Dean Ponce de Leon attends National Design Awards White House 10th anniversary event
Ann Arbor, Mich., July 29, 2009 -- University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning Dean Monica Ponce de Leon, selected last year as one of nine jurors for the 2009 National Design Awards, attended the White House ceremony for the winners and finalists of the 2009 awards. First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the White House ceremony and served as honorary patron for the awards program held July 24, 2009. An award ceremony will take place at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution, in the fall. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the awards.
Mrs. Obama addressed the event guests, including current and former award winners. “You are scientists and artists; your work is both technical and poetic, educational and inspirational. Thank you for inspiring the next generation,” she said.
The National Design Awards were conceived by the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum to honor the best in American design. First launched at the White House in 2000 as an official project of the White House Millennium Council, the annual Awards program celebrates design in various disciplines as a vital humanistic tool in shaping the world, and seeks to increase national awareness of design by educating the public and promoting excellence, innovation, and lasting achievement. The Awards are national in scope–nominations for the 2009 Awards were solicited from a committee of more than 2,500 leading designers, educators, journalists, and cultural figures from every state in the nation.
Ponce de Leon is also a principal of Office dA in Boston; the practice has received over 30 design awards including eleven P/A Awards. In 2007, Office dA, led by Ponce de Leon and partner Nahder Tehrani, received the National Design Award for Architecture. Distinguished by its interdisciplinary approach to architecture and innovative construction techniques, the firm works nationally and internationally on projects ranging from affordable housing to buildings for academic and cultural institutions. Commissions include the Villa Moda mixed-use building in Kuwait; the Tongxian Arts Center in Beijing; Northeastern University’s Multifaith Spiritual Center; Rhode Island School of Design’s Main Library; and most recently, the Macallen building, the first LEED-certified, environmentally sensitive, multi-housing building in Boston.
Previous UM graduates and winners of the National Design Awards include LS&A graduate Craig Robins, 2006 Design Patron Award, and SNRE graduate Martha Schwartz, 2006 Landscape Design Award.
The 2009 National Design Awards announced include:
- The Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing the work of an individual who has made a long-term contribution to the practice of design, was presented to Bill Moggridge. Moggridge is a co-founder of IDEO, a global design consultancy, which works to create impact through design.
- The Design Mind Award, recognizing visionary individuals or firms that have affected a shift in design thinking or practice through writing, research and scholarship, recipient was Amory B. Lovins. An American physicist and 1993 MacArthur Fellow, Lovins has been active at the nexus of energy, resources, environment, development and security in more than 50 countries for 40 years, including 14 years based in England.
- The Corporate and Institutional Achievement Award, recognizing a corporation or institution that uses design as a strategic tool of its mission and helps to advance the relationship between design and quality of life, was presented, to a not-for-profit cultural institution, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.
- The Architecture Design Award, which recognizes work in commercial, public or residential architecture, was given to SHoP Architects. The 60-person practice, founded by its five principals in 1996, has been a leader in the transformation of intricate theoretical design into easily understood construction model by rethinking architectural practice.
- The Communication Design Award, which honors work in graphic or multimedia design, was presented to The New York Times Graphics Department.
- Recognizing work in clothing, accessory or footwear design, the Fashion Design Award was presented to Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein Collection. Costa has worked since 2002 as the women’s creative director of Calvin Klein Collection.
- The Interaction Design Award, given for exceptional work using digital technology, was awarded to Perceptive Pixel Inc. Perceptive Pixel is dedicated to the research, development and deployment of multitouch interfaces for the knowledge worker.
- The recipient of the Landscape Design Award, which is presented for work in urban planning or park and garden design, was Hood Design. The firm is committed to issues that address the re-construction of urban landscapes within towns and cities.
- Given for work in the design of consumer goods, technology or home and office furnishings, the 2009 Product Design Award was presented to Boym Partners. Boym Partners brings a critical, experimental approach to a range of products that infuse humor and wit into the everyday.
In addition to Ponce de Leon, the other 2009 jurors and fellow National Design Awards winners, included:
- John Maeda, chair, president, 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
- 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
- Michael Van Valkenburgh, principal, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates
Jul 29, 2009