More than a year ago, Jessica Helfand and I agreed to co-sponsor an initiative to increase the appreciation of design by recognizing new voices in design criticism and commentary. In partnership with AIGA, and supported by the generosity of more than 50 benefactors, we launched the Winterhouse Writing Awards for Design and Criticism.
This year's recipients are Thomas de Monchaux and Katherine Feo.
The Writing Award, which was open to writers, critics, scholars, historians, journalists and designers in the amount of $5,000, was awarded to Thomas de Monchaux for his three submissions: "Constructing the Melnikov House," "Solving for X: Dek: Calculating Idealism Among Young Architects" and "Here Come The Jets!: Notes on a Stadium."
Thomas de Monchaux is a writer and designer. He has written for Architectural Record, I.D. Magazine, and The New York Times, along with journals such as 32BNY and N+1. He majored in art history and history at Brown University, and later studied architecture at Princeton. He lives and works in New York City and is currently assisting the firm LOT-EK at Columbia University's "Housing Architecture Studio."
The Education Award, which was open to undergraduate or graduate students whose use of writing, in the interest of making visual work or scholarship or cultural observation, demonstrates extraordinary originality and promise in the amount of $1,000, was awarded to Katherine Feo for her submission: "In Defense of Stupidity."
Katherine Feo has just completed her M.A. in design history at the Royal College of Art in London. She received her B.A. in painting and social welfare from the University of California at Berkeley in 2002. Currently, she is working as a research assistant at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and is a visiting lecturer in the department of illustration at the University of Westminster.
The awards were judged by three distinguished writers, each of whom is renowned for exceptional writing and editing about design and visual culture: Kurt Anderson, editor, novelist and host of "Studio 360" on Public Radio International; Julie Lasky, editor-in-chief, I.D. Magazine; and Meghan O'Rourke, culture editor, Slate, and poetry editor, The Paris Review. Jessica Helfand was the chair of this year's jury.
Awards will be presented at the Design Legends Gala on October 25, 2006, in New York City.
Submissions for next year's awards will be accepted beginning in March 2007.