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PennDesign Alumna, Faculty Win National Design Awards

PennDesign Alumna, Faculty Win National Design Awards

One PennDesign alumna and one faculty member are among the winners of the 2018 National Design Awards, announced this week by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

Weiss/Manfredi, the New York-based architecture firm co-founded by PennDesign Graham Chair Professor of Architecture Marion Weiss, was awarded the National Design Award in architecture for 2018. And Anne Whiston Spirn (MLA’74), the Cecil and Ida Green Distinguished Professor of Landscape Architecture and Planning at MIT, received the Design Mind prize.

Weiss/Manfredi’s projects include the Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park, the Women’s Memorial and Education Center, and Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Visitor Center. The firm’s current work includes the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India, Phase II of Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park, Tulane University Commons, the Artis—Naples Master Plan for the Kimberly K. Querrey and Louis A. Simpson Cultural Campus, and the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale. Its work on on the Tata Innovation Center at Cornell Tech was also honored in April with the inaugural Open City Award from Open House New York. The firm will also debut a new installation at the Venice Biennale this month.

Anne Whiston Spirn has directed the West Philadelphia Landscape Project since 1987. The project is an effort to “manage the Mill Creek watershed as part of a broad approach to improving regional water quality and as a strategy to secure funds to rebuild the neighborhood.” The project seeks to improve environmental and community health and education through design and planning. In its announcement, the National Design Awards jury wrote that “[Spirn’s] writings and action research have brought forth a new state of mind among designers and the general public—provoking the integration of city and nature, advancing design theory and practice, and transforming how people see and act.”

The National Design Awards, which have been given since 2000, are intended to “celebrate design as a vital humanistic tool in shaping the world,” and are bestowed are “in recognition of excellence, innovation, and enhancement of the quality of life.”