The trophy for the annual National Design Awards, presented by the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, has received a makeover just in time for the awards gala, which takes place tomorrow evening (October 20) at Pier Sixty in New York. The revamped trophy is this time fashioned out of glass.
The physical embodiment of the awards program was originally designed in 2000 by William Drenttel and Jessica Helfand as a twisting, three-dimensional asterisk of Saint-Gobain Advanced Ceramics. For 2010, it was rendered in a stainless-steel composite. This year, the trophy boasts a slick polished-glass form, courtesy of the Corning Museum of Glass.
"Glass has been a material for innovation and design throughout time, and we strive to help designers explore the possibilities of the material through our GlassLab program," says Rob Cassetti, design director for the Corning Museum. "It's a fitting material for the National Design Award."
The GlassLab initiative, which seeks to push the boundaries of innovation and creativity in the glass medium, eschewed pristine and pure, bubble-free glass for raw material that offers a hand-hewn look via distortion and striations. And a major tweak to the design is a bias-cut at a 50-degree angle at the top that provides extra visual interest, while also reflecting any viewers who peer into the glass.
The National Design Awards, which kicked off with a private winners luncheon last month with First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House, celebrates the various disciplines ranging from interior and landscape design to product and print graphics. The 2011 winners will be honored at the New York gala event tomorrow, and include: Matthew Carter (Lifetime Achievement); Architecture Research Office (Architecture Design); Shelton, Mindel & Associates (Interior Design); Knoll (Corporate & Institutional); Rick Valicenti (Communication Design); Gianfranco Zaccai (Product Design); Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (Landscape Architecture); Ben Fry (Interaction Design); J. Mendel (Fashion Design); and Steven Heller (Design Mind).