It was announced this week that the Walker is the recipient of the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for Corporate Achievement for 2009. The award is given to institutions that “use design as a strategic tool of its mission and exhibits ingenuity and insight in helping to advance the relationship between design and quality of life in the United States.” Some previous winners were Apple, Google, Target, Aveda, and Nike.
The award recognizes the history of design at the Walker, which dates back to the 1940s, when “design” was referred to as “everyday art,” a concept used to bridge the gap between people’s daily lives and the heady world of modern art. Since then, the Walker has hosted numerous exhibitions displaying the best of product design, graphic design, interior design, and architecture; published the influential magazine Design Quarterly; commissioned world famous designers to create everything from our building expansion to our custom typeface; maintained an in-house design studio and fellowship program; and integrated design into the fabric of the institution.
Now here’s Andrew to tell you all about it:
Speaking of Andrew, Mr. Blauvelt is featured prominently in Gary Hustwit’s new movie Objectified, which played to sold out crowds last night here at the Walker (it was great—definitely a sister film to Helvetica). If Hustwit plans on making a third movie about design, I’m hoping that he chooses to expand upon Andrew’s story about the Bionic Hamster.