Smart Design’s Tom Dair Reports on Lunching at the White House

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By Steve Delahoyde Comment

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Last year, Smart Design president Tom Dair was asking for advice on what to say to Michelle Obama when he met her at the annual National Design Awards lunch. Just a nominated-guest in 2009, this year he was back at the event, but this time as a winner. And not only did he meet Mrs. Obama, but she even quoted him during her speech. Dair gives a great, personal narrative on what the whole event was like, from starting the day at the Teen Design Event to hanging around with Obama and Tim Gunn that afternoon. Here’s a bit:

Around lunch time we headed over to the White House for the reception. As part of the program and a special treat for me, we had our picture taken with Mrs. Obama. In meeting her, one immediately realizes how beautiful and gracious she really is…and somewhat taller than I expected.

After the photo op, it was over to the East Room for Ms Obama’s welcome and opening remarks. She praised the design profession for its ability to push boundaries or even ignore them all together; as she put it, “to pursue your vision of the world as it can and as it should be.” Now I’m feeling pretty good about being a designer but it was about to get better.

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