First Lady Michelle Obama Celebrates the National Design Awards with Public Programs and White House Ceremony

June 25, 2009
News Release
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The Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum today announced First Lady Michelle Obama will celebrate the 10th annual National Design Awards Friday, July 24, with education programs in Washington, D.C., followed by a White House ceremony for the winners and finalists of the 2009 awards. Mrs. Obama will serve as honorary patron for the awards program.

Launched at the White House in 2000 as an official project of the White House Millennium Council, the annual National Design Awards celebrate design in various disciplines as a vital humanistic tool in shaping the world. The awards are accompanied each year by a variety of public education programs, including special events, panel discussions and workshops.

Several of the National Design Award winners will be part of a series of free concurrent public programs starting at 9:30 a.m. July 24. Envisioned as a series of dialogues about the current state of design, winners will be paired for hour-long conversations. Members of the public can learn more about attending the programs by visiting

“Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum is honored to receive the patronage of First Lady Michelle Obama for its National Design Awards program,” said Wayne Clough, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. “The National Design Awards recognize and promote design excellence, innovation and public impact, and the support of Mrs. Obama will immeasurably increase national awareness of design’s important role.”    

The awards recognize extraordinary contributions to design in 10 categories:  Lifetime Achievement, Design Mind, Corporate and Institutional Achievement, Architecture Design, Communication Design, Fashion Design, Interaction Design, Interior Design, Landscape Design and Product Design. The award recipients also will be honored at a gala dinner Oct. 22 at Cipriani in New York.

The 2009 National Design Awards recipients are:

Lifetime Achievement: Bill Moggridge

Design Mind: Amory B. Lovins

Corporate and Institutional Achievement: Walker Art Center
Finalists: Dwell Magazine and Heath Ceramics

Architecture Design: SHoP Architects
Finalists: Architecture Research Office and Michael Maltzan

Communication Design: The New York Times Graphics Department
Finalists: Hoefler & Frere-Jones and Project Projects

Fashion Design: Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein Collection
Finalists: Thom Browne and Rodarte

Interaction Design: Perceptive Pixel Inc.
Finalists: Potion and Lisa Strausfeld

Interior Design: TsAO & McKOWN Architects
Finalists: Ali Tayar and Work AC

Landscape Design: Hood Design
Finalists: Andrea Cochran and Rios Clementi Hale Studios

Product Design: Boym Partners
Finalists: Salvor Projects and Smart Design

The 2009 jury was composed of a diverse group of previous National Design Award winners, including John Maeda, jury chair and president of the Rhode Island School of Design; Stephen Frykholm, vice president and creative director, Herman Miller; Michael Maharam, principal, Maharam; Marissa Mayer, vice president of search products and user experience, Google Inc.; Sigi Moeslinger, partner, Antenna Design; Monica Ponce de Leon, dean, University of Michigan and principal, Office dA; Ralph Rucci, principal, Chado Ralph Rucci; Margaret Stewart, user experience manager, YouTube, a subsidiary of Google Inc.; Marc Tsurumaki, principal and co-founder, Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis; and Michael Van Valkenburgh, principal, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.

The 2009 National Design Week and the National Design Awards are sponsored by Target.

National Design Week
National Design Week aims to promote a better understanding of the role that design plays in all aspects of daily life. The museum will offer free admission to all visitors and provide a range of online resources celebrating design throughout National Design Week, which will take place Oct. 18-24. In addition to hosting a Teen Design Fair and Winners’ Panel, the program will reach schoolteachers and their students nationally in the classroom and online at Cooper-Hewitt’s Educator Resource Center ( The Web site features more than 250 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.

About Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
The Smithsonian’s 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. Founded in 1897 by Amy, Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt—granddaughters of industrialist Peter Cooper—as part of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, the museum has been a branch of the Smithsonian since 1967.  

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