2013 ICON - Deborah Sussman


Deborah Sussman is definitely “the first designer to be honored in a ping pong social club,”  as she noted during her acceptance speech, but definitely not the last.  The diminutive design dynamo was honored in 2013 by LA Design Festival as the inaugural recipient of the ICON.

Ms. Sussman captivated the crowd with her acceptance speech, which started with those eternal words of wisdom, “Women of the West, you are what you eat, and what you wear.”  From behind her trademark glasses and green eyeliner, Ms. Sussman has watched the design industry continue to evolve.  She is truly a Los Angeles design renaissance woman who has played a key role in forging her own path, as well as breaking new boundaries for generations of designers to come.  The ICON Award recognizes her for her tenacious creativity, fearless expression of her art, and for leading by design and by example.

The simple award was crafted by local design studio Know How Shop with tailoring techniques similar to what the Eames used in a lot of their bent plywood furniture, especially the leg splint.  Conceptually, a darted square of plywood cutout of a larger piece, acting as the traditional “frame” for the award.  But the award itself becomes a object in space rather than a flat sheet behind the frame.

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Christine Joo