First Lady Michelle Obama, honorary patron of the Cooper Hewitt's 2013 National Design Awards, will host a White House luncheon for the award winners Friday, Sept. 20. Joining Mrs. Obama and these design legends at the White House luncheon will be 12 high school students from New York and Washington, D.C., who have demonstrated great promise and interest in the design field.
In support of the First Lady’s emphasis on education and outreach to Washington youth, the award winners will also participate in the Teen Design Fair, an education program for hundreds of local high school students, from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Sept. 20 at the Smithsonian’s International Gallery (1100 Jefferson Dr. S.W., Washington, D.C.).
“Mrs. Obama is a strong advocate of the power of design in forwarding American innovation, and we are greatly honored to once again have the First Lady’s patronage and support,” said Caroline Baumann, director of the museum. “One of the museum’s most meaningful programs is the Teen Design Fair, which helps develop the designers of tomorrow through mentoring from the very best in the industry. It is inspiring to see these young people connect with designers and discover their own passion for design. They are our future.”
During the Teen Design Fair, sponsored by Target, students will have the opportunity to meet with professionals working in the fields of fashion, product design, architecture, graphic design and more. In prior years, these one-minute mentoring sessions have led to internships for the teens. A keynote address will be delivered by Tim Gunn, co-host and mentor of Lifetime’s Project Runway. Teens will also be able to earn a digital credential badge for documenting their experience and gathering career-building knowledge from the guest designers.