The Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum hosted the 10th Annual National Design Awards on October 22, and the DWR E62nd Studio proudly offered our expansive split-level space to the Cranbrook Academy of Art's Alumni Reception to honor their winners and finalists. The illustrious crowd of designers and architects, both famous and soon-to-be famous, nibbled, imbibed and reunited merrily.
Luminaries in attendence included Lorraine Wild (2001 finalist), Neils Diffrient (2002 winner), Lucille Tenazas (2002 winner), Masamichi Udagawa (2003, 2006 finalist and 2008 winner – designer of the new subway trains and Metrocard machines for the MTA), Kathy and Mike McCoy (2005 winners) and Andrew Blauveldt (2009 winner, on behalf of the Walker Art Center), as well as noted inventor and industrial designer Eric Chan.
We had the opportunity to chat with Neils Diffrient who was charming, courtly and laugh out loud hilarious. After going through the chairs that he designed in the DWR collection, he was game for a photo op, perching in his now iconic Freedom Chair with Headrest sandwiched by me and Reed Kroloff, Director of Cranbrook.
A great time was had by all, and the atmosphere was enhanced by the images of Cranbrook alumni Ray and Charles Eames, Harry Bertoia and Eero Saarinen that adorn our walls. For us design-obsessed DWR employees, it's a daily privilege to be associated with the Academy's amazing legacy. As the New York Times said in 1984, "the effect of Cranbrook and its graduates and faculty on the physical environment of this country has been profound…Cranbrook, surely more than any other institution, has a right to think of itself as synonymous with contemporary American design."
Posted by Jae Hah, Proprietor of DWR East 62nd Street Studio