Yesterday, the winners of the 14th-annual National Design Awards, which recognize excellence and innovation across disciplines from interior to fashion design, were announced by the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum's acting director Caroline Baumann. The award recipients will be honored at a gala dinner in October at Pier Sixty in New York.
“As the nation’s design museum, Cooper-Hewitt raises awareness that everything around us is designed,” said Baumann. “This year’s National Design Award winners have made a major impact in their respective fields through groundbreaking projects and visionary ideas. They have truly transformed the way we live, think, work and communicate with each other."
A jury of design leaders and educators from across the country, convened by the museum, reviewed the submissions and winners were selected based on the level of excellence, innovation and public impact of their body of work.
Interior Design Award recipients, Joshua Aidlin and David Darling of Aidlin Darling Design have a shared interest in exploring design across a wide range of scales, programs and disciplines. The partners started the firm around a woodshop in 1998 with an emphasis on designing for all of the senses. They have cultivated a diverse and collaborative studio that acts as the creative hub for an extended network of builders, fabricators, artists, engineers, chefs and other collaborators. In the past three years, the firm has garnered more than 40 regional, national and international awards, including a James Beard Award, two American Architecture Awards from the Chicago Athenaeum, an International Civic Trust Award and several awards from the AIA, IIDA and ASLA.
The other 2013 National Design Award recipients are as follows:
Lifetime Achievement: James Wines
Wines is founder and president of SITE, a New York-based architectural studio chartered in 1970. Through his multidisciplinary practice, Wines develops site-specific structures that engage information about the environment, including buildings, public spaces, environmental art, landscapes, master plans, interiors, video productions, graphics and product designs. This emphasis on context has attracted international attention since 1970 and has influenced the design of environmentally oriented buildings, interiors, gardens and public spaces. He has designed more than 150 projects for private and municipal clients in 11 countries. Wines is a professor of architecture at Pennsylvania State University and author of several books, including De-Architecture and Green Architecture. Twenty-two monographs have been published on his drawings and built works. He continues to research environmental issues in architecture and write and lecture on this subject internationally.
Architecture Design: Studio Gang Architects
MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang is the founder of Studio Gang Architects, a Chicago-based collective of architects, designers and thinkers practicing internationally. Gang uses architecture as a medium of active response to contemporary issues and their impact on human experience. Each project resonates with its specific site and culture while addressing larger global themes such as urbanization, climate and sustainability. The firm’s projects range from tall buildings like the Aqua Tower, whose façade encourages building community in the vertical dimension, to the Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo, where 14 acres of biodiverse habitat are designed to double as stormwater infrastructure and engaging public space. Honored and published widely, Studio Gang’s work has been exhibited at the Venice Architecture Biennale and museums across the nation.
Design Mind: Michael Sorkin
Sorkin is an architect and urbanist whose practice spans design, criticism and teaching. He is the principal of Michael Sorkin Studio in New York, a global-design practice focused on urbanism and green architecture; president of Terreform, a non-profit organization dedi¬cated to research and intervention in issues of urban morphology, sustainability and equity; distinguished professor of architecture and the director of the Graduate Urban Design Program at the City College of New York; and president of the Institute for Urban Design. He is a contributing editor at Architectural Record, an architecture critic for The Nation and the author and editor of numerous books, including variations on a Theme Park, Exquisite Corpse, Local Code, Some Assembly Required, Other Plans, The Next Jerusalem, Starting From Zero, Twenty Minutes in Manhattan and All Over the Map.
Corporate & Institutional Achievement: TED
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading.” It began in 1984 as a conference that bridged three worlds—technology, entertainment, design—and has since grown tremendously in scope and reach. In 2006, TED first released six free talks online. Now, with more than 1,400 published talks, TED marked a major milestone in 2012—surpassing 1 billion views of its TED Talks. They have been translated into more than 95 languages and cover a range of disciplines, from architecture to astrophysics. To feed the growing hunger to connect around ideas, TED now allows individuals to hold independently organized TEDx events in their communities. To date, more than 5,900 TEDx events have been held in 1,683 cities.
Communication Design: Paula Scher
For four decades, Scher has been at the forefront of graphic design. Iconic, smart and accessible, her images have entered into the American vernacular. Known for her reimagining of typography as a communicative medium, Scher has been a principal in the New York office of the distinguished international design consultancy Pentagram since 1991. She has developed identity and branding systems, environmental graphics, packaging and publication designs for a broad range of clients that include Bloomberg, Citibank, Microsoft, the Museum of Modern Art, the Public Theater, the High Line, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Ballet, the New York Philharmonic and Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Fashion Design: Behnaz Sarafpour
Known for her modern elegance and innovative textiles, Iranian-born Sarafpour debuted her collection in 2001. Sarafpour brought her classic and refined feminine style to the masses in 2006 by joining Target’s GO International line, the first designer to represent the United States in this campaign to merge high fashion and affordable prices. Since then, she has collaborated with Lancôme and Earnest Sewn, and her designs have been exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Museum at FIT. In 2008 her environmental concerns led to the addition of organically produced pieces in the collection, which continues to be designed and produced in New York’s Garment District. Before launching her label, Sarafpour worked with Narciso Rodriguez and Isaac Mizrahi and held the post of head designer of the Barneys New York private collection.
Interaction Design: Local Projects
Founded by Jake Barton, Local Projects is a media design firm that specializes in work for museums and public spaces. Local Projects is creating all media for the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum with Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and the Frank Gehry-designed Eisenhower Memorial. The firm is recognized as a leader in the field of interaction design for physical spaces and in the creation of collaborative storytelling projects where participants generate content. Through Storycorps, the 9/11 Memorial Museum and Change By Us, Local Projects has brought forth more than 100,000 individuals’ stories and memories, sharing them with millions worldwide. Clients include SFMOMA, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Sugar Hill Museum of Children’s Art and Storytelling, NYC.
Landscape Architecture: Margie Ruddick
Ruddick is recognized for her pioneering, environmental approach to urban landscape design, forging a design language that integrates ecology, urban planning and culture. Garnering numerous awards during a 25-year career, Ruddick fosters the idea of nature in the city through projects including New York’s Queens Plaza and Trenton Capital Park on the Delaware River. Ruddick’s international work includes the Shillim Retreat in India and the Living Water Park, the first ecological park in China. Ruddick has worked with Judith Heintz and WRT, and has taught at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Parsons School of Design and Schumacher College in England. Her forthcoming book is Wild by Design.
Product Design: NewDealDesign
NewDealDesign is a multidisciplinary design firm that teams industrial, graphic and interaction designers with strategists and engineers to create delightful objects and experiences. Led by Gadi Amit, the San Francisco-based studio uses a hands-on approach to address complicated problems. From the Lytro Light Field Camera, the Fitbit Wireless Trackers, or the Netgear Platinum II home router, NewDealDesign is dedicated to helping people live better every day.
The 2013 jury was composed of a diverse group of designers and educators from around the nation including: Charles Adler, head of design, Kickstarter; Gail Anderson, graphic designer, writer and educator; Gisue Hariri, founder and creative principal, Hariri & Hariri; Jon Kolko, founder and director, Austin Center for Design and vice president of design, MyEdu; Thom Mayne, design director, Morphosis Architects; Zoë Ryan, John H. Bryan chair and curator of architecture and design, The Art Institute of Chicago; Christine Ten Eyck, president, Ten Eyck Landscape Architects; Isabel and Ruben Toledo, principals, Toledo Studio; and Gianfranco Zaccai, president and chief design officer, Continuum.
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.
The awards will be given as part of National Design Week, Oct. 12–20, which 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.