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India Mahdavi's List

Design Miami

The inimitable French architect-designer shares a few of her favorite designs of the moment

India Mahdavi is known for creating spaces and objects that don’t just inspire—they transport. The Paris-based, Iranian-born architect-designer layers elegant forms, trend-setting color combinations, and rich, cultural references to create one-of-a-kind design moments across the globe.

Mahdavi's Chez Nina for Galerie Nilufar, 2018. Photo © Mattia Lotti

From her lush, “hollywood pink” interior for London eatery Sketch (often referred as the most Instagrammed restaurant in the world), to her Bauhaus-inspired, boldly geometric design for legendary Berlin luxury department store KaDaWe, or her scenography for last year’s Nouvelles Vagues design exhibition, featuring works from the Centre Pompidou, in which she distorted traditional seaside resort stripes, the “eternal symbol of the beach,” Mahdavi’s signature style is fresh, glamorous and fearlessly spot on.

So we could think of no one better to help us kick off our new Top Picks series. We asked the inimitable Mahdavi—a tastemaker like no other—to share a few of her favorite designs from the site at the moment. Scroll on for objects and insights sure to inspire.


Betil Dagdelen | Desert Weave Dining Chairs Set

“I love the graphic, textured pattern on these chairs,” Mahdavi says. “Each one is unique, and yet they look like a tribe together."


Marianne Richter | Fasad Orange Rug

“I love the rare richness of this rug's texture and colors,” Mahdavi tells us. “It's structured and pop at the same time. Rugs like this one enlighten a room. Part of today's design is about how to integrate craft and folk traditions in a modern way; that's what pieces like this one highlight beautifully."


ACdO | PET Lamp Bolgatanga

“I have always admired Alvaro Catalán de Ocón's work, for the way he contributes to design through local and ethnic craftsmanship. His work is social and emotional, and it demonstrates the beauty of authenticity.” Further, Mahdavi says, “The fact that the PET lamp is the result of a collaboration with a group of Ghanaian artisans deeply resonates in me: over the years, the many collaborations I’ve carried out with expert craftsmen have been an endless source of inspiration."


Niki de Saint Phalle | Serpents Chair

“We are all familiar with Niki's fat ladies, but less with her furniture, which exists somewhere in between sculpture and functionality."


Bethan Laura Wood | Hot Rocks Cabinet

Describing her affinity for this bold, beautiful piece by British designer Bethan Laura Wood, Mahdavi tells us: “I deeply relate to Bethan Laura’s aspiration to celebrate modest materials through marquetry—one the most refined, sophisticated techniques upcycling leftovers of laminated wood."


Jean-Baptiste Fastrez | Rio Mirror

Finally, Mahdavi points to this elegantly playful work by emerging French designer Jean-Baptiste Fastrez. “Fastrez is a young, award-winning talent,” she notes. “I love how this work contrasts an organic, snake-like form with man-made materials."


Thank you, India!