The Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum will celebrate outstanding achievement in American design this fall with its 15th annual National Design Awards program. Today, Cooper-Hewitt director Caroline Baumann announced the winners of the 2014 National Design Awards, which recognize excellence and innovation across a variety of disciplines. The award recipients will be honored at a gala dinner Thursday, Oct. 9, at Pier Sixty in New York.
This year’s recipients are Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar for Lifetime Achievement; Witold Rybczynski for Design Mind; Etsy for Corporate & Institutional Achievement; Brooks + Scarpa for Architecture Design; Office for Communication Design; Narciso Rodriguez for Fashion Design; Aaron Koblin for Interaction Design; Roman and Williams Buildings and Interiors for Interior Design; Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architecture; and LUNAR for Product Design.
First launched at the White House in 2000 as a project of the White House Millennium Council, the National Design Awards were established to promote design as a vital humanistic tool in shaping the world. The awards are accompanied each year by a variety of public education programs, including special events, panel discussions and workshops. First Lady Michelle Obama serves as the Honorary Patron for this year’s National Design Awards.
National Design Week, Oct. 4–12, aims to promote a better understanding of the role that design plays in all aspects of daily life. Launched in 2006, this educational initiative makes great design widely accessible to the public through interactive events and programs for students, teachers, corporate professionals, designers and Cooper-Hewitt’s dedicated audience.
“Through programs like the National Design Awards, the museum fulfills its mission to educate, inspire and empower people through design, locally, nationally and globally, and we look forward to opening the doors to the new Cooper-Hewitt later this year,” said Baumann. “As we celebrate the 15th anniversary of the program, I am delighted to welcome this new class of extraordinary designers, each of whom represent the very best in their discipline and demonstrate design’s power to affect the quality of our life, community, economy and environment.”
A jury of design leaders and educators from across the country, convened by the museum, reviewed submissions resulting from nominations submitted by the general public. Individual nominees must have been practicing professionally for a minimum of seven years; Lifetime Achievement nominees must have been practicing professionally for a minimum of 20 years. Winners are selected based on the level of excellence, innovation and public impact of their body of work.
National Design Week is made possible in part by the generous sponsorship of Target.
National Design Awards are supported in part by Design Within Reach. National Design Award trophies are created by The Corning Museum of Glass. The National Design Awards Gallery is powered by Behance. Media sponsorship is provided by Smithsonian magazine.
National Design Awards and National Design Week professional supporters include AIGA | the professional association for design, American Institute of Architects New York Chapter, American Society of Interior Designers, American Society of Landscape Architects, Council of Fashion Designers of America, Industrial Designers Society of America, Interaction Design Association and International Interior Design Association.
The 2014 National Design Award recipients are:
Lifetime Achievement: Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar
Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar are the founding partners of Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv, a New York-based brand design firm behind many of the world’s most iconic and recognizable trademarks. Since 1958, Chermayeff and Geismar have pioneered the modern movement of idea-driven graphic design across every discipline, specializing in brand identities, exhibitions, print and motion graphics, and art in architecture. They have created more than a hundred identities for clients such as Chase Manhattan Bank, Mobil Oil, New York University, PBS and Xerox. Chermayeff and Geismar have been awarded nearly every recognition bestowed by the profession, including the AIGA Gold Medal, the Yale Arts Medal and the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame honor, and their work continues to receive worldwide acclaim.
Design Mind: Witold Rybczynski
Witold Rybczynski is a writer and emeritus professor of architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. Now living in Philadelphia, he has written 18 books and several hundred essays and reviews on architecture, urbanism and design. He has contributed to the Atlantic, the New Yorker, the New York Review of Books and the New York Times, and has been an architecture critic for Saturday Night, Wigwag and Slate. The recipient of the 2007 Vincent Scully Prize, Rybczynski’s critically acclaimed books include the J. Anthony Lukas Prize-winning A Clearing in the Distance, Home: A Short History of an Idea, Last Harvest, Makeshift Metropolis and How Architecture Works: A Humanist’s Toolkit, which was a finalist for the Marfield Prize for writing on the arts. From 2004 to 2012, Rybczynski served on the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts.
Corporate & Institutional Achievement: Etsy
Etsy is an online marketplace where people connect to buy and sell unique goods. Since the company’s founding in New York in 2005, Etsy has empowered people to start and grow creative businesses with a mission to reimagine commerce in ways that build a more fulfilling and lasting world. Today, Etsy supports more than 1 million shops around the world, and in 2013 alone, these shops sold more than $1.35 billion of merchandise. Etsy’s business model allows sellers to keep 96.5 percent of every item sold. Creativity, the joy of making and inspired design are integral to Etsy and its 30 million member community.
Architecture Design: Brooks + Scarpa
Angela Brooks and Lawrence Scarpa are partners in the Los Angeles-based architecture firm Brooks + Scarpa. The firm has garnered international acclaim for its success in marrying an innovative aesthetic with leadership in sustainable and socially progressive design, ingenious applications of building materials and the incorporation of unique ideas about tactility and spatial experiences in design. The firm has received numerous honors, including awards for such noteworthy Los Angeles projects as the Solar Umbrella House, Cherokee Mixed-Use Lofts, Colorado Court, the first affordable housing project in the country to be LEED-Gold certified, and Step Up on 5th, which provides a home, support services and rehabilitation for the homeless and special-needs population.
Communication Design: Office
Office crafts strategies and designs experiences to make things better. Led by Jason Schulte and Jill Robertson, the San Francisco-based studio has developed differentiated solutions for some of the world’s most iconic companies, including Google, Disney, Coca-Cola, Target and IBM. Rooted in the belief that design should make people feel something, Office is known for work that is grounded in smart strategy and executed in unexpected ways. The studio is equally passionate about its annual pro bono projects, like branding 826 Valencia’s Pirate Supply Store. In 2012, Office launched Wee Society, an award-winning kids’ brand that aims to help parents raise good little people by teaching kindness and sparking imaginations with happy apps, artful activities and toys to transfix short attention spans.
Fashion Design: Narciso Rodriguez
Narciso Rodriguez has redefined American style for the past two decades, playing a singular role in global fashion through his structured and elegantly minimal designs. Based in New York City where he shows his women’s ready-to-wear collections, Rodriguez incorporates a simple, sophisticated sensibility—he makes modern classic clothing that functions both practically and aesthetically. He has received numerous accolades, including three CFDA Awards, Pratt Institute’s Fashion Icon Award and being named one of the “25 Most Influential Hispanics in America” by Time magazine. Rodriguez has collaborated with artists and on several films, and most recently designed costumes for the Stephen Petronio Company’s 30th anniversary season.
Interaction Design: Aaron Koblin
Aaron Koblin is an interaction designer known for pioneering new interfaces in crowdsourcing and data visualization. Based in San Francisco, his work explores the changing relationship between humans and the data they create. Notable projects include commissioning 10,000 people to draw a sheep, a 120-foot sculpture visualizing global weather, a website for animators to draw infinite, ever-evolving stories, data-driven music videos for Radiohead and Arcade Fire and the first crowdsourced music video, The Johnny Cash Project. Koblin leads the Data Arts Team at Google and his work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Victoria and Albert Museum and Centre Pompidou. He has received numerous accolades, including National Science Foundation awards and multiple Grammy nominations.
Interior Design: Roman and Williams Buildings and Interiors
New York-based Roman and Williams was founded in 1998 by Hollywood set designers Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch. The pair began by designing celebrity residences. In 2009, the firm completed the award-winning Ace and Standard Hotels in New York as well as the notable residential building at 211 Elizabeth Street. Their lauded projects include The Dutch and Lafayette with chef Andrew Carmellini, the Freehand Hotel in Miami, the 30-story Viceroy Hotel in New York and a product line with Waterworks and Lalique. Recent projects include an eatery for Facebook, a restaurant with Alain Ducasse and the newsroom and set for Huffington Post Live. Each Roman and Williams project demonstrates a comprehensive design vision, marking their work as a unique user experience.
Landscape Architecture: Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture
San Francisco-based Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture is distinguished by its emphasis on the experiential and material quality of the built landscape. Founded in 1998 by Andrea Cochran, FASLA, the firm tackles a wide range of project types and scales, from single-family residences to hotels, wineries, affordable housing, schools, institutions and public parks. Sustainability is central to the practice and each project is instilled with a sense of intimacy and strong attention to detail. The firm’s work is internationally recognized and has earned numerous awards, including seven Honor Awards and an Award of Excellence from the American Society of Landscape Architects. In 2009, Princeton Architectural Press published the monograph Andrea Cochran: Landscapes.
Product Design: LUNAR
LUNAR is a global design and engineering firm that has been creating beautiful, ingenious and charismatic products and experiences for 30 years. Founded and built by Jeff Smith and Gerard Furbershaw in San Francisco, LUNAR’s work spans consumer, technology and life science markets for leaders like Oral-B, Apple and Johnson & Johnson, among other global brands. The team brings together consumer insight, design leadership and engineering horsepower to deliver successes like the Oral-B CrossAction toothbrush, market-leading HP computers and brand-defining genetic sequencers for Illumina. Staying close to its entrepreneurial core, LUNAR has created a variety of new ventures, including Belle-V, an innovative new brand of kitchen tools introduced on Kickstarter, achieving its funding goal on the first day.
National Design Awards Jury
The 2014 jury was composed of a diverse group of designers and educators from around the nation:
Eric Anderson, associate dean, College of Fine Arts, associate professor, School of Design, co-director, Integrated Innovation Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
Kate Aronowitz, former director of design at Facebook and LinkedIn
Celerie Kemble, principal, Kemble Interiors
Tom Kundig, principal/owner, Olson Kundig Architects
Bruce Mau, co-founder, Massive Change Network
Ivan Poupyrev, technical program lead, executive, Google
Lucinda Sanders, CEO and partner, OLIN
Anna Sui, fashion designer, Anna Sui
Armin Vit, principal, UnderConsideration LLC
About the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
As the only museum in the nation devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design, Cooper-Hewitt educates, inspires and empowers people through design. The museum is undergoing a transformative renovation resulting in 60 percent more gallery space and will open in late 2014 with an entirely new visitor experience. During the renovation, Cooper-Hewitt’s events and education programs are popping up locally at the Cooper-Hewitt Design Center in Harlem and nationally with the Design in the Classroom program in New Orleans, New York City, San Antonio, Washington, D.C., Cleveland and Minneapolis.