2015 National Design Award Winners

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Celebrate design

The National Design Awards program celebrates design as a vital humanistic tool in shaping the world, and seeks to increase national awareness of design by educating the public and promoting excellence, innovation, and lasting achievement.

Michael Graves
Michael Graves was a renowned architect and industrial designer, credited with broadening the role of architects and raising public interest in good design as essential to the quality of everyday life. He established Michael Graves Architecture & Design in 1964, and served as principal until his death in 2015. Widely recognized for designing consumer products for Alessi, Target, and Kimberly-Clark, he later focused on accessibility and healthcare, designing hospitals, housing for disabled veterans, and wheelchairs and hospital furniture for Stryker Medical. Graves served as the Robert Schirmer Professor of Architecture at Princeton University, where he taught for thirty-nine years. His numerous honors include the 2012 Richard H. Driehaus Prize, the 2010 AIA/ACSA Topaz Medallion, the 2001 AIA Gold Medal, a 1999 National Medal of Arts, and inclusion on a list of the top twenty-five most influential people in healthcare design by the Center for Health Design in 2010.

Jack Lenor Larsen
Jack Lenor Larsen is an internationally renowned textile designer, author, and collector, and one of the world’s foremost advocates of traditional and contemporary crafts. He founded his eponymous firm in 1952, and the company has grown steadily to become a dominant resource for signature fabrics. Larsen’s own award-winning, hand-woven fabrics of natural yarns in random repeats have evolved to become synonymous with twentieth-century design at its finest. Larsen is also widely recognized for LongHouse, his sixteen-acre estate in East Hampton, New York, that serves as a nonprofit outdoor art museum that exemplifies living with art in all its forms. The collections, gardens, sculpture, and programs reflect world cultures and inspire a creative life. The recipient of numerous awards, Larsen is one of only five Americans to have exhibited at the Louvre in Paris, and his designs are in museum collections around the world.

Rosanne Haggerty
For thirty years, Rosanne Haggerty has worked to demonstrate the potential of design to improve the lives of people living in poverty through affordable housing and human services. Based in New York, she currently serves as founder and president of Community Solutions, an organization that assists communities throughout the United States in solving the complex problems facing their most vulnerable residents. Previously, Haggerty founded Common Ground Community, a pioneer in the development of supportive housing and research-based practices designed to end homelessness. Haggerty is a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, an Ashoka Senior Fellow, and a Hunt Alternatives Fund Prime Mover. In 2012, she was awarded the Jane Jacobs Medal for New Ideas and Activism from the Rockefeller Foundation.

Heath Ceramics
For over sixty years, Heath Ceramics has been known for handmade ceramic tableware and architectural tile that embody creativity and craftsmanship, elevate the everyday, and enhance the way people eat, live, and connect. Founded by Edith and Brian Heath in 1948, the historic company is now led by Catherine Bailey and Robin Petravic, who purchased and re-founded the company in 2003, placing a strong emphasis on design while preserving Heath’s hand-crafted techniques and designer-maker legacy. Today, Heath Ceramics is committed to quality over quantity, production at a human scale, local manufacturing, social and environmental responsibility, and thoughtfully designed spaces that don’t just reflect its values, but also create them. Heath still makes dinnerware in its original factory in Sausalito, California, and has added a new tile factory in San Francisco, California.

MOS Architects
MOS Architects is a New York–based architecture studio, founded by principals Hilary Sample and Michael Meredith in 2005. Sample and Meredith teach at Columbia University and Princeton University, respectively, and their academic research occurs in parallel to the real-world constraints and contingencies of practice, informing and elevating both. Recent projects include four studio buildings for the Krabbesholm Højskole campus, the Museum of Outdoor Arts Element House visitor center, the Floating House on Lake Huron, and the Lali Gurans Orphanage and Learning Center in Kathmandu, Nepal. MOS has been honored with an Academy Award for Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a 2014 Holcim Award, the Architectural League’s 2008 Emerging Voices Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grant, and the P/A Award from Architect magazine.

Project Projects
Founded by Prem Krishnamurthy and Adam Michaels in 2004, Project Projects is a graphic design studio in New York, New York focusing on art, architecture, and culture. Combining a rigorously conceptual approach with innovative modes of visual communication, the studio’s work encompasses a wide range of contemporary graphic media. Project Projects considers and redefines the bounds of graphic design through editing and publishing books, curating exhibitions, and organizing public programs that put forth alternative perspectives on design history, contemporary art, urbanism, and beyond. The studio has received numerous awards and grants for independent research, curatorial, and publishing projects. By teaching and lecturing internationally, Project Projects’ founders and associate principal Chris Wu seek to extend public understanding of the role of graphic design within contemporary culture

Recognized as one of the most innovative fashion labels today, threeASFOUR was founded in New York City in 2005 by Gabriel Asfour, Angela Donhauser, and Adi Gil, who hail from Lebanon, Tajikistan, and Israel, respectively. Having worked together since 1998 (under the label AsFour), the trio uses fashion to promote the need for human coexistence and collaboration, and fuses technology with traditional craftsmanship. The collective shows twice a year during New York Fashion Week and has collaborated with numerous artists and musicians, including Björk, Yoko Ono, and Matthew Barney. threeASFOUR’s designs are in the permanent collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Palais Galliera in Paris.

John Underkoffler
John Underkoffler is a user-interface designer and computer scientist. His work insists that capabilities critical to humans living in a digital world can come only from careful evolution of the human-machine interface (HMI). He is co-founder and CEO of Los Angeles–based Oblong Industries, whose products and technologies embody this idea to offer new forms of computation. Underkoffler’s foundational work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology included innovations in optical and electronic holography, large-scale interactive visualization techniques, and the I/O Bulb and Luminous Room systems. He has been science and technology advisor to such films as Minority Report, Hulk, Aeon Flux, and Iron Man. Underkoffler is active on several boards, including the Cranbrook Academy of Art’s National Advisory Council. He holds a PhD from the MIT Media Lab.

Coen + Partners
Founded by Shane Coen in 1991, Coen + Partners is a renowned landscape architecture practice based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Through a process of collaboration, experimentation, and questioning, the firm’s work embraces the complexities of each site with quiet clarity and ecological integrity. The practice has built a distinguished body of award-winning work that is widely recognized as progressive and timeless, receiving numerous awards for landscape architecture, planning, and urban design. Coen + Partners has been recognized by the AIA, the ASLA, the GSA Design Excellence Program, and the editorial staff of such influential publications as Metropolis, Dwell, and Architectural Record. New York Times architectural critic Anne Raver has described Coen + Partners’ work as “pushing Midwestern boundaries.”

Commune is a Los Angeles–based design studio with a reputation for working holistically across the fields of architecture, interior design, graphic design, product design, and brand management. Founded in 2004 by Roman Alonso, Steven Johanknecht, Pamela Shamshiri, and Ramin Shamshiri, Commune is noted for its eclectic assemblages that work in harmony with their surroundings, while paying homage to historical, traditional, and international design. The firm has designed residential, commercial, and hospitality projects worldwide; a wide array of home and lifestyle products; and graphic and branding concepts for the fashion, arts, and entertainment industries. The studio values the strength of the collective mind, believing that authentic creativity and innovation stem from collaboration.

Stephen Burks
For over a decade, Stephen Burks has dedicated his work to building a bridge between authentic craft traditions, industrial manufacturing, and contemporary design. Since 2005, Burks has consulted with nonprofits, including Aid to Artisans, the Clinton Global Initiative, and the Nature Conservancy, uniting the artisan, the designer, and global brands in a triangle of immersive development. With his New York–based studio, Stephen Burks Man Made, Burks has produced innovative products, furniture, lighting, and exhibitions for a range of international clients, including B&B Italia, Boffi, Cappellini, Dedar, Dedon, Harry Winston, Missoni, Moroso, Parachilna, Roche Bobois, and Swarovski. Burks has received numerous accolades and has exhibited worldwide, including at the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Museum of Arts and Design.