Groundbreaker: Gilles Clément

February 17, 2010
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Gilles Clément is a hard man to pin down. Best known as the designer of original public parks in France and gardens from Chile to New Caledonia, he also writes popular fables, novels and philosophical reflections. He is an outspoken ecologist, botanist and entomologist who discovered the butterfly Bunoeopsis clementii in 1974 in Cameroon. Clément has always been a leader rather than a follower of fashion.

Groundbreaker: Julie Bargmann

February 16, 2010
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Landscape designer Julie Bargmann wants to ensure that degraded postindustrial landscapes are not viewed simply as “problems to be fixed. They’re much richer than that,” she insists. Dubbed “the Queen of Slag” by The University of Virginia Magazine, Bargmann, through landscape design, focuses on regenerating blighted landscapes: abandoned railroads, former manufacturing and mining sites, landfills and other brownfields. The resulting innovative and sustainable places she creates pay homage to what came before while offering a community something distinctively new.

Groundbreaker: Patricia Urquiola

January 29, 2010
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Over the past ten years, the Spanish-born, Milan-based Patricia Urquiola has emerged as the exhilarating new diva of contemporary design. In that short time, she has put her stamp on everything from furniture to rugs — for both indoors and out — for the likes of Valentino, Hermès and Knoll. Last year alone she debuted new lines of outdoor furniture for Moroso, B&B Italia and emu, added a plastic chair to the ever-edgy Kartell and designed a studio line of porcelain for Rosenthal.