On the heels of announcing the National Design Awards, the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York has named its new director. Caroline Baumann, who has served as acting director of the museum since 2012, starts her tenure as director on June 16.
Baumann has climbed the ranks at the Cooper-Hewitt since joining in 2001, serving as associate director and deputy director. She joined the Cooper-Hewitt after working at the Museum of Modern Art to raise funds to build the Yoshio Taniguchi–designed museum.
In May, the Cooper-Hewitt recognized James Wines, founder and president of New York–based architecture studio SITE, with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Wines has designed more than 150 architecture, landscape, interior, and exhibition projects in 11 countries. The lifetime honor is one of the annual National Design Awards, which were first launched in 2000 as part of the White House Millennium Council to celebrate excellence and innovation in American design.
Michael Sorkin took home the Design Mind Award, which recognizes visionaries who have a “profound impact on design theory, practice, or public awareness.” Sorkin is the principal of Michael Sorkin Studio in New York, a global design practice that focuses on urbanism and green architecture; president of the non-profit Terreform; a professor and the director of the Graduate Urban Design Program at the City College of New York; and president of the Institute for Urban Design. One of his recent designs responds to the devastation of Hurricane Sandy: 28+ is a proposal for a habitable levee in New York City.
The Cooper-Hewitt also recognized Studio Gang Architects, who won for Architecture Design. MacArthur fellow Jeanne Gang, FAIA, founded the Chicago-based collective in 1997 and has made her name with buildings such as the Aqua Tower, a Chicago high-rise sporting a distinctive, undulating façade. The Nature Boardwalk at the Lincoln Park Zoo, an ecological habitat that doubles as a public space, showcases Studio Gang’s commitment to sustainability. The group’s work has been featured in museums and at the Venice Architecture Biennale.
Renowned duo Joshua Aidlin and David Darling of Aidlin Darling Design won in the interior design category. The multidisciplinary firm has a client- and site-specific approach and a creative process that facilitates the collaboration of builders, fabricators, consultants, and creatives. Sleek, sensuous designs have won the group more than 40 regional, national, and international awards from the AIA, the International Interior Design Association, the James Beard Foundation, Remodeling Magazine, and more.
The Cooper-Hewitt recognizes inventive exteriors as well as interiors: The award for Landscape Architecture went to landscape planner and designer Margie Ruddick. She designed New York’s Queens Plaza, the Shillim Institute and Retreat in Maharashtra, India, and led the team that created China’s first ecological park in Chengdou. Ruddick has taught at Harvard's Graduate School of Design, Yale, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, Parsons School of Design, and Schumacher College in England, and has authored a forthcoming book called Wild by Design: Life After Sustainability.
Other National Design Awards winners include Ted, for Corporate & Institutional Achievement; Paula Scher, for Communication Design; Behnaz Sarafpour, for Fashion Design; Local Projects, for Interaction Design; and NewDealDesign, for Product Design. San Francisco-based NewDealDesign wowed the jury with its beautiful designs, from the Lytro Light Field Camera to the National Fitness Campaign Fitness Court. The industrial, product, and packaging design firm pools the talents of designers, strategists, and engineers to craft objects and experiences.
As a follow up to the awards, the Cooper-Hewitt’s Education Department will host National Design Week from Oct. 12–20 in New York, featuring a series of free public programs that draw inspiration from 2013’s winners. The awards will be presented at a gala benefit dinner and ceremony on Oct. 17.