Paul Warwick Thompson, director of the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, has named Architecture for Humanity the Design Patron Award winner for the 2008 National Design Awards. The Design Patron Award recognizes outstanding support and patronage within the design community. Thompson, rather than an awards jury, selects the winner each year.
Architecture for Humanity, co-founded by Cameron Sinclair and Kate Stohr, is being recognized for its commitment to bringing sustainable architecture to global communities in need. Operating on the motto "Design Like You Give a Damn," the organization connects people affected by global, social, and humanitarian crises with an international network of more than 4,000 architecture and construction professionals who provide pro bono design services to build essential structures such as housing, clinics, schools, and community centers.
"Since 1999, Architecture for Humanity has grown into an international, 'open-source' community for innovative design on a global scale," Thompson said in announcing the award. "Whether housing tsunami refugees in Sri Lanka, providing homes for those displaced by Hurricane Katrina, or building schools for children orphaned by HIV/AIDS in Uganda, Architecture for Humanity has demonstrated that good design can indeed change the world."
Architecture for Humanity and other National Design Award winners will be officially honored at a gala dinner at the museum on Oct. 23, 2008.