Receiving an award is generally a positive experience. Mainly because — unlike winning $5 from a scratch-off lottery ticket you bought at the gas station — it requires something more than the edge of a quarter to be awarded the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, for example. And though both would come as a welcome surprise, only one means you’ve done something right with regard to your stewardship of an African state.
Which is to say, awards are generally based on merit. Their significance comes from receiving recognition for a job well-done. They’re given out in the arts and science communities, by governments and professional sports associations, to actors, authors, athletes, and an astonishingly long list of pigeons that served nobly in World War II. Without a doubt, the recipients of these awards were honored — even the birds.
Having said that, there are cases when an award inspires more embarrassment than pride. Richard Gere’s 2002 Foot-in-Mouth Award for having said, “I know who I am. No one else knows who I am. If I was a giraffe and somebody said I was a snake, I’d think, ‘No, actually I am a giraffe,’” falls into this category. And though his logic seems accurate enough — most giraffes would surely respond similarly if told they were snakes — Gere is neither giraffe nor snake and is known the world over for his squinty visage and love of the Dalai Lama. Nevertheless, even this less-than-prestigious distinction was given to recognize what was clearly a singular achievement in crazy talk.
Which brings us to this year’s Detroit Home Design Award winners. This — our fourth competition — was the most competitive yet, with a record number of entrants and a roster of accomplished judges. In 51 categories covering everything from fireplaces to fences, powder rooms to patios, winners were chosen from a wide cross-section of the area’s most talented interior designers, architects, and artisans. In this issue, we devote our pages to highlighting their award-winning work. Use it as a resource guide, coffee-table look book, or as a collective portfolio of the creative professionals working in and around our city. Whatever you do, enjoy it.