Our Favorite Designs of the Decade

We asked our community of designers to share their favorite designs from the past ten years—as long as it’s not their own work.

Kelly Behun

Roly-Poly chair by Faye Toogood

I was utterly charmed by this chair from the moment I laid eyes on it. It somehow manages to incorporate several opposing qualities at the same time—it’s architectural and precise yet also playful and almost childlike. I also love how she has continued that theme with the material choice, so while the lines are clean and modern, the color and surface texture of the fiberglass have a lovely timeworn appearance. The confidence she had in the tension between all these elements make the chair so compelling. 

Photography by Attilio Maranzano

Ken Fulk

The Wes Anderson Effect

While Anderson and his hyper-realized worlds have been around for decades, they became fully manifested with the debut of The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014). Of course, life imitated art with the opening of the Anderson-designed Bar Luce at Milan’s Fondazione Prada in 2015. I’ve always viewed life in a cinematic fashion, so to see this trend make its way from the art house to become a cultural design phenomenon was a true joy. Over the past five years, it has continued to inspire travel, hospitality, fashion, interiors, and more.

Devon Turnbull

OP-1 by Teenage Engineering

For me, the 2010s have been the decade of design appropriation in the mainstream. The concept of sampling and remixing has permeated all aspects of art and design. The OP-1 represents a very pure form of appropriation: sampling found rhythms and sounds to create new music. This is where the concept initially resonated with me as a teenager in the 90s. The beauty of the OP-1, other than its artistic expression of functional minimalism, is its portability and accessibility. It’s a tool for creation that you can carry everywhere.

Photography by Maxim Schulz

Lyndon Neri & Rossana Hu

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg by Herzog & de Meuron

Built above a mid-1900s warehouse, the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg weaves various levels of complexity into one cohesive whole—urban, typological, building, programmatic, and interior.  In doing so, it gave the historic building a future worthy of civic significance.

Lauren Geremia

Candy Cubes by Sabine Marcelis

This decade, I’ve been excited by the work of Sabine Marcelis. These tables are a current favorite. We’ve sourced her work for almost every single project in the past few years! I love the way she pushes materials, incorporates light and mirror/reflection, and blurs the lines between art and furniture. It’s in my nature to love chasing down new ideas and experiences through my work, but it seems I’ll always have a place for her pieces.

Photography by Iwan Baan

Ryan Korban

Parrish Art Museum by Herzog & de Meuron

I’ve always described my sensibility as half romantic and half Brutalist. I felt that exact juxtaposition the moment I saw the new Parrish Art Museum in the early 2010s. It’s an enormous barn with poured concrete walls that catch the last of the summer day’s sunset. While it’s tough and modern, there’s still something so classically American about it.

Harry Nuriev

Tesla Cybertruck

This is one of my favorites. Of course, Giorgetto Giugiaro designed this style of car before I was even born. It proves how unusual designs confuse people. The Cybertruck went viral instantly and will change the automobile industry forever. People don’t understand it at first because it evokes a new emotion. It’s why I chose to become a designer—to give people a new feeling when they see my work and live in my spaces. 

Image courtesy Ellsworth Kelly Foundation / Blanton Museum of Art, the University of Texas, Austin

Ellen Van Dusen

Ellsworth Kelly’s Austin chapel

I’ve been there twice since it opened in 2018, and it’s a really special and unique place. He designed it in 1986 for another project that never came to fruition, and the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin caught wind of it and raised money to build it on site in 2015. He made every aesthetic choice for the project, but died two months after construction began so never got to see it come together. It’s an homage to color and light, and a totally non-religious religious experience being inside.

Yolande Batteau

Mixed Marble Coffee Table by Brian Thoreen

This is truly a space activator! Part sculpture, completely utilitarian and yet surprisingly innovative, it’s the best example of collectible, contemporary design I can think of. Every interesting designer and collector I know expressed some awe about it when Brian first showed it, and it holds up. I believe it will remain a collectible work for decades!

Image courtesy Morgan Art Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photography by Christopher Stach

Yves Béhar

The High Line 

The High Line showed that the design and re-use of old crumbling urban features can change the experience of a city. By bringing culture, art, and a way to escape the busy streets of New York, its design and landscaping is now a reference for cities all around the world on how to create popular design all can enjoy.

Lara Bohinc

Extrusions bench by Thomas Heatherwick

I love its simplicity—one simple extrusion shape and the abnormality that happens in the manufacturing process when you extrude such a large and long piece, which creates beautiful movement. It’s a perfect marriage of technology and craft, science and chance.

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