Meet the Staff: Vassiliki Giannopoulos

Can you explain a little bit about the type of work you do?

I manage the National Design Awards program – organizing everything from the nomination, submission, and jury processes to the White House and Gala celebrations.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

Working with passionate people, both at the Museum and in the design community.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Finding creative ways to store and catalog submission materials each season!

What is your favorite Cooper-Hewitt exhibition to date? Why?

Design with the Other 90%: CITIES – it was eye-opening to learn about the impact that design can have on the lives of people that don’t have regular access to it.

What was the most memorable moment for you at Cooper-Hewitt?

Celebrating the National Design Awards in Washington, D.C. every year. We kick off the day with an inspirational Teen Design Fair program where local teens meet and discuss futures in design with the year’s National Design Award winners and guest designers. A dozen of the teens join the winners and guests at a truly unforgettable luncheon at the White House with Honorary Patron First Lady Michelle Obama.

How has the renovation either opened new doors or posed new challenges for you?

It's always a challenge conveying that the museum still has a lot going on even though the galleries are closed. The National Design Awards, for example, has continued with little disruption. I always refer to our marketing slogan to help communicate the Museum’s status: “Everything about the museum is open, except the museum.”

What is good design? Bad design?

Good design helps people live and work better every day. Bad design makes life a little more challenging.

What is the future of design?

I think design will have an even greater impact on bringing communities together around the world.

Finally, if you could redesign anything, what would it be?

Getting on the subway during rush hour.  In Taipei, people actually stand in orderly lines to get on a metro train.  It’s amazing.

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