Craig Wilkins Wins 2017 National Design Award

Craig Wilkins Wins 2017 National Design Award

Dr. Craig L. Wilkins, a senior lecturer in architecture at Taubman College, has been awarded the 2017 Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for the Design Mind Category


Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum has announced the winners of the 2017 National Design Awards, recognizing design excellence and innovation in 11 categories. Now in their 18th year, the annual awards promote design as a vital humanistic tool in shaping the world and are accompanied by robust educational programs. The award recipients will be honored at a gala dinner and ceremony Thursday, Oct. 19, at the Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden at Cooper Hewitt.

This year’s recipients are Hartmut Esslinger, Lifetime Achievement; Susan S. Szenasy, Director’s Award; Craig L. Wilkins, Design Mind

“In an era of tumultuous change, design is asking deep questions about its purpose and contributions to a better society,” said Caroline Baumann, director of Cooper Hewitt. “The achievements of this year’s class of National Design Award winners have informed that dialogue, and their accomplishments have elevated our understanding of what great American design is and what it can do to improve our world.”

A diverse jury of design leaders and educators selected the winners after reviewing award submissions resulting from nominations submitted by design experts and enthusiasts. Nominees must have been practicing professionally for a minimum of seven years; Lifetime Achievement nominees must have been practicing professionally for a minimum of 20 years. Winners are selected based on the level of excellence, innovation and public impact of their body of work. Unlike the jury-selected awards, the Director’s Award is chosen by Baumann and given to an individual or organization in recognition of outstanding support and patronage within the design community.

Established in 2000 as a project of the White House Millennium Council, the National Design Awards are accompanied each year by National Design Week, which takes place this year Oct. 14–22. A variety of public education programs will be offered at the museum as well as across the country, including special events, panel discussions and workshops for students, teachers, corporate professionals, designers and Cooper Hewitt’s dedicated audience. Programs will be posted at

National Design Awards programming is made possible by major support from Target.
Additional funding is provided by Design Within Reach and Facebook.
National Design Award trophies are created by The Corning Museum of Glass. is powered by Behance, part of the Adobe family.
Media sponsorship is provided by Smithsonian Media.

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, Council of Fashion Designers of America, Industrial Designers Society of America, Interaction Design Association; and International Interior Design Association.

Design Mind: Craig L. Wilkins

Craig L. Wilkins is an architect, academic and author, recognized as one of the country’s leading scholars on African Americans in architecture. He is the former director of the Detroit Community Design Center and a lecturer at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Both his creative practice and pedagogy are informed by the long, rich, yet relatively untold stories of people of color in both the physical and symbolic construction of America. At multiple levels across diverse platforms, his award-winning books, chapters, essays and design interventions recover and present the rich social, cultural, political, historical and aesthetic contributions of oft-ignored people and practitioners of color for professional and public engagement.

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