This award was created in 2001 to recognize outstanding support and patronage within the design community. Unlike the jury-selected National Design Awards, the recipient of the Design Patron Award was chosen each year by the Museum’s director.
When Gordon and Carole Segal returned from their honeymoon in 1961, they wondered why the simple, well-designed tableware they had seen in their travels was not available in the United States. Subsequently they opened a housewares store in the Old Town section of Chicago, and displayed their first shipment on the crates and barrels on which they arrived. The name “Crate and Barrel” and thus a store were born. Gordon Segal has grown Crate and Barrel to a national home furnishings retail chain, carrying an eclectic but carefully edited collection of furniture and housewares. Insisting on the highest design standards, Segal established a talented architectural department within his company, and their designs have won several awards from the American Institute of Architects and the Chicago Athenaeum. He and Crate and Barrel have supported numerous charitable and design-related causes, such as a design award at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem; and the Carole and Gordon Segal Design Library at Illinois Institute of Technology. Segal also serves on the boards of the Art Institute of Chicago and Northwestern University. With a motto “stay humble, stay nervous”, he is sure to continue to lead Crate and Barrel forward to new successes of design excellence for all homes.