Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum will host a virtual National Design Awards gala Thursday, Oct. 1, at 7:30 p.m. ET featuring an announcement of the 2020 award winners. The gala will kick-off National Design Month in October, which will highlight the work of the award winners through free educational programming for design enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels. The gala and related educational programs will be held online and will be free of charge, welcoming everyone, anywhere, to discover the importance of design.

National Design awards

Now in its 21st year, the National Design Awards program recognizes innovation and impact across various fields of design. The virtual National Design Awards gala will reveal this year’s winners and celebrate the power of design to change the world. Hosted by Bobby Berk, interior design expert and Emmy-nominated host of Netflix’s Queer Eye, the evening will feature short films highlighting the work and impact of the winners and bring together design professionals and enthusiasts everywhere to kick off National Design Month.

Recipients will be announced for the following awards: Design Visionary, Climate Action, Emerging Designer, Architecture, Communication Design, Digital Design, Fashion Design, Landscape Architecture and Product Design.

An interdisciplinary jury of design leaders and educators selected the winners after reviewing award submissions resulting from nominations solicited from design experts and enthusiasts. The 2020 National Design Awards jury included: Sigi Ahl, Creative Director, Eileen Fisher Waste No More; Angela Brooks, Principal, Brooks + Scarpa Architects, Inc.; Shane Coen, Founder, Coen + Partners; Arem Duplessis, Group Creative Director, Apple Inc.; Ben Ebel, Experience Design, Michelin North America; Toni L. Griffin, Principal, Founder, Urban American City; and, Jae Park, Vice President, G Suite UX Design, Google.

To register and learn more, visit

National Design Month

Cooper Hewitt launched National Design Week in 2006 to draw national attention to the ways in which design enriches everyday life. This year, the programming will expand to a monthlong virtual format, gathering the country’s leading designers and communities around the country to celebrate the impact of design in the everyday world.

The first-ever National Design Month will showcase the work of this year’s award winners through a series of free virtual education programs, including talks, tours, workshops, professional-development training, a college fair, mentoring sessions and more.

The programming includes:
Design Offline (Mondays throughout October)
Analog activities will be shared every Monday that showcase the power of design and inspire participants to flex their creative muscles away from the screen. A printed Design at Home activity book, available in English and Spanish, will be shared in communities around the country.

Design Fair (Tuesdays throughout October)
Cooper Hewitt invites high school students, college students, early career designers and educators to explore career paths and education opportunities in design. Individuals with autism and other forms of neurodiversity are welcome. Virtual sessions include College Day: Meet the Schools, Oct. 6; Career Day: Meet the Designers, Oct. 13; How to Launch a Project, Oct. 20; and Educator Day, Oct. 27.

Design at School (Wednesdays throughout October)
Cooper Hewitt brings a special edition of its Design Field Trip program highlighting the National Design Awards to schools across the country. Students will learn about the design process and build connections to objects explored virtually.

Design Salon (Thursdays throughout October)
Meet the 2020 National Design Award winners in dynamic virtual conversations across various topics every Thursday: Designing Sustainable Cities, Oct. 8; Social Impact, Oct. 15; Storytelling, Oct. 22; Fashion and Identity, Oct. 29.

Design at Home (Fridays throughout October)
Cooper Hewitt welcomes participants to think like a designer through self-paced activities around the work of National Design Award winners. New content will be released each Friday.

Design Day (First Saturday, Oct. 3)
Participants can celebrate the National Design Awards with a day of special virtual programming for all ages, including an interactive reading session, workshop and a curator presentation of works by National Design Award winners in the collection.

To register for programs and learn more, visit

NDA cities

As part of the museum’s National Design Awards programming, Cooper Hewitt brings design literacy to communities around the country with hands-on workshops, professional development opportunities and dynamic panel discussions.

In September, Cooper Hewitt will present the National Design Awards in Detroit, offering virtual programming and interactive experiences focusing on strategies and problem-solving mindsets that address the role of design in two pandemics—COVID-19 and systemic racism. A design activity book will also be distributed in the local community. Programs are held as an official part of the Detroit Month of Design, organized by Design Core.

To find out about education programs in Detroit, visit


National Design Awards is made possible with support from Facebook and Target.
National Design Award trophies are created by The Corning Museum of Glass. is powered by Behance, part of Adobe, Inc.

The Climate Action Award is made possible with support from Lowercarbon Capital.

National Design Month is made possible with major support from Target.
Additional support is provided by Altman Foundation, Facebook, and Siegel Family Endowment.

Design Fairs are made possible with lead support from Amazon Design.

NDA Cities is made possible by generous support from Siegel Family Endowment and Target.


Cooper Hewitt is America’s design museum. Inclusive, innovative and experimental, the museum’s dynamic exhibitions, education programs, master’s program, publications and online resources inspire, educate and empower people through design. An integral part of the Smithsonian Institution—the world’s largest museum, education and research complex—Cooper Hewitt is located on New York City’s Museum Mile in the historic, landmark Carnegie Mansion. Steward of one of the world’s most diverse and comprehensive design collections—over 210,000 objects that range from an ancient Egyptian faience cup dating to about 1100 BC to contemporary 3-D-printed objects and digital code—Cooper Hewitt welcomes everyone to discover the importance of design and its power to change the world. Cooper Hewitt knits digital into experiences to enhance ideas, extend reach beyond museum walls and enable greater access, personalization, experimentation and connection.

For more information, visit or follow @cooperhewitt on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.


Editor’s Note: As a public health precaution due to COVID-19, Cooper Hewitt remains temporarily closed. A reopening date has not yet been announced.