This year, friends and fellow designers were honored in two separate categories of the Cooper Hewitt National Design Awards (see more about the awards below):


Our collaborators (and dear friends) Cathy Bailey and Robin Petravic of Heath Ceramics received the Corporate & Institutional Achievement Award. The team at Heath integrates good design as an integral part of their mission. Heath’s handmade tile and tableware is the exact definition of practical and beautiful design. Their products are no less useful because of their beauty and no less beautiful because of their usefulness. Cathy, Robin, and their entire team are committed to producing thoughtful products responsibly, with attention to social and environmental responsibility. We are proud of their efforts and of our continued partnership with them.


Commune, who designed our logo and mark, is the inter-disciplinary collective and design studio founded by friends Roman Alonso, Steven Johanknecht, Pamela Shamshiri, and Ramin Shamshiri who were honored for their achievements in interior design. Though they were singled out for their interior design philosophies, Commune designs across disciplines, including branding and developing corporate identities. In fact, they designed our own Alabama Chanin logo and mark. We admire and have written about their holistic approach to design and ability to create beauty without being wasteful. The firm creates singular, sometimes eclectic spaces—residential and commercial—that work in harmony with nature and their surroundings. They share our belief in the power of collaboration and—in a way—are an embodiment of the themes we explore in our Makeshift project: creativity and innovation are products of collaboration and each element of design can make the whole stronger.

The National Design Awards program celebrates design and its importance as a tool for advancement, development, and beauty. The awards were conceived by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum to recognize outstanding, lasting achievement in American design. The awards program wants to increase awareness of design—nationally and internationally—through education and promotion of excellence and innovation.

The National Design Awards program was launched in 2000 as a project of the White House Millennium Council and was designed to have a reach beyond their National Design Awards Gala. In addition to the actual awards, the program offers educational programming during National Design Week—launched in 2006 to draw attention to design’s role in enriching everyday life. During that week, the museum hosts a series of programs, open to the public, that reflect the vision and work of the honorees. Alabama Chanin was honored to be a finalist for the National Design Awards in 2005 and have a great deal of respect for their overall goals. To find out more about the awards, categories, criteria, and jurors, visit their website.

Congratulations to Heath Ceramics and Commune on design work that will impact the world for years to come. For a complete list of the 2015 National Design Award recipients, click here.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *