The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum started awarding a yearly Design Award in 2000. The award is a jury-selected process that includes among its ten categories honors for Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape Design, and for Lifetime Achievement that has been won by architects. This year's awards were elegantly introduced by the Museum’s Director Caroline Baumann and Tod Williams and Billie Tsien. They honored MOS Architects' Hilary Sample and Michael Meredith, landscape designer Shane Coen at Coen + Partners, and Commune, the Los Angeles interior design firm. In addition, Common Ground founder Rosanne Haggerty was given a Design Mind award, Jack Lenor Larson was awarded the Director's Award, and, fittingly, the late Michael Graves (whose partners claim he told them before he died that he would win the award this year) was given the annual Lifetime Achievement award.
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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."
The Los Angeles branch of mid-century institution Heath Ceramics materialized last Friday night in a sweet corner location on Beverly that will serve as a studio, gallery and first retail store outside of its Sausalito headquarters. The space designed by local firm Commune was clean and bright, wine served in teeny sake cups and a keg on the patio made for a festive feel, and all anyone talked about was the economy. But Heath Ceramics owners Robin Petravic and Catherine Bailey were especially buoyant, telling Frances Anderton that a downturn would actually inspire more people to seek out lovingly handcrafted items. New partner Adam Silverman (of Atwater Pottery) was also all smiles, his wild hair providing its own interpretation of uplifting, as he called his new relationship with his longtime crush "a perfect match." Wandering the wares that included Alice Waters' Chez Panisse collection and a well-curated bookshelf, we bumped into Dwell's Michael Sylvester, who divulged juicy updates about next summer's Dwell on Design (to be held again in LA). We were perhaps most charmed by the unrelenting energy of Edie Kahlua Pereira and Jessica Fleischmann, who are co-organizing the Uncompany Holiday Party this Sunday, December 14 for "freshly freelance" and gainfully employed creatives alike who want to find new ways to work together. Also spotted were AIA LA president-elect John Kaliski (he was installed Monday night); CalArts cohorts Lorraine Wild and Louise Sandhaus; Giant Robot's Eric Nakamura (from whom we snagged some of these excellent shots), and Greg Goldin, who was looking very pretty in pink. Leo Marmol and Ron Radziner were there, as was Brooke Hodge, and the actress Laura Leighton, who is perhaps most famous for an in-pool catfight as Sydney on Melrose Place (here's the clip so you don't have to go digging for that yourself). We spied ReForm School co-owners Billie Lopez and Tootie Maldonado (proud inhabitants of a shiny new Silver Lake space themselves) in the window as we headed out into the night. A small earthquake apparently rippled through the room around 8:18pm but we thought it was simply the beating of our own heart as we brushed close to design event regular John C. Reilly, apparently a friend of Silverman's. We had to be physically restrained when we came up with a brilliant twist on Reilly's catchphrase as Dr. Steve Brûle on the cult hit Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!: For your Heath, John! For your Heath! Maybe next time we'll get up the nerve to actually talk to him.