National Design Week 2015

By Peggy Roalf   Friday October 9, 2015

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum celebrates outstanding achievement in American design this fall with its 16th annual National Design Awards program, the highlight of National Design Week (October 10 – 18). A series of educational programs for all ages begins tomorrow. Information/events calendar.

Next week the Cooper Hewitt hosts the National Design Award Winners’ Panel, featuring Roman Alonso and Pamela Shamshiri (Commune), Stephen Burks (Stephen Burks Man Made), Adi Gil (threeASFOUR), and John Underkoffler (Oblong Industries).
Tuesday, Oct. 13, 7:00–8:30 p.m. National Museum of the American Indian–New York, the George Gustav Heye Center, One Bowling Green, NY, NY. Information.


Founded in 2004 by Roman Alonso, Steven Johanknecht, Pamela Shamshiri and Ramin Shamshiri, Commune is noted for its eclectic assemblages that work in harmony with their surroundings, while paying homage to historical, traditional and international design. The firm has designed residential, commercial and hospitality projects worldwide; a wide array of home and lifestyle products; and graphic and branding concepts for the fashion, arts and entertainment industries.  

For more than a decade, Stephen Burks has dedicated his work to building a bridge between authentic craft traditions, industrial manufacturing and contemporary design. Since 2005, Stephen Burks Man Made, has produced innovative products, furniture, lighting and exhibitions for a range of international clients, including B&B Italia, Boffi, Cappellini, Dedar, Dedon, Harry Winston, Missoni, Moroso, Parachilna, Roche Bobois and Swarovski. Burks has received numerous accolades and has exhibited worldwide, including at the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Museum of Arts and Design.


Above: Human-machine interface based on the Luminous Room system (Los Angeles, California, 2002) by John Underkoffler, in the film, Minority Report. Photo: 20th Century Fox

John Underkoffler is cofounder and CEO of Los Angeles-based Oblong Industries. His work insists that capabilities critical to humans living in a digital world can come only from careful evolution of the human-machine interface. Underkoffler’s foundational work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology included innovations in optical and electronic holography, large-scale interactive visualization techniques and the I/O Bulb and Luminous Room systems. Underkoffler is active on several boards, including the Cranbrook Academy of Art’s National Advisory Council. He holds a doctorate from the MIT Media Lab. 


Above: Costume design by threeASFOUR for 69º South, play by Phantom Limb at Brooklyn Academy of Music (Brooklyn, New York, 2011). Photo: © Rob Strong for the New York Times

Recognized as one of the most innovative fashion labels today, threeASFOUR was founded in New York City in 2005 by Gabriel Asfour, Angela Donhauser and Adi Gil, who hail from Lebanon, Tajikistan and Israel, respectively. The trio uses fashion to promote the need for human coexistence and collaboration and fuses technology with traditional craftsmanship. The collective has collaborated with numerous artists and musicians, including Björk, Yoko Ono and Matthew Barney. threeASFOUR’s designs are in the permanent collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Palais Galliera in Paris.



By Peggy Roalf   Thursday October 8, 2015

By Peggy Roalf   Wednesday October 7, 2015

By Peggy Roalf   Tuesday October 6, 2015

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