2023 National Design Award Winners

The National Design Awards honor innovation and impact and recognize the power of design to change the world. Established in 2000 as a project of the White House Millennium Council, the National Design Awards bring national recognition to the ways in which design enriches everyday life.

Meet the 2023 Winners

Seymour Chwast

Design Visionary

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Seymour Chwast. Photo: Camille Murphy

Seymour Chwast has been at the forefront of graphic design since the 1950s and continues to explore new frontiers in design and typography. He is a founding partner of the celebrated Push Pin Studios, whose distinct style has had a worldwide influence on contemporary visual communications. His designs and illustrations have been exhibited in major galleries and museums in the United States, Europe, Japan, Brazil, and Russia. Chwast and Push Pin were honored at the Louvre in Paris in a two-month retrospective exhibition titled The Push Pin Style in 1970. His posters are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, Cooper Hewitt, The Library of Congress, The Gutenberg Museum, and The Israel Museum, among others. A graduate of The Cooper Union, Chwast holds an honorary PhD in Fine Arts from the Parsons School of Design and The Rhode Island School of Design. He has received numerous awards including the 1985 AIGA Medal and is in the Art Directors Hall of Fame.

Biocement Tiles by Biomason

Climate Action

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Biomason acting CEO, Bert Bruggeman. Photo: Courtesy of Biomason

Founded in 2012, Biomason’s mission is to reduce CO2 emissions generated by global cement manufacturing, which accounts for approximately 8% of global CO2 emissions. Inspired by a study of coral structure, a very hard cementitious material created by nature in ambient sea temperatures with low energy and material inputs, Biomason has developed a scalable and sustainable biological approach to the production of cement and concrete materials. Over the past decade, Biomason has harnessed biology to develop technology using microorganisms to grow strong, durable Biocement®-based construction materials to lead the global transition to planet-friendly construction. Biomason’s current product, the Biolith® tile consists of 85% natural locally-sourced aggregates and 15% Biocement and can be used in various construction applications, including walls, floors, and facades. Biomason has partnered with Danish concrete manufacturer IBF to open the world’s first Biocement manufacturing facility to commercially produce Biolith tile in 2023. This is the first step toward Biomason’s revolutionary path to minimize carbon emissions.

Beatriz Lozano

Emerging Designer

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Beatriz Lozano. Photo: Virginia Lozano

Beatriz Lozano is a designer, typographer, and educator exploring how technology can push typography to exist at the intersection of the physical and digital world. Originally on the path to becoming a mechanical engineer, Lozano shifted to graphic design as her involvement in immigrant rights activism exposed her to the power of visual communication. She is dedicated to using design to create social change and bridge the gap in access to resources and knowledge. Lozano’s work has been recognized by the Art Directors Club, Type Directors Club, Communication Arts, and PRINT. In 2023, she was awarded the Art Directors Club Young Gun Award, which recognizes the world’s best creatives under the age of 30. She teaches interaction design at Parsons and was formerly a design director at Sunday Afternoon.



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Eric Bunge and Mimi Hoang. Photo: Brian Shumway

nARCHITECTS was founded by Eric Bunge and Mimi Hoang in 1999, with the goal of addressing urgent issues through socially engaging architecture. The firm works for the public good, maximizing the mutual positive impact between communities, buildings, public spaces, and their environment. In 2016, nARCHITECTS completed Carmel Place, New York City’s first micro-unit apartment building, and A/D/O, a design center dedicated to improving urban life. In 2018, the NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center provided a platform for social justice. In 2020, The Jones Beach Energy & Nature Center opened, educating a new generation of environmental stewards. nARCHITECTS’ commitment to innovative housing and the integration of architecture into landscape emerged from Bunge and Hoang’s early work (Canopy and Switch Building) and graduate design studios taught at Columbia and Yale University.

Arem Duplessis

Communication Design

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Arem Duplessis. Photo: Nic Bloise

Arem Duplessis is a creative director who has led and designed visual narratives that have positive global impact, currently serving as a group creative director at Apple. Previously, Duplessis was design director of the New York Times Magazine, where his department was named Design Team of the Year for three consecutive years by the Art Directors Club. During his tenure at GQ he commissioned the Gotham typeface, which went on to become one of the most recognizable typefaces of a generation. He has received numerous awards, including an Emmy and AIGA Medal. He lectures around the world and has taught within Pratt Institute’s Graduate Design Department, SVA, and The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Duplessis received a BA from Hampton University and an MS from Pratt Institute where he was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame as a “Pratt Legend.”

Clement Mok

Digital Design

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Clement Mok. Photo: Jeff Singer

Clement Mok is a designer, digital pioneer, software publisher and developer, author, and design patent holder. He began his career in the 1980s at the design department at CBS, then moved to Apple, where he joined the Macintosh design team as a designer working with Steve Jobs. As creative director at Apple, he made computers friendlier and more accessible. Since then, he founded multiple successful design-related businesses, including Studio Archetype, CMCD, and NetObjects. A pioneer in designing in digital media, Mok helped shape what we know of today as experience design, information design, interaction design, interface design, and more. His contributions have been recognized by publications and many awards, including the 2008 AIGA Medal. Mok is also an advocate for design and technology practices. He mentors startups and serves on the advisory boards of technology companies, colleges, and nonprofit organizations.

Naeem Khan

Fashion Design

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Naeem Khan. Photo: Courtesy of Naeem Khan

Naeem Khan is a fashion designer who launched his eponymous collection in 2003. He was born and raised in India surrounded by the beauty of its culture, architecture, history, and design. These influences helped cultivate his vast knowledge of textiles. Khan is known for the exquisite hand-embroidery in his work, crafted by artisans in his family-owned factory founded by his grandfather decades ago. As a teenager, Khan moved to the United States and apprenticed for Halston, where he absorbed the ethos of modernism, and the secrets of draping and cutting fabric to create clean, elegant, and timeless silhouettes. Today, his focus is to create clothing that embodies beauty, glamour, and femininity while purposefully evolving his vision in the world of fashion. A key element to Khan’s work is keeping the tradition and craft of making clothes by hand.

The Archers

Interior Design

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Richard Petit. Photo: Alex Polillo
Stephen Hunt. Photo: Alex Polillo

Founded by Richard Petit and Stephen Hunt, The Archers is a Los Angeles-based interior design studio with projects in New York and California. The studio is driven by the simple belief that every space deserves to be the only one of its kind. With designers’ backgrounds spanning architecture, art history, set design, fashion, and the fine arts, they apply their varied skill sets on each project from idea to completion. Named after the British filmmakers Powell and Pressburger’s production company, the studio has built a reputation for impeccable design work rooted in their collective knowledge of design history, detailing, and craftsmanship. Working with creative director Richard Petit, the team’s combined knowledge and varied areas of interest result in a very collaborative approach to design. The studio’s work comprises buildings, interiors, and furnishings for private homes and public spaces.

Kongjian Yu

Landscape Architecture

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Kongjian Yu. Photo: Courtesy of Kongjian Yu

Kongjian Yu is a globally recognized leader in ecological landscape planning and design. A farmer’s son, he was trained at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He is the founder of the Peking University College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. Yu is also founder and principal designer of Turenscape. His multi-disciplinary firm specializes in the development of landscapes that combat flooding while repairing ecological damage. Several of Yu’s core ideas for nature-based climate adaptations, including the sponge city concept, have been implemented nationwide in China. Yu is a fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects and member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He lectures widely, and has received numerous awards, including the Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award in 2020 from the International Federation of Landscape Architects.


Product Design

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Hlynur V. Atlason. Photo: IOULEX

Atlason is a New York-based strategic innovation and industrial design studio founded by Hlynur Vagn Atlason in 2004. The foundational idea behind the studio was a lofty goal—to create design icons of the future. At the center of Atlason’s approach is curiosity, a deep love for well-designed objects, and the desire to keep improving our constructed world. The studio designs consumer products, furniture, and packaging for companies that range from startups to large multinationals. Clients include the Museum of Modern Art, IKEA, DWR, Heller, Our Place, Microsoft, Stella Artois, Johnson & Johnson, and L’Oreal. Atlason left his native Iceland for France to study at the Sorbonne in Paris before moving to New York to attend The New School, Parsons School of Design, before starting his eponymous studio.

Meet the Jury

The National Design Awards Jury met at Cooper Hewitt to select this year’s winners. From left to right: Carla Fernández Tena, Sara Zewde, Dung Ngo, Tiffany Chu, and Noah Schwarz.

National Design Award winners are selected by a multidisciplinary jury of design practitioners, educators, and leaders. Nominations are open to all and are also solicited from experts from a wide range of design and related fields. Jurors join from diverse locations to review submissions, resulting in a final selection of 10 category awardees.
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Tiffany Chu

Tiffany Chu is the chief of staff to Mayor Michelle Wu. Chu comes from a background in design, urban planning, and entrepreneurship. Prior to joining the City of Boston, she was the CEO and co-founder of Remix, a collaborative software platform for transportation planning used by more than 500 cities around the world. Remix was named a World Economic Forum Tech Pioneer and a BloombergNEF Pioneer for furthering sustainability and equity in the field and was acquired by Via in one of the largest software acquisitions of 2021. Chu was appointed as commissioner of the San Francisco Department of the Environment and served on San Francisco’s Congestion Pricing Policy Advisory Committee. Previously, Chu was at Code for America, Y Combinator, Zipcar, and Continuum. She’s been named in Forbes 30 Under 30, LinkedIn’s Next Wave of Leaders Under 35, and featured at SXSW, Helsinki Design Week, the New York Times Cities for Tomorrow Conference, and more. Chu has a degree from MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning. Chu is a first generation Taiwanese American. A few of her favorite things about Boston include the Charles River Esplanade, eating seafood, and the city’s walkability.

A woman wears a jumpsuit with white and yellow designs, sitting on a black table.

Carla Fernández Tena

Carla Fernández Tena is a Mexican fashion designer who creates haute couture designs throughout Mexico. “Another fashion system is possible,” says Fernández. Her work preserves and celebrates centuries-old textile techniques belonging to Indigenous communities and other popular and urban collectives in Mexico. At an early age she traveled with her father, then the director of museums and exhibits of the National Institute of Anthropology and History. Through this she learned about Mexico’s diverse heritage and began collecting garments made by Indigenous and mestizo artisans. After studying art history and fashion design, Fernández turned her attention to traditional techniques of clothing construction in Mexico. Maintaining these techniques and imbuing them with innovation became the root of her practice. As she says, “To be original is to go back to the origin.” The fashion house that she heads together with her partner Cristina Rangel, collaborates in the design and production processes with artisans across Mexico by celebrating their living cultures, and by using the house’s global platform to promote social justice and fair trade.

A headshot of a man in a button up shirt and suit jacket in front of a bookcase filled with books.

Dung Ngo, Jury Chair

Dung Ngo has been an editorial director and creative director in print media for over 25 years. Trained as an architect, Ngo specializes in architectural, design, photography, and fashion publishing. He has worked as a consultant with designers, brands, and institutions such as Zaha Hadid, Tom Kundig, Louis Vuitton, Steven Meisel, and the University of California, Berkeley. Ngo has worked with major museums on exhibitions and publications, with past clients including the Louvre’s Musée des Art Décoratifs, the Guggenheim, MoCA, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 2012 he initiated the imprint August Editions, a bespoke publishing house specializing in contemporary visual culture, and has published catalogs for exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Cooper Hewitt. In 2017 he initiated August Journal, a biannual magazine on travel and design, with special issues on Tokyo, Copenhagen, Mexico City, among other cities. Ngo has authored several books on architecture and design, including the award-winning Bent Ply, a history of plywood furniture. He has taught and guest lectured at a number of universities and was an adjunct professor of architecture and design history at the California College of the Arts, San Francisco, from 1999 to 2005.

A man wearing a black turtleneck shirt and black pants sits on a plush white chair.

Noah Schwarz

Noah Schwarz is the director of product design at Herman Miller. He believes in the value of products designed to endure, while always seeking innovative approaches to solving problems. Schwarz previously served as the creative director of Design Within Reach where he shaped both the design aesthetic and product values of the brand and was instrumental in forming the DWR product development program, building a platform for a new generation of designers in North America. He enjoys staying engaged with student designers as a regular guest critic at institutions such as Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, the Savannah College of Art and Design, and Rhode Island School of Design. Schwarz is a lifelong design enthusiast, and a passionate ceramicist.

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Sara Zewde

Sara Zewde is founding principal of Studio Zewde, a design firm in New York City practicing landscape architecture, urbanism, and public art. Named to Architectural Digest’s AD100 and an Emerging Voice by the Architectural League of New York, the firm is celebrated for its design methods that sync culture, ecology, and craft. In parallel with practice, Zewde serves as Assistant Professor of Practice at Harvard University Graduate School of Design and is currently writing a book on her research retracing Frederick Law Olmsted’s journeys through the Slave South. Zewde holds a master’s of landscape architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, a master’s of city planning from MIT, and a BA in sociology and statistics from Boston University.

2023 Special Thanks

National Design Awards Partners

Shelby and Frederick Gans
Helen and Edward Hintz

National Design Awards Sponsors
Alexandra and Paul Herzan
Lisa Roberts and David Seltzer
Crystal and Chris Sacca

National Design Awards Patrons
Kimberly Schuessler
Richard M. Smith and Dr. Soon-Young Yoon
Jon C. Iwata
Agnes Gund
Scott Belsky
Champions Design
Heller Furniture
Bobby Martin
Thomas Robinson
Margaret Stewart

Design learning at Cooper Hewitt is made possible by eBay Inc., The Hirsch Family Foundation, The Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, The Pinkerton Foundation, PwC Charitable Foundation, The Richard and Jean Coyne Family Foundation, with internal Smithsonian Institution funds from the Youth Access Grants for Youth Innovation in Rural America, and public funds from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

National Design Awards trophies are created by The Corning Museum of Glass.