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2023 Kyoto Global Design Awards - Sustainable Designs, Inspired by Tradition

Written by:
Francisco Maia
Kyoto Global Design Awards

From Kyoto to the World. Let Design Re-Shape the World.

The Kyoto Global Design Awards celebrates the diversity of design across the world, starting from Japan's cultural center, Kyoto, which has more than a thousand years of history and is one of the oldest cities in the world. With its legacy of Japanese history, Kyoto continually innovates and endeavours, bringing together history and modernity. This precious heritage has allowed Kyoto to become not only an important symbol of culture but also a hub for new economic and design development.

2023 Event Highlight

Following the resounding success of its inaugural edition in 2020, the Kyoto Global Design Awards was recognized as an innovative global design event in the Asia-Pacific region. This time extends invitations to over 300 guests for the highly anticipated Awards Ceremony. This grand event will occur on the 15th of November 2023 at the illustrious Ace Hotel Kyoto.

Ace Hotel Kyoto

Kengo Kuma has transformed the Former Kyoto Central Telephone Exchange(Shinpuhkan) into the first Japanese location of the renowned Ace Hotel. Architect/Designer: Kengo Kuma・Image credit: Kawasumi-Kobayashi Kenji Photograph Office

“I intended to design a ‘Cultural Catalyst’ for various people to visit and create a seamless relationship with Kyoto’s community. -- Kengo Kuma, Principal, Kengo Kuma & Associates.”

Designed by the renowned architect Kengo Kuma, the Ace Hotel Kyoto is a 213-room hotel that harmoniously integrates a new section with a historic fragment formerly occupied by the Kyoto Central Telephone Company, created by Tetsuro Yoshida. It serves as a visionary "Cultural Catalyst," embodying the abundant nature, art, evolving culture, craftsmanship, and profound history of the city. With its vibrant ambiance and cultural significance, the hotel stands as a central monument, invigorating the area and inspiring artistic expression and cultural engagement for its guests.

Inspiration of the Sustainability

The Kyoto Global Design Awards believes that these designers demonstrate that sustainable design can be both functional and beautiful, inspiring the design industry and wider society. By evaluating their efforts, we hope to encourage more designers to adopt sustainable and socially responsible practices and contribute to a better future for everyone. Let’s have a look at those sustainable outstanding designs selected from previous winners!

Stoney Rise Cellar Door

KGDA winner - Restaurant / Hotel / Bar

As you approach Stoney Rise, the building unfolds. Operating in the round, it welcomes you with different faces to the landscape, depending on your perspective. Architect/Designer: Cumulus Studio・Image credit: Anjie Blair

Stoney Rise Cellar Door showcases Cumulus Studio's skillful utilization of a small footprint to achieve more with less. Despite the minimalist material palette, the design emanates a sense of opulence while prioritizing sustainability. The integration of a striking brick base, reminiscent of Stoney Rise wine, harmoniously blends the building with the surrounding landscape. Locally-produced, carbon-neutral bricks provide both aesthetic appeal and environmentally-conscious construction. The design's meticulous attention to detail, achieved through collaborative teamwork, further underscores its alignment with the values and integrity of the Stoney Rise brand.

Discover more: https://www.kgd-a.org/laureates/en/stoney-rise-cellar-door


KGDA winner - Environment

The built form emerges from the landscape and blend the ground floor to the roof of the building, creating an outdoor connective spine for the villa. Architect/Designer: Studio Symbiosis・Image credit: Niveditaa Gupta

In urban environments, there is an increasing disconnection between people and nature. Studio Symbiosis aims to address this issue by creating a green urban living project that re-establishes the residents' relationship with nature in their immediate surroundings. The villa is designed to harmoniously emerge from the landscape, with a central focus on maximizing green spaces on-site and capturing the park views.

Considering the hot climatic conditions of Delhi-NCR, this project prioritizes human comfort both indoors and outdoors. Several design features contribute to achieving this goal: a shallow water body on the ground floor aids in evaporative cooling, a green cover on the terrace reduces direct heat gain, and cross ventilation in the house take advantage of the prevailing wind direction.

Discover more: https://www.kgd-a.org/laureates/en/villa-kd-45 

Cultural Exploration in Kyoto 

Guided tour of 74 traditional crafts in Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts. Image credit: Alina W.

Experience the cultural wonders of Kyoto while attending the Kyoto Global Design Awards. Explore iconic landmarks like Kiyomizudera Temple, Nijo-jo Castle and Heian-Jingu Shrine, discover the rich artistic heritage of the city and network opportunities with industry experts and potential collaborators. Immerse yourself in the creative side of Kyoto and stay updated on the latest design trends and innovations.

2023 KGDA Event Information

Awards Regular Registration | April 1st to September 30th Jury Screening | September to October
Winners Announcement | October
Awards Ceremony & Designers’ Party | November 15th

Join Together


For further information, please do not hesitate to contact us: awards@kgd-a.org

By Naser Nader Ibrahim

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