The Best of America

No less than Laura Bush (Dubya’s better half) serves as the honorary patron for the eighth-annual National Design Awards, to be presented this fall at the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, in New York City. First launched at the White House in 2000, the awards were established to promote excellence across various disciplines, including architecture, communications and fashion, along with interiors, landscape and product design.

This year’s lifetime achievement award goes to Antoine Predock, principal of Antoine Predock Architects since 1967. Based in Albuquerque, N.M., Predock maintains studios in Los Angeles and Taiwan. The master architect designs expansive spaces that seamlessly weave the present with the past. His major projects include Austin City Hall in Texas, the Tacoma Art Museum in Washington, and the Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg.

Architecture and design partnership Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis (LTL) takes the interior design award. Founded in 1997 by Paul Lewis, Marc Tsurumaki and David J. Lewis, LTL is recognized for its attention to detail and craft and inventive use of materials. Working on academic, institutional, retail and restaurant projects throughout the U.S., the partnership is best known for Fluff Bakery, Tides and Xing restaurants in New York City.

The product design award is presented to Jonathan Ive, the senior vice president of Apple Inc.?-?where, since 1996, he has led a product team regarded as one of the industry’s best. Ive has created some of the most innovative products of the past decade, ranging from the iMac and iBook to the iconic iPod. He has not only made complex technological devices user-friendly, he has also designed sculptural objects. Ive’s streamlined aesthetic continues to bring design into the public consciousness in an unprecedented way.

The award recipients will be honoured at an Oct. 18 gala dinner at the Cooper-Hewitt.