Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Launches First-Ever National Design Week
Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum will launch National Design Week, a new initiative that aims to draw attention to the ways in which design enriches everyday life, from Oct. 15 through Oct. 21.
During National Design Week, Cooper-Hewitt will offer free admission to all museum visitors and will host a series of free public programs in the Target National Design Education Center and Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden. Through outreach to school teachers and their students, and partnerships with design organizations across the country, Cooper-Hewitt will use National Design Week to promote design education on a national scale. National Design Week is made possible by the generous sponsorship of Target.
“National Design Week is a major platform for celebrating the best practices in design education,” said Cooper-Hewitt Director Paul Warwick Thompson. “By honoring the projects and people who demonstrate the power of design to shape communities and affect positive change, we hope to encourage future generations to think more critically about their world and how they can use design to improve it.”
The centerpiece of National Design Week will be the National Design Awards gala on Oct. 18. Established in 2000 to broaden awareness of the role of design in daily life, the awards honor individuals in all areas of design, as well as its patrons and supporters. This year the ceremony will include a People’s Design Award, determined by an online voting system. Starting in September, the public will be able to nominate and vote for their favorite designs at www.cooperhewitt.org and the winner will be announced at the gala.
Cooper-Hewitt will offer several free programs during National Design Week, including a panel discussion with the 2006 National Design Award winners moderated by Design Mind Award-winner Paola Antonelli, an after-school teen design fair with a keynote presentation by MTV's on-air creative team, and an educator open house. Design organizations and schools nationwide will also host design events during National Design Week, in recognition of the importance of design education. Educators, students, design professionals and the general public will be able to access numerous design resources, play design games and learn about design events in their region via Cooper-Hewitt’s Web site.
The launch of a new online Educator Resource Center, which will feature design-focused lesson plans, as well as chat rooms and blogs for teachers interested in incorporating design into their curriculum, will coincide with the beginning of National Design Week. Teachers who attended Cooper-Hewitt’s annual Summer Design Institute, a professional development program held in July, created sample lesson plans aligned to the National Standards for all grade ranges, to help promote innovation, critical thinking, visual literacy, and problem-solving skills across curricula. The lesson plans demonstrate how design thinking and the design process can enhance the teaching of mathematics, science, language arts and history, in addition to art.
National Design Week is made possible by the generous sponsorship of Target. Media support is provided by Edutopia magazine, published by the George Lucas Educational Foundation.