Dubai-based architect and interior designer Agata Kurzela is the winner of the 2016 Interior Designer of the Year award. She worked in Paris and London for the likes of Christian de Portzamparc and Zaha Hadid before settling in the Middle East.
Kurzela has recently joined boutique design studio Pallavi Dean Interiors (PDI) as associate director, overlooking residential and hospitality projects. Before joining PDI, Kurzela was in charge of the interior design department at AK Design, creating high-end boutique offices as well as large-scale government and hospitality projects.
The judges praised her ‘diverse portfolio of original, custom designed projects and her use of unique concepts and innovative materials’. One judge said: “Agata has an innate style that cannot be learned or studied.”
Upon receiving the award, Kurzela said: “I was thrilled to win this award, but also shocked because I didn’t expect it. I’ve been in the industry for 10 years now and started as an architect, but I’ve gradually moved into being an interior designer.”
One of the judges said that Agata has an excellent understanding of client branding and can convey a concept across a project with ease. They also praised her involvement within the design industry.
Commenting on the fact that she has been recognised by her peers, Kurzela said: “It is a fantastic industry recognition and people who recognised our work have a vast knowledge about the design world, so it means a lot to me. This is a very challenging environment because of the complexities we have to deal with it each project but at the same time it is magical because we have an opportunity to create something special.”
Highly commended for her versatile work was Sejal Patel from Gensler, who was formerly with HBA Dubai.