Cooper Hewitt Names 2022 National Design Awards Winners, and Other News

Our daily look at the world through the lens of design.

The Design Dispatch offers expertly written and essential news from the design world crafted by our dedicated team. Think of it as your cheat sheet for the day in design delivered to your inbox before you’ve had your coffee. Subscribe now

Have a news story our readers need to see? Submit it here

Cooper Hewitt Names 2022 National Design Awards Winners

The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s annual National Design Awards honors the legacy of preeminent design leadership in America—and the power of design to enrich everyday life. Now in its 23rd year, the prestigious accolade recognizes innovation across a diversity of categories such as architecture, fashion design, and climate action. “This year’s National Design Award Winners reflect the central role that design can play in addressing some of the most urgent needs of our time,” says museum director Maria Nicanor. “Attuned to increasing social and planetary challenges, all awardees, regardless of their category, have a regenerative approach to design work that takes into account our shared future.”

This year’s winners include architect Nader Tehrani of NADAAA (Design Visionary); portable water and energy generator WEDEW by David Hertz (Climate Action); ascendant menswear innovator Emily Adams Bode (Emerging Designer); Auburn University’s storied design-build practice Rural Studio (Architecture/Interior Design); information designer and Pentagram partner Giorgia Lupi (Communication Design); computational textile researcher Felecia Davis (Digital Design); inclusive fashion up-and-comer Willy Chavarria (Fashion Design); multidisciplinary practice Kounkuey Design Initiative (Landscape Architecture); and Che-Wei Wang and Taylor Levy’s human-centric firm CW&T (Product Design). —Ryan Waddoups

Dubai announces plans to build the world’s largest net-zero carbon urban tech district.

“Architectural practice URB has unveiled its plans to develop the world’s largest Urban Tech District along the Al Jaddaf Creekside in Dubai, UAE. With innovation and sustainability at its core, the project joins the global transition towards achieving net-zero carbon goals by proposing a host of ‘green’ programs and practices. The new complex will also become home to top-tier entrepreneurs, establishing Dubai as an urban center for innovation and empowering a unique tech ecosystem to unfold in the emirate and across the world. Commercial and educational facilities will equally populate the hub, boasting a biophilic indoor design that promotes wellbeing.” [H/T Designboom]

Arthur Cotton Moore, influential architect who helped shape Washington, dies at 87.

“The nation’s capital is mourning the loss of one of its preeminent architectural minds after reports that Arthur Cotton Moore passed away at his home on Sept. 4 at the age of 87. Moore is often credited with the development of Washington Harbor and meticulous renovation of the Library of Congress’s main Thomas Jefferson and John Adams buildings, in addition to the restoration of D.C.’s tallest residential tower, The Cairo, further renovations of the Phillips Collection and Old Post Office Building (which recently reopened as a Waldorf Astoria offshoot), and numerous commercial projects around the city.” [H/T Archinect]

The Fort Road Hotel in Margate, England. Photography by Ed Reeve

The co-founders of Frieze magazine open an art-filled hotel in Margate, England.

“Last fall, Frieze founders Amanda Sharp and Matthew Slotover opened Toklas, a restaurant/bar/bakery/grocery in London—so named after Alice B. Toklas, the writer, cookbook author, and partner of Gertrude Stein, who would host the likes of Picasso and Picabia for dinner parties in their Paris home. Now, Slotover has teamed up with Tom Gidley (the artist, writer, and Frieze magazine co-founder) and Gabriel Chipperfield (the developer son of Sir David) to open the art-filled Fort Road Hotel in Margate, England. The 14 guest rooms are muted in tone, with midcentury furnishings and 20th-century abstract art, as well as figurative oil paintings, gouaches, watercolors, and prints that Gidley found across the U.K., Europe, and the U.S. Many of them are by little-known midcentury female artists, such as the late British watercolorist Jean Dryden Alexander.” [H/T Artnet News]

Paula Cooper returns to her Chelsea gallery four years after the building was damaged.

“Here’s a story that serves as a worthy metaphor for the current state of the art world: In 2018, the construction of an imposing mixed-use real estate development on West 21st Street in New York City damaged its neighbor, Paula Cooper Gallery, a beloved exhibition space that was then forced to close and relocate to a different building a few blocks north. Shortly after, the development stalled, leaving behind a shuttered gallery and a vacant lot. Cooper had moved before. The noted art dealer, now 84, opened the first serious art gallery in SoHo in 1968 and almost single-handedly dragged the industry below Houston Street. This week, almost four years since it was damaged, she’s reopening the space with an exhibition of wall drawings by Sol LeWitt.” [H/T The New York Times]

One of the proposals for the Bezos Learning Center at the Naitonal Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. Image courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution

The Smithsonian unveils five proposals for the Bezos Learning Center in Washington.

“Just a little over a year after he was blasted into the heavens aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard, a major element of billionaire space tourist and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s record-breaking $200 million donation to the Smithsonian Institution to revamp the National Air and Space Museum is starting to take shape. As design and renovation work continue at the aviation-themed museum—the boxy marble structure, abutting the National Mall in Washington, D.C. designed in 1976 by the late Gyo Obata—it was announced in April that a portion of Obata’s design would be razed to make way for a new educational building on the site dubbed the Bezos Learning Center. The Smithsonian has unveiled five proposed designs for the new building, a three-story, 50,000-square-foot facility that will offer science, arts, and technology programming and activities to visitors.” [H/T The Architect’s Newspaper]

Snapchat removes Māori tattoo filters after accusations of cultural appropriation.

“Snapchat’s parent company has removed a filter that applied images of sacred Māori face tattoos, known as Tā Moko, to user’s faces. The filter caused outcry among communities of the indigenous people of New Zealand who are wary of the commercialization of moko. Tā Moko are ancient symbols tied to genealogy and identity that vary between families and symbols are gendered. Moko kauae are received by women on their lips and chin. Filters with names like “Māori Mask” and “Māori Face Tattoo,” have been designed to be used by anyone and shared on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat.” [H/T Evening Standard]

Quentin Tarantino and Miramax settle a lawsuit over the sale of Pulp Fiction NFTs. 

“Film director Quentin Tarantino and Miramax settled a lawsuit the movie production company brought last year against the filmmaker over his plans to sell NFTs of handwritten pages from the “Pulp Fiction” screenplay. Lawyers for Miramax and Tarantino filed a notice of settlement Thursday in federal court in Los Angeles. The notice didn’t provide details of the settlement. The attorneys didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Miramax sued Tarantino this past November in a bid to halt his plans to sell the NFTs depicting handwritten pages of the screenplay for his 1994 movie as well as of drawings “inspired by some element from the scene.” Left unchecked, Miramax said, Tarantino’s conduct could mislead others into believing the company was involved in his venture.” [H/T Courthouse News]

“Union Jack” by Pete Doherty. Image courtesy of Janine Bean Gallery

Today’s attractive distractions:

A lucky teacher discovers a beached fossil of an unknown ancient animal.

British rock bad boy Pete Doherty is showing blood paintings in Berlin.

Research shows that random acts of kindness leave a resounding impact.

A nuclear reactor ran seven times hotter than the sun for 30 seconds.

All Stories