Design USA: Contemporary Innovation


In 2000, the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum founded the National Design Awards program to celebrate contemporary American design and to increase national awareness of design through education and promotion of excellence and innovation. The Awards mark important accomplishments in a variety of categories, including architecture, landscape design, interior design, product design, fashion, communication design, and more.

Design USA: Contemporary Innovation commemorates the tenth anniversary of the National Design Awards and showcases the winners recognized during the first decade. In addition to honoring Lifetime Achievement and Design Mind winners, the exhibition is organized according to five themes that are fundamental to the various disciplines: CRAFT, EXPERIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, MATERIALS, and METHOD. The objects in the exhibition represent a particularly exciting period of American design that witnessed major shifts in the design profession: staggering advances in digital technology, new materials, and the advent of global partnerships. Through the five thematic lenses, Design USA demonstrates how these developments are reshaping our definition of design, focusing on American innovation and the directions in which design is headed as we move through the new century. With a multifaceted, interactive exhibition designed by 2006 Communication Design Award winner 2×4, Design USA also marks a new chapter in the Museum’s efforts to enrich the visitors’ experience in the galleries.

Design USA: Contemporary Innovation is made possible in part by Target

Additional support is provided by the Ehrenkranz Fund and McDonald's.

Media sponsorship is provided by WNBC and New York magazine.