To give our audience eyes and ears into the live judging sessions that took place at Frame Awards 2020, we're sharing coverage of the insightful jury conversations that decided the winning projects. Below, we celebrate the recipient of the Innovation Award: Flatmates by Cutwork. Find the full collection of reports in our May/June 2020 issue, Frame 134.

Scalable, economical, on-demand and site-specific: this is how the jury described co-living complex Flatmates by furniture and architectural design studio Cutwork. ‘I was intrigued by the technical solution,’ said artist and designer Adam Nathaniel Furman, ‘and the fact that it can be produced anywhere in the world. For me, this project is all about the products and manufacturing.’

Believing that the sofa-facing-TV model of yesteryear is archaic, the Flatmates team is on a mission to revitalize shared living spaces. The co-living provider offers renters modular furnishings built to be pulled apart and easily joined together. The idea? To accommodate as wide a range of social interactions and lifestyles as possible. To achieve this, Cutwork produced the furnishings for the Parisian project with leading-edge laser-cutting technology that maximizes customization possibilities.

Through its design of affordable, on-demand and durable modular furnishings, Cutwork claimed first prize for its sociable reinterpretation of shared living space.

‘The innovation doesn’t lie in that technology,’ clarified Regine Leibinger of Barkow Leibinger. Rather, it’s about the process of ‘moving the furniture around to make different kinds of spaces – it’s about the sociality’. Nevertheless, Furman recognized how powerful the impact of this manufacturing technique on the housing economy can be, raising the point that ‘private rentals are experiencing the biggest growth in architecture right now’. As homeownership becomes increasingly unaffordable for Western millennials and more and more people move to metropolises, designing sociable and affordable housing is becoming vital. Martha Thorne of the IE School of Architecture and Design cast her vote: ‘Finding ways to produce cheaply, with good quality and on demand – as opposed to stocking up – is admirable.’

Read more about the project here. Frame Awards 2020’s Societal category was proudly sponsored by Iris Ceramica Group. The People’s Choice award went to Space Duality – Virtual Reality in Interior Architecture by HEAD Genève, Department of Interior Architecture and Atelier Simon Husslein.