Design That Matters a winner of the 2012 Annual National Design Awards
The 2012 National Design Award nominations were solicited from a committee of more than 2,500 designers, educators, journalists, cultural figures and corporate leaders from every state in the nation. Nominees must have at least seven years of experience in order to be nominated, and winners are selected based on the level of excellence, innovation and public impact of their body of work. This year's jury of design leaders and educators from across the country convened by Cooper-Hewitt reviewed the nominations and chose Lifetime Achievement and Design Mind recipients, and selected winners and finalists in the Corporate and Institutional Achievement, Architecture Design, Communication Design, Fashion Design, Interaction Design, Interior Design, Landscape Design and Product Design categories.
The Corporate and Institutional Achievement Award recognizes a corporation or institution that uses design as a strategic tool of its mission and helps to advance the relationship between design and quality of life. DtM was recognized for its work over the last eight years in partnering with social entrepreneurs to design products that address basic needs in developing countries. Prior awardees and finalists in this category include Apple Computer, Patagonia, Nike, Google, Jet Blue and Knoll.
DtM's core competencies include ethnography, design and engineering. The company has built a collaborative design process and a network of partners in academia, medicine and industry that together translate the needs of social enterprise into breakthrough products and services for the poor. DtM leverages over US$8 in donated or reduced-rate time and materials from its corporate and academic partners for every dollar they spend, allowing the firm to address what the Rockefeller Foundation recently described as the chief barrier to design for social impact: affordability.
DtM's academic contributors include students and faculty in engineering, design and business at MIT, Stanford, Harvard, the Rhode Island School of Design and Cambridge University in the UK. In medicine, DtM contributors include Children's Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital and St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in Boston, the Kanti Children's Hospital in Nepal, the National Hospital for Pediatrics in Vietnam and the Cut Nyak Dhien General Hospital in Indonesia. DtM's corporate partners include IDEO, Fisher Price, SolidWorks and Optikos.
This diverse and growing network has allowed the nonprofit design firm to tackle a broad range of global issues, with projects completed in health care, education, microfinance and renewable energy. The company has a global scale, impacting communities in Mali, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia. DtM clients include the East Meets West Foundation, Solar Ear, World Education, the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology's Global Health Initiative (CIMIT GHI), the Centre for Mass Education in Science (CMES) in Bangladesh and the Mann Deshi Mahila Sahakari Bank in India.
DtM's work is made possible by the thousands of hours donated by over 800 students and professional volunteers, pro bono legal assistance from Choate Hall & Stewart LLP and Littler Mendelson PC, and generous financial support from the van Otterloo Family Foundation, the Lemelson Foundation, the Lynch Family Foundation, SolidWorks Corporation, the Draper Richards Foundation, Ashoka, the Bridgeway Fund and many others.
First launched at the White House in 2000 as a project of the White House Millennium Council, the National Design Awards were established to promote excellence and innovation in design.
ABOUT DESIGN THAT MATTERS
Conceived by graduate students at the MIT Media Lab in 2001, Design that Matters is a nonprofit design company that partners with social entrepreneurs to design products that address basic needs in developing countries. Led by cofounder Timothy Prestero, over 850 academic and professional collaborators have worked together to create dozens of product concepts, including a projector for nighttime adult literacy education in Africa, a low‐cost neonatal incubator using spare car parts, and, most recently, a phototherapy device for treating newborn jaundice in Vietnam. DtM’s award‐winning creations have captured the public’s attention through its innovative, human‐centered approach to product design.
ABOUT COOPER-HEWITT, NATIONAL DESIGN MUSEUM, SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum is the only museum in the nation devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. Founded in 1897, the museum has been a branch of the Smithsonian since 1967. The museum presents compelling perspectives on the impact of design on daily life through active educational programs, exhibitions and publications.
2012 Cooper-Hewitt National Design Awards
Cooper-Hewitt Press Release
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