Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Announces New Trophy for the 2011 National Design Awards

October 18, 2011
News Release

A new trophy will be introduced at the 2011 National Design Awards Gala Oct. 20 at Pier Sixty in New York. Created by The Corning Museum of Glass in collaboration with Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, the trophy features a new take on the original twisted asterisk form, designed in 2000 by William Drenttel and Jessica Helfand.

The trophy is the physical embodiment of the National Design Awards celebration of innovation and excellence in American design. For the first decade, the trophies were produced by Saint-Gobain Advanced Ceramics. In 2010, Smart Design, that year’s winner in Product Design, took the form of the original trophy and introduced a new stainless-steel composite material. For this year’s trophy, The Corning Museum of Glass worked with a team from Cooper-Hewitt to design the new trophy in glass.

“Following the successful 2008 GlassLab collaboration, Cooper-Hewitt was delighted to once again partner with The Corning Museum of Glass to explore glass as a material for contemporary design,” said Bill Moggridge, director of the museum.

“Glass has been a material for innovation and design throughout time, and we strive to help designers explore the possibilities of the material through our GlassLab program,” said Rob Cassetti, design director of The Corning Museum of Glass. “It’s a fitting material for the National Design Award.”

Created as part of the Corning Museum’s GlassLab initiative, which serves to explore new design concepts and push the boundaries of innovation and creativity, the National Design Awards trophy features significant optical interest and distortion in the glass. Rather than pristine, pure glass with zero bubbles, the trophy’s glass striations offer a hand-hewn, raw quality that appealed to the Cooper-Hewitt team. Further, the top of the trophy is cut at a 50-degree angle allowing viewers to peer into the glass and see their reflection. This bias cut on the top also allows the trophy to be set on the cross-section of the asterisk. Each trophy is hand-polished and took six to eight hours to complete.

National Design Awards are made possible in part by Bloomberg.
Media sponsorship is provided by Fast Company.
National Design Week is made possible in part by the generous sponsorship of Target.

National Design Awards and National Design Week professional supporters include AIGA | the professional association for design, American Institute of Architects New York Chapter, American Society of Interior Designers, American Society of Landscape Architects, Architecture and Design Film Festival, Industrial Designers Society of America New York City and Interaction Design Association.

About the Corning Museum of Glass

The Corning Museum of Glass is home to the world’s most comprehensive collection of art and history in glass, spanning more than 3,500 years of human creation. A leader in education, research and scholarship for glass, public programs bring the material to life through live glassblowing demonstrations and Make Your Own workshops, and residency programs train the next generation of glass artists.

About the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum is the only museum in the nation devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. The museum presents compelling perspectives on the impact of design on daily life through active educational programs, exhibitions and publications.

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