Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Honors PennDesign Alumni with National Design Awards
The University of Pennsylvania School of Design is pleased to announce that Richard Saul Wurman, BArch/MArch'59, has won The Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum's 2012 Award for Lifetime Achievement.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is given in recognition of a distinguished individual who has made a profound and long-term contribution to the contemporary practice of design.
Wurman designed and published 83 books on topics ranging from healthcare to atlases and the Olympics. His most successful creations include the original series of Access guides, and the best-selling books Information Anxiety (1989) and Information Anxiety 2 (2000).
Wurman is also well known as the creator and founder of the TED Conferences, an acronym for Technology, Entertainment and Design, which convenes highly influential and disparate speakers on a wide variety of subjects. Participants have ranged from Microsoft guru Nathan Myhrvold to athlete Aimee Mullins demonstrating prosthetic leg design, as well as Martha Stewart, AOL Time Warner's Steve Case, Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com and Jeffrey Katzenberg of DreamWorks.
"Richard is one of the truly inventive thinkers of our times, one who excels at finding ways to make the complex clear, all enabled by a deep curiosity," said Marilyn Jordan Taylor, dean of PennDesign. "He is one of the great champions of design."
Educated as an architect, Wurman received both his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1959 with the highest honors, among them the Arthur Spayd Brookes Gold Medal. He coined the term "information architect" to describe his unique confluence of training and talents.
"Richard thinks out of the box. Trained in architecture, with a passion for information, ideas and communication, his creativity has opened radically new avenues for design. His "Access" books transformed how people understand and use cities, and his pioneering work with information systems continues to influence how designers shape form, places and ideas," said James Corner, Chair and Professor of Landscape Architecture at PennDesign. "Richard is simply brilliant."
During his time at Penn, Wurman developed a deep personal and professional relationship with the seminal architect and teacher Louis I. Kahn. He had a 13-year architectural partnership in Philadelphia, and was a director of the Group for Environmental Education. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA).
Wurman is currently developing the WWW conferences celebrating improvised conversations, or "intellectual jazz," and continues to work on his global cartographic initiative, 19.20.21.
Stoss Landscape Urbanism, a Boston-based collaborative design and planning studio led by founding principals Chris Reed, MLA'95 and Scott Bishop, MLA'05, claimed the 2012 National Design Award for Landscape Architecture. The firm's projects include The CityDeck in Green Bay, Wis.; Erie Street Plaza in Milwaukee; The Plaza at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.; and Bass River Park on Cape Cod, Mass.
The award recipients will be honored at a gala dinner Wednesday, Oct. 17, at Pier Sixty in New York. To learn more, visit www.nationaldesignawards.org.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL DESIGN AWARDS
The annual National Design Awards celebrate design in various disciplines as a vital humanistic tool in shaping the world. The awards are accompanied each year by a variety of public education programs, including special events, panel discussions and workshops. The awards recognize extraordinary contributions to design in 10 categories: Lifetime Achievement, Design Mind, Corporate and Institutional Achievement, Architecture Design, Communication Design, Fashion Design, Interaction Design, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture and Product Design.
ABOUT COOPER-HEWITT, NATIONAL DESIGN MUSEUM
The Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum is the only museum in the nation devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. The museum presents compelling perspectives on the impact of design on daily life through active educational programs, exhibitions and publications. Founded in 1897 by Amy, Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt-granddaughters of industrialist Peter Cooper-as part of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, the museum has been a branch of the Smithsonian since 1967.