The Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum yesterday announced the winners and finalists of the 2011 National Design Awards.
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 excellence and innovation in design across a variety of disciplines. 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 award recipients will be honored at a gala dinner Thursday, October 20, at Pier Sixty in New York. Following are the winners and finalists from the categories Architecture Design, Interior Design and Landscape Design. For the complete list of winners, see the National Design Awards website.
Architecture Design Award Winner: Architecture Research Office
The Architecture Design Award, which recognizes work in commercial, public or residential architecture, is given to Architecture Research Office, a New York-based firm led by Stephen Cassell, Adam Yarinsky and Kim Yao. Its work spans from strategic planning to architecture and urban design. Since 1993, the firm has worked with leading universities, cultural institutions, global corporations, government agencies, international fashion labels and nonprofit organizations using research and analysis to drive the design. From a prototype for 1,000-square-foot low-income sustainable housing to a proposal to reinvent the role of ecology and infrastructure in New York, ARO uses design to unite the conceptual and the pragmatic within a strong, coherent vision.
Finalists in the Architecture Design category are Dan Rockhill, a distinguished professor of architecture at the University of Kansas and executive director of Studio 804, a graduate design studio that builds affordable designs in neglected Kansas neighborhoods, and Weiss/Manfredi, a multidisciplinary practice known for the dynamic integration of architecture, art, infrastructure and landscape design.
Interior Design Award Winner: Shelton, Mindel & Associates
The Interior Design Award, recognizing an individual or firm for exceptional and exemplary work in domestic, corporate or cultural interior design, is awarded to Shelton, Mindel & Associates. Established in 1978, Shelton, Mindel & Associates is a leader in architectural, interior and product solutions for corporate, cultural, academic, retail, recreational, hospitality and residential clients. Founding partners Peter Shelton and Lee Mindel have applied their passion for building unified environments to the firm’s portfolio of projects, which includes the design of the Polo/Ralph Lauren headquarters. The firm is a member of the AD 100 and has been honored for its simplicity and strong, elegant designs with numerous awards, including more than 30 AIA awards. Shelton and Mindel were recognized as the Deans of American Design in 2005, and both have been inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame.
Finalists in the Interior Design category are Clive Wilkinson Architects, a Los Angeles-based firm that covers the full spectrum of architecture and interior design with a focus on research and strategy, and Aidlin Darling Design, a multidisciplinary firm that bridges the demands of artistic endeavor, functional pragmatics, environmental responsibility and financial considerations.
Landscape Architecture Award Winner: Gustafson Guthrie Nichol
The recipient of the Landscape Design Award, which is presented for work in urban planning or park and garden design, is Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, a Seattle-based landscape-architecture practice that works throughout the Americas and Asia. Founded by partners Kathryn Gustafson, Jennifer Guthrie and Shannon Nichol, the firm offers special experience in designing high-use landscapes in complex, urban contexts. The landform of each space is carefully shaped to feel serenely grounded in its context and comfortable at all times, whether bustling with crowds, offering moments of contemplation, or doing both at once. Gustafson Guthrie Nichol’s prominent projects include the Lurie Garden in Chicago, the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard at the Smithsonian’s Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture, which houses the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., and the new Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Campus in Seattle.
Finalists in the Landscape Design category are Tom Leader, principal of Tom Leader Studio, a collaborative design office based in Berkeley, Calif., with a focus on building communal places for real people, and Margie Ruddick, whose work integrates ecology and culture, infrastructure and art, as realized in benchmark projects such as the Shillim Institute and Retreat in India and the Living Water Park in China.
The 2011 jury was composed of a diverse group of designers and educators including Andrew Blauvelt, Walker Art Center; June Cohen, TED Media; Jamie Drake, Drake Design Associates; Terry Guen, Terry Guen Design Associates Inc.; David Kusuma, Tupperware Brands Corporation; Jennifer Morla, Morla Design; Lela Rose, Lela Rose; Billie Tsien, Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects; and Patrick Whitney, Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology.
National Design Week, Oct. 15–23, aims to promote a better understanding of the role that design plays in all aspects of daily life. In addition to hosting a Teen Design Fair and Winners’ Panel, the program will reach school teachers and their students nationally, in the classroom and online through Cooper-Hewitt’s Educator Resource Center. The site features more than 400 lesson plans aligned to national and state standards that demonstrate how the design process can enhance the teaching of all subjects and features discussion boards that provide a forum for educators to exchange ideas. The museum’s website also features the year-round ―Design Across America‖ clickable map listing design-oriented events throughout the country.