First Look at Cooper-Hewitt’s Icy New National Design Award Trophy

The Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum has tweaked the asterisk-themed National Design Award trophy designed in 2000 William Drenttel and Jessica Helfand—and by tweaked, we mean untwisted it and turned it to glass. At a gala on Thursday evening in New York, 2011 National Design Award winners including Steven Heller, Rick Valicenti, and Gilles Mendel will be presented with icy-looking asterisks created by the Corning Museum of Glass in collaboration with the Cooper-Hewitt. The two institutions first worked together a few years ago as part of the Corning Museum’s GlassLab initiative, which aims to explore new design concepts and push the boundaries of innovation and creativity. The new trophy has twists of its own, deviating from corporate America’s transparent-tombstone approach to award design with striated glass that hints at the hand of the designer (and suggests an asterisk plucked from the tundra). And winners can get an instant ego boost when they glance into the trophy. The top is cut at a 50-degee angle that allows viewers to peer into the glass and see their reflection.