San Francisco, Calif. (PRWEB) February 4, 2009
This past week, during the 30th Annual Interior Awards in New York, Public Architecture (http://www.publicarchitecture.org) leaders John Peterson and John Cary were jointly recognized with the prestigious "Designers of the Year Award," presented by Contract magazine.
Conferred each year since 1979, past recipients of the award include the likes of designers Ralph Appelbaum, Shigeru Ban, Shashi Caan, Michael Graves, William McDonough, and David Rockwell.
"We are deeply honored to be receiving this award. This award is much bigger than John Cary or I or even Public Architecture as an organization. This award is about the potential of the design community to be a force for positive change in the civic sphere," says co-recipient John Peterson, AIA, Founder & President of Public Architecture.
Unlike other design awards based solely on aesthetic accomplishment, the primary mission of the Designer of the Year Award is to recognize individuals who contribute to the design industry in positive ways that benefit the entire profession as well as society at-large.
"In an age where the desire to 'give back' seems to be a growing response to the weariness of excess, John Peterson and John Cary have emerged as leaders in the field. They have put socially-responsible design on the map, inspired a greater sense of purpose among those interested in practicing it, and -- most importantly -- offer a practical, organized approach to executing it," notes Jennifer Busch, editor-in-chief of Contract magazine.
Peterson founded Public Architecture in 2002 and joined its staff as President this past fall. Cary has served as Executive Director of Public Architecture since 2004. Together with a dedicated staff and board as well as a massive network of over 450 architecture and design firms, Public Architecture is at the forefront of the pro bono design movement. In 2008 alone, more than 200,000 hours and an estimated $20 million in pro bono services were pledged through The 1% (http://www.theonepercent.org) program of Public Architecture.
Public Architecture also undertakes a series of public-interest design initiatives (http://www.publicarchitecture.org/design_initiatives.htm), which address issues of broad social relevance and bring design to underserved communities. Noted initiatives include a design response to the plight of day laborers across the country as well as innovative research, which sheds new light on social, environmental, and ecological aspects of building material reuse.
Following the award ceremony, Humanscale hosted a special reception and silent auction to benefit Public Architecture. The event took place in Humanscale's flagship showroom adjacent to Madison Square Park, attracting hundreds of designers and design enthusiasts as well as others to celebrate Public Architecture and pro bono design.
Public Architecture plans to use the award to evolve The 1% program to welcome manufacturers and vendors. Looking ahead, co-recipient Cary adds, "In honor of this award, we are developing a platform for furnishing manufacturers to support the incredible design work of our program participants."
In an effort to mobilize the manufacturers in attendance at the award ceremony and also to jumpstart the effort, Public Architecture secured hearty endorsements from CEOs of multiple major design firms, such as Gensler, HKS, HOK, and Perkins+Will.
Among the most ringing endorsements was that of design legend and business leader Art Gensler, who said, "I am asking you and your company to make a real commitment to Public Architecture's innovative program. You can expect a big return on the investment and it is the right thing to do."
About Public Architecture | (http://www.publicarchitecture.org):
Established in 2002, Public Architecture is a national nonprofit organization based in San Francisco. Public Architecture acts as a catalyst for public discourse through education, advocacy, and the design of public spaces and amenities. "The 1%" (http://www.theonepercent.org) is a national program launched by Public Architecture in 2005 that challenges architecture firms to pledge 1% of their billable hours to pro bono work. If every architecture professional in the U.S. dedicated just 20 hours annually, it would add up to 5,000,000 hours each year -- the equivalent of 2,500-person firm working fulltime for the public good. Public Architecture is presently engaged in major partnerships with entities as diverse as the Taproot Foundation, United States Green Building Council, and United Way of the Bay Area. The 1% program is presently supported by a range of sponsors and partnerships, including the National Endowment for the Arts, Pro Bono Action Tank, Taproot Foundation; leading firms such as HKS, HOK, McCall Design Group, and Perkins+Will; and major manufacturers such as Herman Miller and Humanscale.
About Contract Magazine | (http://www.contractmagazine.com):
Contract magazine covers the commercial design industry, with a special focus on how interior design and architecture can positively impact the corporate, retail, educational, hospitality, health care, entertainment, government, institutional, and performing arts markets. Through in-depth reports, special features, and news and views, Contract magazine examines how the strategic goals of commercial clients can be supported and advanced through design, as well as how trends in the various industries covered shape and influence the current and future practice of commercial interior design. Contract magazine is a Nielsen Business Publications and a Nielsen Media production, published by John M. Rouse and edited by Jennifer Thiele Busch. Now in its 30th year, the Designer of the Year Award conferred by Contract magazine has long been considered the commercial design industry's most prestigious honor.