the age of design

recap: cooper hewitt design awards

time for a mega post!  this week we had the pleasure of attending the national design award winners’ panel.  the discussion was helmed by michael beirut, principal of pentagram design and founder of design observer.  beirut is this year’s winner of the design mind award for his astonishing resume of critical writing and graphic design work.

pentagram is a massive firm that has designed everything from corporate identities to interior spaces to brand marks to packaging.  one you’ve definitely seen is the new saks fifth avenue look; here are a few others that tickle our fancy:

tom kundig of olson sundberg kundig allen in seattle was another panel guest as this year’s recipient of the architecture design award.  OSKA is one of our favorite firms, especially in the residential sector, as they seamlessly integrate architecture with the natural landscape.  kundig actually studied physics before entering the field of architecture, which is evidenced in his use of kinetics.  he is extremely meticulous in selecting materials for his projects as well: the first house featured below is situated in a fire-prone montecito, CA, so all the materials used are fire-proofed.  the steel is meant to oxidize and the concrete tone down so that the home will eventually harmonize with the scenery even more.

scott stowell of open, a graphic design firm, was one of the younger panelists, which was interesting since he’s much more experienced in the realm of digital design and the web.  one of the group’s high-profile projects is the design and conception of GOOD magazine, a forward thinking bi-monthly journal all about people, ideas, and change.  you might be more familiar with some of open’s identity work, like bravo television network.

one more designer to check out is the lifetime achievement award winner charles (chuck) harrisonharrison was an industrial designer for the seminal sears, roebuck, & company for over 30 years and probably designed some of the everyday objects you grew up with – viewmaster, sewing machines, and electric wall clocks to name a few.  he just wrote a book about his life of design, available here.


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