During the past few months, a great number of us have sought comradeship with others online, as Instagramming, Twittering, Zooming and more, reached new heights. As social beings, our desire to connect with others, to find a sense of togetherness, did not evaporate with lockdown—indeed, for many, lockdown acted to intensify the human need for interaction. ‘You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone,’ opined Joni Mitchell in her Big Yellow Taxi, an observation that has never been more apt.

Even though the pause button had been pressed (and to a large extent, remains pressed) on just about every real-life activity—recreation, socialising, shopping, work—people stayed connected, albeit virtually. To that end, in order to maintain a sense of connection and camaraderie with clients, customers, and design lovers alike, and to bring some light to a dark situation, LZF asked people to tell us their tale (a reference to LZF’s award-winning Telling Tales campaign). Many accepted the challenge with gusto, telling us their tale in a myriad of weird, wonderful, and wacky ways.

The winning entry

The ‘tell, us your tale’ competition has now ended, and following adjudication by an expert judging panel, we have a worthy winner: the Dämmer family.

The Dämmer family.

‘Hairdressing day during the lockdown. Cutting where there is nothing to cut. The young couple are waiting impatiently for their turn. Dressed up for a VIP party that does not take place. By the time it’s her turn, the mistress of the house has probably finished reading Tolstoi’s “War and Peace“. The hairdresser probably has the best day of the week. Something that resembles a virus hovers over everything.’



The judges enjoyed the parodied scene, with its origins in those awkward family photographs. They were also reminded of works by American photographers Philip-Lorca diCorcia and Tina Barney (where diCorcia’s photos straddle truth and fiction by combining real people and places, and Barney’s series of tableaux chronicle the complexity of interpersonal relationships).

The judging panel

The ‘tell us your tale’ judging panel consisted of three eminent women: Gayle Shand, Caron Grunschlag, and Marisa Santamaría.

Judging panel (Lto R): Gayle Shand, Caron Grunschlag, and Marisa Santamaría.

Gayle Shand is the founding principal at Albino Squirrel Concepts, a consulting agency that collaborates with design firms, manufacturers, and allied associations. Driven by her passion for contemporary art, design, and business, Gayle believes that clear and concise communication is paramount when transforming strategic business ideas into effective programme solutions.

Caron Grunschlag is the co-owner of KE-ZU, a furniture importer and distributor based in Sydney, Australia, that has been working with LZF for the past twenty-four years. Caron’s curatorial eye, alongside her exposure to design trends and influences, have ensured KE-ZU has forged long-lasting relationships with designers and brands.

Marisa Santamaría is the Director of RED-AEDE (a meeting of Spanish design companies), a researcher specialising in international design and architecture trends, a teacher, writer, and curator. Moreover, she is a founding member of Círculo de Orellana, a professional women’s association. Read LZF’s ‘people with character’ interview with Marisa here.

A selection of the ‘tell us your tale’ entries

Jane Darroch Riley


‘Here am I, living in worlds that I create, trying to escape from our grim reality. If I let my imagination fly free, my heart does not feel in lockdown. Today, on board of LZF starship, we’ve completed our dangerous mission, reaching remote Agatha rings. Forgive me, I’m a very lucky guy. Stay at home, and if you must go out there, please take so much care.’

 Yvonne Lukowski

Juan Carlos Narbona Calvo

‘A seven seconds masterpiece. A short musical strobe. In a flattering environment, during moments of generous creativity, Fer and Tinín gave us their “Samba Pequeña”. A sonorous micro-story that shows us the essence of bossa: back and forth influences, sub-genres, and migration. With its simple melodic melisma, flaccid rhythm, IIm6 and IMaj7, one chord per word in a steady cadence, choral in an out of tune, or not, ebrius cantus. We know it is not a haiku, nor 4’33’’. It was not recorded. It won’t repeated. It disturbs me to hear insignificant artists turning to tasteless imitations. Union of Guijarros. You already know.’

 You can find all of the shortlisted competition entries here.