape Forms.

Media Partners: Archello, ArchDaily, Archilovers, Archinect, Archiproducts, The Architect’s Newspaper, Architonic, Bustler, Design Week Mexico, v2com newswire and World-Architects.

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