The horrors of the November election still hang heavy upon us, and I've been pondering how separate political culture has become from the society that I inhabit. In the past few weeks, I've attended the National Design Awards, the Masters of Design party thrown by Fast Company, the LOOT exhibit at the Museum of Art and Design and the Design Management Institute annual conference -- an intense immersion in what can only be described as "Design Optimism."
After hours of lengthy, serious speeches at last night's National Design Awards, attendees were treated to an oasis of humor when Stephen Colbert, appearing via a segment taped at his Colbert Report desk, presented designer Stephen Doyle with the Communication Design Award.
The design museum celebrated 10 years of its annual National Design Awards last week, but this year's gala buzzed with new life thanks to dozens of young, freshly-minted superstars named across design disciplines, including a new Interaction Design category.
The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum threw its 10th annual gala last week at Cipriani 42nd Street in Manhattan, honoring winners and finalists across 12 disciplines (including the new Interaction Design category). The star-studded event capped off a year-long series of events, including a luncheon at the White House for the winners, free programs in Washington D.C. and New York, and a new exhibition celebrating 10 years of NDA winners, "Design USA," which opened at the Cooper-Hewitt last weekend.
The National Design Awards, adminstered by the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, are the most prestigious in the U.S. The 2009 winners were just announced. Some of them you may have heard of, others you probably haven't unless you're a designer: