Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Announces 2022 National Design Award Winners

Peter Bennetts
Nader Tehrani, Melbourne School of Design, a new design school at the University of Melbourne (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 2014). Collaborator: John Wardle Architects

The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York has unveiled the 2022 winners of the National Design Awards, a series of annual awards dedicated to recognizing innovation and achievement in various design specialties. This year’s honors feature experts in nine categories: Design Visionary, Climate Action, Emerging Designer, Architecture/Interior Design, Communication Design, Digital Design, Fashion Design, Landscape Architecture and Product Design .

“[The 2022] The National Design Award winners reflect the central role that design can play in addressing some of the most pressing needs of our time,” museum director Maria Nicanor said in a press release. “Tuned to growing social and planetary challenges, all winners, regardless of category, have a regenerative approach to design work that considers our shared future.

Selected by a jury of designers, the 2022 winners are Nader Tehrani (design visionary); WEDEW by David Hertz (climate action); Emily Adams Bode (emerging designer); Rural studio (architecture/interior design); Giorgia Lupi (communication design); Felecia Davis (digital design); Willy Chavarria (fashion design); Kounkuey Design Initiative (landscape architecture); and CW&T (product design).

Nader Tehrani is this year’s recipient of the Design Visionary Award. Founding director of Boston-based architecture firm NADAAA, his large-scale residential, commercial and institutional projects span the globe, including countries like China and France. Among Tehrani’s many previous accolades is the prestigious Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Award, which he received in 2020.

WEDEW generates renewable energy, heat, cooling, biochar and water inside a modified 20ft shipping container while sequestering atmospheric carbon in useful applications (Malibu, California, 2021)
Laura Doss Photography
WEDEW generates renewable energy, heat, cooling, biochar and water inside a modified 20ft shipping container while sequestering atmospheric carbon in useful applications (Malibu, California, 2021)

The 2022 winner for climate action is WEDEW, a water generator designed by Californian architect David Hertz, FAIA. It can make over 2,000 liters of water in a day while harnessing excess heat to produce renewable energy. “WEDEW operates at the intersection of food, energy, water and carbon processing,” Cooper Hewitt’s statement said. “The processes of biomass gasification and atmospheric water generation have been combined in a single system that creates valuable resources while closing waste streams.”

Extract from the Bode SS21 lookbook, titled A Year Off (New York, New York, 2021)
Bode courtesy
Extract from the Bode SS21 lookbook, titled A Year Off (New York, New York, 2021)

This year’s emerging designer honored is Atlanta native Emily Adams Bode, who launched her high-end menswear brand Bode in 2016. “Passed through the study of personal stories and historical techniques,” according to the statement from the museum. “Modern workwear silhouettes united with feminine traditions of quilting, mending and appliqué form [her] collections. »

Rural Studio, Thermal Mass & Buoyancy Ventilation Research Project, part of a multi-institutional research project to investigate how to create a more responsible building system.
Timothy Hursley
Rural studio, thermal mass and buoyancy ventilation research project, part of a multi-institutional research project to investigate how to create a more responsible building system.

Rural Studio is the recipient of the 2022 Architecture/Interior Design Award. Part of the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture at Auburn University in Alabama, the immersive program places students in architecture in the “underserved and persistently impoverished” Black Belt region of the state, where they design and build homes for local residents.

Giorgia Lupi, Mindworks: The Science of Thinking, data visualization and design of experiments for the world's first dedicated behavioral science work lab, hosted by the University of Chicago (Chicago, Illinois, 2020).  Project Partners: Abbott Miller (Pentagram), Luke Hayman (Pentagram), K&S Partners
Tom Rossiter
Giorgia Lupi, Mindworks: The Science of Thinking, data visualization and design of experiments for the world’s first dedicated behavioral science work lab, hosted by the University of Chicago (Chicago, Illinois, 2020). Project Partners: Abbott Miller (Pentagram), Luke Hayman (Pentagram), K&S Partners

This year’s communications design winner is Giorgia Lupi, data visualization expert, TED Talk veteran, and partner at Pentagram, a multidisciplinary design studio with offices in New York, Austin, London, and Berlin. His clients have included Google, the United Nations, the Museum of Modern Art (where his work is in the permanent collection), and more.

Felecia Davis, Stretch Sensor Knit, Pemotex shrink yarn and stainless steel fiber resistance yarn (Borås, Sweden and State College, Pennsylvania, 2015).  Collaborator: Delia Dumitrescu
courtesy of Felecia Davis
Felecia Davis, Stretch Sensor Knit, Pemotex shrink yarn and stainless steel fiber resistance yarn (Borås, Sweden and State College, Pennsylvania, 2015). Collaborator: Delia Dumitrescu

Felecia Davis is the winner of the National Design Award for digital design. A specialist in computational textiles – which, according to Cooper Hewitt’s statement, “react to their environment through programming, embedded sensors and electronics” – Davis is an associate professor at Pennsylvania State University. Along with nine other designers, she was featured in the exhibition “Reconstruction: Blackness and Architecture in America” at MoMA in 2021.

Willy Chavarria, Uncut FW22, a parade held at the historic Prince George Ballroom, an iconic hotel that fell into disrepair and was eventually restored by the Breaking Ground organization to become a homeless shelter
Laura Fuchs
Willy Chavarria, Uncut FW22, a parade held at the historic Prince George Ballroom, an iconic hotel that fell into disrepair and was eventually restored by the Breaking Ground organization to become a homeless shelter

The recipient of the 2022 Fashion Design Award is Willy Chavarria. Inspired by his childhood in California’s San Joaquin Valley, the senior vice president of design at Calvin Klein creates conceptual garments “that blend the emotion of art and modern politics into a reactionary story of human will. “, reads the press release from the museum. “[Chavarria’s] collection has a tough edge with a strong message of anti-hate sentiment, including bold statements about racial, economic and sexual identity.

courtesy of Kounkuey Design Initiative
The Kibera public space project, by KDI

This year’s landscape architecture winner is Kounkuey Design Initiative. With practices in the United States, Kenya and Sweden, the 16-year-old company combines disciplines such as urban planning and civil engineering to produce equitable and inclusive green spaces. KDI has collaborated with the World Bank, Harvard University, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, and others.

The Type B Pen, by CW&T
Courtesy of CW&T
The Type-B pen, by CW&T

Led by Che-Wei Wang and Taylor Levy, New York-based CW&T is the 2022 winner of the Product Design Award. The team’s vast array of creations includes everything from ball bearing-equipped jump ropes designed for maximum speed, to compasses for astronauts and 3D-printed lamps. This year, their work was included in an exhibit at the Design Museum in Chicago.

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