The Cooper Hewitt has announced the winners of its 16th annual National Design Awards. The program was launched in 2000 as part of the White House Millennium Council to “promote design as a vital humanistic tool in shaping the world.” First Lady Michelle Obama is serving as the Honorary Patron for the 2015 awards that are accompanied by a series of programs, educational events, and panels.
“With the reopening of the museum this past year, Cooper Hewitt is scaling new heights to educate, inspire and empower our community through design,”said Cooper Hewitt director Caroline Baumann in a statement. “I am thrilled and honored to welcome this year’s class of National Design Award winners, all of whom represent the pinnacle of innovation in their field, with their focus on collaboration, social and environmental responsibility, and the fusion of technology and craftsmanship.”
This year, the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded posthumously to Michael Graves, the famous architect and designer who passed away at the age of 80 in March. In a statement, Cooper Hewitt said the renowned postmodernist is credited with “broadening the role of architects and raising public interest in good design as essential to the quality of everyday life.” Graves founded his eponymous firm in 1964, and in more recent years had focused on using architecture and design to improve healthcare.
Here is a look at the other 2015 Cooper Hewitt Design Awards winners.
Director’s Award: Jack Lenor Larsen
From Cooper Hewitt: “Jack Lenor Larsen is an internationally renowned textile designer, author and collector, and one of the world’s foremost advocates of traditional and contemporary crafts.
Design Mind: Rosanne Haggerty
From Cooper Hewitt: “For 30 years, Rosanne Haggerty has worked to demonstrate the potential of design to improve the lives of people living in poverty through affordable housing and human services.”
Corporate & Institutional Achievement: Heath Ceramics
From Cooper Hewitt: “For more than 60 years, Heath Ceramics has been known for handmade ceramic tableware and architectural tile that embody creativity and craftsmanship, elevate the everyday and enhance the way people eat, live and connect.”
Architecture Design: MOS Architects
From Cooper Hewitt: “MOS Architects is a New York-based architecture studio, founded by principals Hilary Sample and Michael Meredith in 2005. … Recent projects include four studio buildings for the Krabbesholm Højskole campus in Skive, Denmark; the Museum of Outdoor Arts Element House visitor center in Englewood, Colo., the Floating House on Lake Huron, Ontario, Canada, and the Lali Gurans Orphanage and Learning Center in Kathmandu, Nepal.”
Communication Design: Project Projects
From Cooper Hewitt: “Founded by Prem Krishnamurthy and Adam Michaels in 2004, Project Projects is a graphic design studio in New York, N.Y., focusing on art, architecture and culture. Combining a rigorously conceptual approach with innovative modes of visual communication, the studio’s work encompasses a wide range of contemporary graphic media.”
Fashion Design: threeASFOUR
From Cooper Hewitt: “Recognized as one of the most innovative fashion labels today, threeASFOUR was founded in New York City in 2005 by Gabriel Asfour, Angela Donhauser and Adi Gil, who hail from Lebanon, Tajikistan and Israel, respectively.”
Interaction Design: John Underkoffler
From the Cooper Hewitt: “John Underkoffler is a user-interface designer and computer scientist. His work insists that capabilities critical to humans living in a digital world can come only from careful evolution of the human-machine interface.”
Interior Design: Commune
From Cooper Hewitt: “Commune is a Los Angeles-based design studio with a reputation for working holistically across the fields of architecture, interior design, graphic design, product design and brand management.”
Landscape Architecture:Landscape Architecture: Coen + Partners
From Cooper Hewitt: “Founded by Shane Coen in 1991, Coen + Partners is a renowned landscape architecture practice based in Minneapolis. Through a process of collaboration, experimentation and questioning, the firm’s work embraces the complexities of each site with quiet clarity and ecological integrity.”
Product Design: Stephen Burks
From Cooper Hewitt: “For more than a decade, Stephen Burks has dedicated his work to building a bridge between authentic craft traditions, industrial manufacturing and contemporary design.”