Moshe Safdie’s Humanist Architectural Approach Wins Him a National Design Award

His career spans well over fifty years.

SINGAPORE - FEBRUARY 19: A man walks around the balcony in the main atrium of the ArtScience Museum on February 19, 2011 at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. The ArtScience Museum opened for the first time to the public today. Designed by renowned architect Moshe Safdie, the 50,000 sqft, lotus- inspired building, houses 21 galleries. The Museum opened with three main exhibitions, The Silk Road, Genghis Kahn and Shipwrecked. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Moshe Safdie, Michal Safdie==Prelude: Toasting a New Century at the HARVARD ART MUSEUM ==Fogg Museum Cambridge MA==May 17, 2008==© Patrick McMullan==Photo- CHANCE YEH /PatrickMcMullan.com====

Moshe Safdie and Michal Safdie. Courtesy of Patrick McMullan.

Cue the drums: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum has officially announced the winners of this year’s National Design Awards, and architect Moshe Safdie takes home top honors. The Israeli-American-Canadian architect has been granted the prestigious Lifetime Achievement award for his commitment to employing what the museum characterizes as a humanist approach to the realm of architecture.

Safdie’s prolific career, which spans well over fifty years, started in 1967 with the construction of Habitat ’67, his first project in Montreal, Canada. “I try firstly to make buildings humane,” Safdie said in a 2012 interview with Vanity Fair. “Countries and places have a history, a story, and a culture. I want my buildings to take root and look as if they’ve always been there.”

Previous winners of the award include architect Michael Graves, who earned his Lifetime Achievement in 2015 for “broadening the role of architects and raising public interest in good design as essential to the quality of everyday life,” according to Cooper Hewitt. And the year before, Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar received the honor for their brand design firm’s illustrious hand in iconic trademarks, including Chase Manhattan Bank, PBS, and New York University.

SINGAPORE - FEBRUARY 19: A man walks around the balcony in the main atrium of the ArtScience Museum on February 19, 2011 at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. The ArtScience Museum opened for the first time to the public today. Designed by renowned architect Moshe Safdie, the 50,000 sqft, lotus- inspired building, houses 21 galleries. The Museum opened with three main exhibitions, The Silk Road, Genghis Kahn and Shipwrecked. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Moshe Safdie’s ArtScience Museum. Courtesy of Rain Embuscado.

 

The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s project kicked off back in 2000 as an official White House Millennium Council project. The categories, which range from architecture design to product design, and even corporate and institutional achievement, make up a total of eleven annual awards.

See the full list of this year’s National Design Award winners below.

Make It Right, Director’s Award

Bruce Mau, Design Mind

The Center for Urban Pedagogy, Corporate Institutional Achievement

Marlon Blackwell Architects, Architecture Design

Geoff McFetridge, Communication Design

Opening Ceremony, Fashion Design

Tellart, Interaction Design

Studio O+A, Interior Design

Hargreaves Associates, Landscape Architecture

Ammunition, Product Design


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