David Rockwell Wins FIT’s Lawrence Israel Prize

David Rockwell, come on down! You’re the 2011 recipient of the Lawrence Israel Prize, bestowed annually by the Interior Design Department at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology to an individual or firm whose ideas and work enrich FIT Interior Design students’ course of study. Past winners of the prize, endowed by architect Lawrence Israel, include Gaetano Pesce, Charles Gwathmey, AvroKO, and Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis. “At FIT we encourage our students to develop their own design ‘process’ rather than creating a fashionable ‘look,'” said Takashi Kamiya, chairperson of the interior design department at FIT. “Rockwell embodies that ideal.” In recent years, the Rockwell Group founder (and—fun fact—son of a vaudeville dancer) has been racking up awards, including a National Design Award for interior design, almost as fast as high-profile projects. Having conquered everything from Oscar show sets to urban playgrounds, his firm is currently at work on the new restaurant at the Whitney Museum of American Art, W Hotels in Paris and Singapore, and the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Society at Lincoln Center, among other projects. Rockwell will give the 2011 Lawrence Israel Prize Talk (free and open to the public) on Thursday, April 28, at 6 p.m. in FIT’s Katie Murphy Auditorium.