Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Announces Winners and Finalists of the Sixth Annual National Design Awards
The Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum announced the initial winners and finalists of the sixth annual National Design Awards, honoring the most outstanding contributions from the design world, including the winners of Lifetime Achievement, Corporate Achievement and Design Mind, as well as the three finalists for each of the other six awards for architecture, communications design, landscape design, interior design, product design and fashion design.
First launched at the White House in 2000 as an official project of the White House Millennium Council, the annual Awards program celebrates design in various disciplines 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. Reflecting the ever-growing scope of design, the Awards program has expanded this year to include three new categories—landscape design, interior design and design mind—for a total of 10 awards.
The six Design Award winners will be announced, and the Lifetime Achievement, Corporate Achievement, Design Mind and Design Patron award recipients will be honored at the Oct. 20 gala,* which will be held at Cooper-Hewitt's landmark headquarters on Fifth Avenue in New York. The proceeds from the gala will benefit the museum, its exhibitions and public programs.
*NOTE NEW GALA DATE
The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes the work of a distinguished individual who has made a profound and long-term contribution to the contemporary practice of design. This year, the award is bestowed upon celebrated design legend Eva Zeisel. Born in Budapest, Hungary, Zeisel’s career is international in scope and spans more than 75 years. Known for lyrical and shapely ceramics, she has produced more than 100,000 objects. At the age of 98, Zeisel is still designing for manufacturers, including Nambé; KleinReid; Acme; The Imperial Porcelain Factory, St. Petersburg, Russia; and, Royal Stafford for Crate & Barrel.
The Corporate Achievement Award recognizes a corporation that uses design as a strategic tool of its mission and exhibits ingenuity and insight in helping to advance the relationship between design and quality of life in the United States. The 2005 Corporate Achievement Award is presented to Patagonia, a sports apparel company, based in Ventura, Calif. Founded in 1973, the company creates high-quality outdoor sportswear for mountaineering, skiing and extreme sports, with a focus on functionality. Patagonia works with manufacturers to develop new fabrics, such as Capilene and H2No Strom, which meet athletes’ strict demands, and implements numerous environmental initiatives, including producing clothes out of soda bottles, recycling scraps before they hit the cutting room floor and harnessing wind for fuel.
The first ever Design Mind Award, created to recognize a visionary who has affected a paradigm shift in design thinking or practice through writing, research and scholarship, is awarded jointly to Katherine and Michael McCoy. The McCoys are internationally recognized for their unique multidisciplinary design education methods, which provide designers the tools to collaborate in creating compelling design experiences. The McCoy’s lecture on design theory at conferences around the world and their writings and work have been widely published and exhibited. Collectively, they have received more than 200 awards for their work in graphic, product, furniture, signage, exhibit and interior design, and numerous awards for their pioneering methods in design education including honorary doctorates from Kansas City Art Institute.
The 2005 National Design Awards jury also chose to grant a Special Jury Commendation to Sergio A. Palleroni, a research fellow at the Center for Sustainable Development at University of Texas at Austin, who runs 10-week-long design/build studios around the world in marginalized communities. Established in 1995 at the University of Washington, these pioneering design/build programs combine innovative architectural training with cross-cultural immersion, social activism and environmental science.
Design Award Finalists
Eighteen finalists will compete for the six National Design Awards in the categories of architecture, communications design, landscape design, interior design, product design and fashion design.
Finalists for the category of architecture (commercial, public or residential) are:
Diller, Scofidio + Renfro—DS+R is an interdisciplinary studio that fuses architecture with the visual and performing arts. The work of DS+R includes architectural commissions, temporary and permanent site-specific installations, multimedia theater, electronic media and print. The New York-based firm integrates architecture with new technologies, implements new materials and construction processes in its projects and appropriates materials from unlikely sources such as the military, aerospace and medical fields.
Tom Kundig—Partner of Seattle-based architecture firm Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects, Kundig has gained national notoriety for his poetic, elemental and intuitive treatment of projects. Kundig creates buildings that are experienced as a journey, a series of vignettes that coalesce into a coherent narrative. With respect for the environment, Kundig’s projects reveal his reverence for materials, while combining art, craft and the experience of built space. In 2004, he was selected as one of eight North American Emerging Architects by the Architectural League of New York.
Antoine Predock—Drawing from the pulse of the land, Antoine Predock’s work embraces the uniqueness of a site, its history, culture and people. Predock’s signature working method includes sketches to capture initial immersion, collage as a mosaic translation into a visual plane and clay modeling to shape bold, three-dimensional forms. He founded Antoine Predock Architect in Albuquerque, N.M., which soon will celebrate its fourth decade in practice.
Finalists for the category of communications design (graphic and multimedia) are:
2x4—Founded in 1993 by Michael Rock, Susan Sellers and Georgie Stout, 2x4 works in print, film/video, web and environment design for clients ranging from Vitra, Knoll Textiles and Prada to the Guggenheim Vegas, Museo Picasso Malaga and the Dia:Beacon. The New York-based design firm develops unexpected content for art, design, architecture and cultural clients, following a rigorous analysis of message, program, context and audience.
Stefan Sagmeister—A major force in the design world since arriving in New York on a Fulbright grant in 1987, Austria-born Stefan Sagmeister strives to create design that has the ability to touch the viewer’s heart. He established Sagmeister Inc. in 1993, with an emphasis on concept over style, and his work is primarily based in the entertainment, art and culture industries. Clients have included legends such as the Rolling Stones, Lou Reed and The Talking Heads.
Paula Scher—For over three decades Paula Scher has been at the forefront of American graphic design. Iconic, smart and unabashedly populist, her work has achieved the level of vernacular. Scher has been a principal in the New York office of the distinguished international design consultancy Pentagram since 1991. She began her career as an art director in the 1970s and early 1980s, when her eclectic period-oriented typography for records and books became highly influential. At Pentagram she designs identities, packaging, publications and environments for a broad range of clients that include The Public Theater, Citibank, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Tiffany & Co., and the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
Finalists for the new category of landscape design* (urban planning, parks, gardens) are:
Kathryn Gustafson—Kathryn Gustafson has practiced landscape architecture around the world for more than 25 years. Her diverse span of prominent works, ranging from 4,000 square feet to 85 acres are ground-breaking, contemporary designs that intuitively incorporate the sculptural, sensual qualities that are fundamental to the human experience of landscape. Two partner offices, Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Ltd in Seattle and Gustafson Porter in London, continue to evolve Gustafson’s design approach into new contexts of time, culture and nature.
Ned Kahn—An environmental designer with a background in environmental science, Ned Kahn explores natural phenomena through his projects. Typically, his projects incorporate fluid dynamics, optics, acoustics and other features of physics. Kahn’s works strikes an emotional chord, reminding the viewer of nature’s capacity to inspire apprehension, serenity, wonder and awe.
Peter Walker and Partners—For almost half a century, Peter Walker has been practicing landscape architecture that extends the work of minimalist artists into the built landscape. Since 1983, he has led Peter Walker and Partners, a small practice in Berkley, Calif. The firm’s work includes urban planning and landscape design for projects ranging from parks and university campuses to corporate headquarters, plazas and private gardens. Working with architect Michael Arad, the firm was selected as the winner for the World Trade Center Memorial, “Reflecting Absence.”
Finalists for the new category of interior design* (residential, corporate, cultural and commercial interiors) are:
Michael Gabellini—Spatial clarity, attention to detail and recognition of the intrinsic properties of building materials and location are the hallmarks of Michael Gabellini’s work. His minimalist sensibility evolves not from a predetermined style, but from the intent to design pure, graphic environments that operate as backdrops to what is contained within them. Using space and light as sculptural materials, he has created signature fashion and residential interiors for international clients and developed contemporary art environments for museums and galleries.
Richard Gluckman—Since beginning his architectural practice in 1977, Richard Gluckman’s work has been closely aligned with the art world. Based in New York, Gluckman has created distinctive spaces for numerous galleries and museums, and developed installations with such notable contemporary artists as Dan Flavin, Richard Serra, Jenny Holzer and Walter De Maria. Gluckman emphasizes basic architectural components of structure, scale, proportion, material and light in his interior designs, which includes residential, commercial and public projects.
Hugh Hardy—Since 1962, Hugh Hardy has been consistently recognized by civic, architectural and preservation organizations for a progressive spirit and sensitive understanding of context. Collaboration with the community is the foundation upon which Hardy approaches restoration work, planning projects and the design of new construction. Hardy founded H3 in 2004 to celebrate communal activity, promote discovery and work to advance new ideas of enclosure, organization and technology.
Finalists for the category of product design (consumer goods, technology, home and office furnishings) are:
Boym Partners—The Boym Partners reflect on everyday aspects of American lifestyle and landscape. With Curious George as their role model, the Boym’s are driven by curiosity to experiment with elements of daily life. They have created playful products and environments for an international list of companies, including Alessi, Swatch, Flos, and Vitra, and their designs are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. The Russian-born Constantin Boym taught at Parsons School of Design from 1988 to 2000 and has been running the New York-based design studio since 1986 with Laurene Boym, who is currently teaching at the School of Visual Arts, N.Y.
Burt Rutan—Burt Rutan has been fascinated with constructing aircraft from his own designs since his childhood. In 1982, he founded his California-based aircraft design, tooling, fabrication and flight testing company, Scaled Composites. The firm’s latest flying prototypes, the White Knight and SpaceShipOne, designed to take human passengers on the world’s first private manned mission to the edge of space, recently won the $10 million Ansari X Prize for private space travel. In early 2005, the Rutan-designed GlobalFlyer, a single-plane, single-turbofan aircraft circumnavigated the earth, unfueled, in 67 hours.
Bill Stumpf—Stumpf Weber Associates of Minneapolis is a design laboratory impelled by inquiry and research. Leading the charge of designing ergonomic products for companies like Herman Miller, Stumpf started a seating revolution in 1974 with the design of the Ergon Chair. Two decades later, he collaborated in the design of the Aeron chair, which has been ranked the world’s most comfortable office chair. Before its public launch, the Aeron Chair was accessioned into the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection in 1994.
Finalists for the category of fashion design (clothing, footwear and accessories) are:
Maria Cornejo—Fashion designer Maria Cornejo’s approach to design has been described as spare, modern, architectural, minimal and feminine. Her collection, first presented in 1997, is named Zero, an expression signifying pure vision. Using volume and circular shapes as a starting point, garments are often draped and cut from one piece of fabric. Cornejo’s style never radically changes from season to season, but instead techniques are refined over time to create collections that have a unique staying power.
Project Alabama—Natalie Chanin, partner and face of Project Alabama, believes in incorporating age-old techniques into modern design and using recycled materials to create new work. Project Alabama’s 150 women artisans work in sewing circles to produce the company’s handmade garments, home wares and accessories. Founded in 2000 by Chanin and her partner Enrico Marone-Cinzano, the Project Alabama line is available in 50 stores and 10 countries.
Toledo Studio—Established in 1984 by fashion designer Isabel Toledo and artist Ruben Toledo, Toledo Studio comprises clothing design, ad campaigns, hotel promotion and mannequin design. Ms. Toledo’s appreciation of machinery, practicality and comfort and Mr. Toledo’s instinctive approach to art combine to create playful, incisive and intensely surreal observations on fashion, beauty and life.
The 2005 National Design Awards nominations were solicited from a committee of more than 800 leading designers, educators, journalists, cultural figures and corporate leaders from every state in the nation. Winners were selected by a panel of nine distinguished jurors, each a leader in his or her respective field, appointed by the museum.
• Ron Arad, founder of Ron Arad Associates, an architecture and design practice in London
• Andrea Cochran, principal and founder of Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture, San Francisco
• Li Edelkoort, chairwoman of the Design Academy Eindhoven, and founder of the trend forecasting group, Edelkoort Group
• David Rockwell, founder of the Rockwell Group, a New York-based architecture practice
• Jeff Speck, director of design for the National Endowment for the Arts
• Frank Stephenson, director of design for Fiat and Lancia
• Nadja Swarovski, vice president of international communications at Swarovski
• Michael Vanderbyl, founder of Vanderbyl Design, a multidisciplinary design firm in San Francisco
• Michael Volkema, chairman of the board of Herman Miller Inc.
The National Design Awards is one of the few programs of its kind structured to continue to benefit the nation long after the awards ceremony and gala. An education program will be announced this summer in conjunction with the awards by Cooper-Hewitt’s education department and includes educational materials as well as a series of public programs, lectures, roundtables and workshops based on the vision and work of the National Design Award winners.
The chairman of the Oct. 20 gala is Richard Meier, and the vice chairmen are Elizabeth and Lee Ainslie, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Alexandra and Paul Herzan, Delphine and Reed Krakoff, Murray Moss, and Deedie Rose. Mrs. Laura Bush will serve as the honorary patron of the 2005 National Design Awards. Museum director Paul Warwick Thompson will preside over the evening’s events.
For more information about the dinner, the awards program and selection process, visit the National Design Awards Web site at www.nationaldesignawards.org.
The National Design Awards are made possible by the generous support of COACH
Exclusive media sponsor is House & Garden
Trophies are provided by Saint-Gobain Advanced Ceramics
About Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
The Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum is the only museum in the United States devoted exclusively to historical and contemporary design. The museum celebrates the nature of design and explores its impact on the quality of our lives. Cooper-Hewitt is located at 2 East 91st Street at Fifth Avenue in New York City. Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. The museum is closed on Mondays, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. Public transit routes include the Lexington Avenue 4, 5 and 6 subways (86th or 96th Street stations) and the Fifth and Madison Avenue buses. General admission, $10; senior citizens and students 12 and older, $7. Cooper-Hewitt members and children under age 12 are admitted free. For further information, please call (212) 849-8400 or visit www.cooperhewitt.org. The museum is fully accessible.
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