Margie Ruddick is the recipient of the 2013 National Design Award in landscape architecture given by the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. Ruddick, whose namesake firm is based in Philadelphia, has become known for big urban and ecological projects such as Queens Plaza in New York (with WRT), the Shillim Institute and Retreat in Maharashtra, India, and the Living Water Park in Chengdu, China. The installation of Ruddick’s Urban Garden Room in the Bank of America building in Manhattan can be seen in the time-lapse video below. The project was a collaboration with her mother, Dorothy Ruddick, who died in 2010. (A gallery of Ruddick’s projects can be found here.)
Closer to home, a couple of years ago, Ruddick’s neighbors in Philadelphia thought she was a farmer of noxious weeds. As a hilarious story by Anne Raver reports, Ruddick received a summons from the city and went to court to tell a judge that she knew exactly what she was doing. The judge tossed the summons.
For lifetime achievement, the Cooper-Hewitt is honoring the great James Wines. Wines founded his multidisciplinary studio, SITE, in New York in 1970, and was far ahead of most architects and designers in pushing the importance of the environment and the landscape. Some of you may remember Wines’s apocalyptic designs for the Best retail chain. If you’ve ever been to the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park in New York, that’s his design, too. But there is much, much more.
The architect and critic Michael Sorkin is receiving a National Design Award for “Design Mind,” which few followers of his agitations over the years will question. Studio Gang Architects in Chicago wins the award for architecture; Aidlin Darling Design is the winner for interior design; and Paula Scher, of Pentagram, wins for communication design. The full list of winners can be found here.