Philip Nobel Nails the National Design Awards


Winners were announced earlier this week for the National Design Awards, bloggers posted the results appropriately, but we hadn’t seen a smart survey of the field of honorees, and nothing like last year when Bruce “Blubberboy” Nussbaum called the awards an unequivocal “failure.” (Oh, and also, in case you forgot, designers suck.)

In today’s Currents, Philip Nobel says some pretty astute stuff about the awards’ potential:

Since the inception of the National Design Awards program in 2000, when it was announced with much fanfare at the White House, the awards, overseen by the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, have been a mixed bag. While it’s nice to see designers like Morris Lapidus honored for their work, the awards have never become as prestigious as the Pritzker, known as architecture’s Nobel Prize, and they have often seemed to lack focus. When last year’s winners were announced, Bruce Nussbaum of Business Week finally said what many were thinking when he wrote on his blog that, as a tool for promoting innovation, “the National Design Awards are a failure.” Perhaps this year’s jury, which included the irreverent architect James Wines, the downtown design fixture Stephen Burks and Caterina Fake, a founder of the photo-sharing site, got the message.

Too bad it’s just a tiny little piece in Currents because we bet Nobel has lots more to say, and we’d like to hear it, ahem. NY Times: More design coverage like this, less gay cars, please.