2012 National Design Award Winners

Celebrate design

The National Design Awards program celebrates design 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.

Richard Saul Wurman

Spurred by the dance between his curiosity and ignorance, Richard Saul Wurman, FAIA, seeks ways to make the complex clear. Described by Fortune magazine as an “intellectual hedonist” with a “hummingbird mind,” he has written, designed, and published eighty-three books and counting on topics ranging from healthcare to atlases and the Olympics. Wurman received his degrees in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and is the creator of the term “information architecture.” Wurman created and chaired the TED, TEDMED, and eg conferences in 1984–2002, 1995–2010, and 2006, respectively. He is currently developing the WWW conferences celebrating improvised conversations, or “intellectual jazz,” and continues to work on his global cartographic initiative, 19.20.21.

Janine Benyus

Janine Benyus is a biologist, innovation consultant, and author of six books, including Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature. In 1998, Benyus cofounded Biomimicry Guild, the world’s first bio‐inspired consultancy, bringing nature’s sustainable designs to over 250 clients, including Boeing, Nike, General Electric, Herman Miller, HOK, IDEO, Interface, and Procter and Gamble. In 2006, Benyus cofounded Biomimicry Institute, home of AskNature, an online library of life’s best ideas. In 2011, she launched Biomimicry 3.8 to certify and nurture the growing network of biomimicry professionals. Benyus has received numerous awards, including the 2011 Heinz Award, and was TIME’s International 2007 Hero of the Environment.

Red Burns

Red Burns is an arts professor and chief collaborations officer for the Interactive Telecommunications Program at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She founded the department in 1979 as the Alternate Media Center, and until 2010 served as ITP chair. During the 1970s, she designed and directed a series of projects including a two-way television for and by senior citizens, one of the first Teletext field trials in the United States, and a CD-ROM on chaos theory. Burns has been recognized with numerous awards and honors including a Webby Special Achievement Award in 2011, a Lifetime Achievement Award from Canadian New Media in 2009, and the Mayor of New York’s Award for Excellence in Science and Technology in 1998.

Design that Matters

Conceived by graduate students at the MIT Media Lab in 2001, Design that Matters is a nonprofit design company that partners with social entrepreneurs to design products that address basic needs in developing countries. Led by cofounder Timothy Prestero, over 850 academic and professional collaborators have worked together to create dozens of product concepts, including a projector for nighttime adult literacy education in Africa, a low‐cost neonatal incubator using spare car parts, and, most recently, a phototherapy device for treating newborn jaundice in Vietnam. DtM’s award‐winning creations have captured the public’s attention through its innovative, human‐centered approach to product design.

Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects

Mack Scogin and Merrill Elam have worked together in architecture for over forty years. Founded in 1984, their Atlanta-based firm, Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects, has won international acclaim for work that ranges from a sleek factory for Herman Miller to the Lulu Chow Wang Campus Center for Wellesley College and commercial office space for Tishman Speyer Properties. The firm’s diverse body of work is uniquely characterized by profound rigor tempered by childlike innocence. It has been recognized with numerous awards and publications and has been shown at museums such as The Museum of Modern Art and The Walker Art Center.

Rebeca Méndez

In a career spanning almost thirty years as a designer, creative director, artist, and educator, Rebeca Méndez has focused on critical reflection of visual communication practices around issues of organization, culture, and identity. Méndez is a professor in the Design Media Arts department at UCLA. Since 1996, she has run a multidisciplinary studio based in Los Angeles, Rebeca Méndez Design, focused on design for art and architecture clients including Frank Gehry, Thom Mayne, and Bill Viola. Her work has been exhibited in venues such as the Centre Pompidou, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Cooper-Hewitt. The recipient of numerous awards, Méndez lectures widely around the world, including a TEDx Talk in 2011.

Thom Browne

Thom Browne’s meticulous aesthetic is rooted in an American sensibility evocative of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Browne opened his doors in the fall of 2001, offering bespoke tailored clothing; he introduced ready-to-wear menswear in 2004 and womenswear in 2010. He designs the Black Fleece by Brooks Brothers collection for men and women as well as a line of men’s jewelry for Harry Winston. In 2009, Browne introduced the Moncler Gamme Bleu collection. He was named Menswear Designer of the Year in 2006 by the CFDA, Designer of the Year in 2008 by GQ magazine, and Most Influential Designer by WGSN.

Evan Roth

Evan Roth is an interaction designer who visualizes, records, and subverts transient, often unseen moments in public spaces, in popular culture, and on the Internet. His approach takes inspiration from the free software movement and hacker ethos, leading to such notable pieces as Laser Tag, White Glove Tracking, and a collaboration with Jay-Z on the first open-source rap video. Roth is cofounder of the Graffiti Research Lab and the Web-based, open-source Free Art & Technology Lab. His work is in the permanent collection of The Museum of Modern Art and has received numerous awards, including the Design Museum London’s Design of the Year.

Clive Wilkinson Architects

Clive Wilkinson Architects is a distinguished architecture and design practice based in Los Angeles, which collaborates with clients to design and build creative communities. The practice has completed creative projects across the globe for clients such as Google, Nokia, Twentieth Century Fox, and Disney, winning over seventy-five awards in the process. In its work, the firm strives to connect people, shape relationships, and empower organizations to produce invigorating forms of community. Clive Wilkinson has been inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame; and been named a Master of Design by Fast Company magazine and a Pioneer of Design by the IIDA.

Stoss Landscape Urbanism

Stoss Landscape Urbanism is a Boston-based collaborative design and planning studio that operates at the juncture of landscape architecture, urban design, and planning. The firm was established in 2000 by Founding Principal Chris Reed; Scott Bishop joined as Associate Principal in 2005. Stoss has distinguished itself for a hybridized approach rooted in infrastructure, functionality, and ecology. The firm’s projects include The CityDeck in Green Bay, WI; Erie Street Plaza in Milwaukee, WI; The Plaza at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA; and Bass River Park on Cape Cod. In 2010, Stoss became the first North American firm to win the Topos Landscape Award.

Scott Wilson

Scott Wilson is the Founder and Principal Designer of the Chicago-based studio MINIMAL. A former design leader at Nike, Thomson Consumer Electronics, IDEO, Fortune Brands, and Motorola, he has created some of the world’s most recognized consumer design icons, including MINIMAL’s collaboration with Microsoft on Kinect for Xbox 360 and TikTok and LunaTik watches for the iPod Nano. Equal parts visionary and entrepreneur, Scott Wilson delivers disruptive yet thoughtful solutions to markets across a range of industries. His work has been recognized with over fifty international design awards and has been exhibited at Cooper-Hewitt, The Museum of Modern Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago.