The Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum recently announced the winners and finalists of the 2010 National Design Awards, celebrating excellence in a variety of design disciplines and contexts. Ten awards were given in the categories of Lifetime Achievement, Design Mind, Corporate and Institutional Achievement, Architecture Design, Communication Design, Fashion Design, Interaction Design, Interior Design, Landscape Design, and Product Design.

In addition to the level of excellence and innovation exhibited in their bodies of work, winners also were selected based on the public impact of their design. According to Cooper-Hewitt director Bill Moggridge, the award winners' work "truly responds to the pressing issues of the day" in many ways. They will be honored at a gala dinner on Oct. 14 in New York during National Design Week. 

The winners and finalists are:

Lifetime Achievement: Jane Thompson

(Honoring an individual who has made a long-term contribution to design practice.) Editor, designer, and planner Jane Thompson, founding editor of I.D. Magazine, has explored the interrelationships of design, human well-being, urban life, and the global environment. Through Boston-based architecture and planning firm Thompson Design Group, which she founded, Thompson continues her pioneering work in urban revitalization.

Design Mind: Ralph Caplan

(Presented to honor visionary individuals or firms whose influence has shifted design thinking or practice through writing, research, and scholarship.) As a book author and editor, former editor of I.D. Magazine, lecturer, and educator, Ralph Caplan has been thinking, writing, and speaking about for 50-plus years. His work—which includes collaborations with designers on exhibitions, films, and publications—addresses the design process from the broader perspective of products and the contexts of their use.

Corporate and Institutional Achievement: The U.S. Green Building Council

(Recognizing a corporation or institution that employs design to achieve its mission and helps advance the relationship between design and quality of life.) The nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council, founded in 1993 to design a prosperous and sustainable future for the world through cost-efficient, energy-saving green buildings, has developed several programs and services to accomplish its mission. The organization has grown to include 80 local affiliates, 17,000 member companies and organizations, and more than 140,000 LEED Professional Credential holders.

Finalists for this category are: Design That Mattersweaetxdyvaydzcwq and Oxo.

Architecture Design: KieranTimberlake

(Recognizing work in commercial, public, or residential architecture.) Founded in 1984 by Stephen Kieran and James Timberlake, the work of Philadelphia-based KieranTimberlake integrates research with design informed by a deep environmental ethic. The firm's diverse and often experimental body of work includes projects for arts, civic, educational, government, and residential clients.

Finalists for the Architecture Design award are: Lake|Flato Architects, and Design Corps.  

Interior Design: William Sofield

(Recognizing an individual or firm for exceptional and exemplary work in domestic, corporate, or cultural interior design.) William Sofield's holistic approach to interior design is grounded on craft and materials, as well as on the belief that design should "live as well as it looks." Infused with his unique take on modernism, Sofield-designed spaces are highly original, welcoming, and compelling.

Finalists in this category are: Clive Wilkinson Architects and Aidlin Darling Design.

Landscape Design: James Corner Field Operations

(Presented for work in urban planning or park and garden design.) Leading-edge landscape architecture and urban design firm James Corner Field Operations, founded in 1998, depends on the cross-disciplinary backgrounds of its staff to create high-quality design solutions for cities, landscapes, and public spaces. The firm's work has enhanced landscape architecture's ability to shape and enrich life in urban environments and raised the profession's visibility.

Finalists in this category are: Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture and Stoss Landscape Urbanism.

Communication Design: Stephen Doyle

(Recognizing work in graphic or multimedia design.) Stephen Doyle, creative director at design studio Doyle Partners, infuses words with deeper meaning in graphic form, creating an intelligent, provocative body of work. Doyle Partners specializes in identity, packaging, signage, environment, and editorial design.

Finalists in this category are: John Jay, global executive creative director and partner of advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy and Maira Kalman, designer, author, and artist.

Fashion Design: Rodarte

(Recognizing work in clothing, accessory, or footwear design.) Fashion house Rodarte, founded in 2005 by Kate and Laura Mulleavy, makes strong statements by fusing bold colors with unusual fabric treatments, creating unique combinations.

Finalists in this category are: Behnaz Sarafpour and Proenza Schouler.

Interaction Design: Lisa Strausfeld

(Presented for exceptional work using digital technology.) Lisa Strausfeld, partner at Pentagram and a trailblazer in interaction design, is an expert at information visualization for projects such as software prototypes, websites, interpretive displays, and large-scale media installations.

Finalists in this category are: Potion and Local Projects.

To learn more about each of the winners and finalists, visit the 2010 National Design Awards website.