The National Design Awards, which promote excellence and innovation in design fields that include interiors, architecture, fashion, landscape architecture and consumer products, were established in 2000 as part of the White House Millennium Council. It has become the tradition for the first lady to host this event and it’s one of the most style savvy events on the White House calendar, as fashionistas and creative types from New York and beyond gather to toast their own.
The 2011 National Design Awards recipients are:
-Lifetime Achievement: Matthew Carter
-Design Mind: Steven Heller
-Corporate and Institutional Achievement: Knoll
-Finalists: Design that Matters and OXO
-Architecture Design: Architecture Research Office
-Finalists: Dan Rockhill and Weiss/Manfredi
-Communication Design: Rick Valicenti
-Finalists: Hoefler & Frere-Jones and Project Projects
-Fashion Design: J. Mendel
-Finalists: Prabal Gurung and Jason Wu
-Interaction Design: Ben Fry
-Finalists: Chris Milk and Local Projects
-Interior Design: Shelton, Mindel & Associates
-Finalists: Aidlin Darling Design and Clive Wilkinson Architects
-Landscape Architecture: Gustafson Guthrie Nichol
-Finalists: Tom Leader and Margie Ruddick
-Product Design: Continuum
-Finalists: Heath Ceramics and RKS
Tuesday’s Washington events planned by the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, the National Design Museum, also include a Teen Design Fair meant to introduce high schoolers to careers in design. The event will be held at the Smithsonian’s Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture. Leading designers, including a number of the award winners and finalists as well as jurors, will participate in meeting one-on-one with students. They will also be able to meet with representatives of art and design colleges from across the country. The keynote address will be given by Tim Gunn, who grew up in Washington and who is the chief creative officer at Liz Claiborne and co-host of Lifetime’s Project Runway.
This year’s program has a new component. Fifteen local high school students have been selected to go to the design fair and the White House lunch. The students were selected by museum officials based on a variety of criteria including their knowledge of and passion for pursuing a career in art and design.The students include those from Ellington School of the Arts, Columbia Heights Education Campus, Washington Metropolitan High School and Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering.
“The Teen Design Fair was such a success last year, the White House felt that they wanted to include students from D.C. Public Schools at the White House event,” says Monica Harriss, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum’s youth program manager . “They wanted to give students interested in art and design an opportunity to meet prominent designers. It was a life changing experience for me to meet so many D.C. students and see how their sparkle shines through.”
The Teen Design Fair will be held on Sept 13 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard at the Smithsonian’s Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture.
Although registration for the Teen Design Fair is officially closed, Harriss says individual students with a completed consent form can drop-in, if space allows. Students should also check with their high schools for any required additional permission forms.