Seymour Chwast Is ‘Design Visionary’

Cooper Hewitt Honors Chwast, Mok, Duplessis

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum has named the winners of the 2023 National Design Awards, which recognize design innovation and impact in 10 categories. Established in 2000 as a project of the White House Millennium Council, the program brings national recognition to the ways in which design enriches everyday life. Award recipients are selected by a multidisciplinary jury of practitioners, educators and leaders from a wide range of design fields; among honorees this year most familiar to the graphic design community are legends Seymour Chwast, Arem Duplessis, Clement Mok and ‘emerging designer’ Beatriz Lozano. The winners will receive trophies made by Corning Glass Works at an event on October 5 at Cooper Hewitt.

The full slate of National Design Award recipients are:

  • Seymour Chwast, Design Visionary
  • Biocement Tiles by Biomason, Climate Action
  • Beatriz Lozano, Emerging Designer
  • nARCHITECTS, Architecture
  • Arem Duplessis, Communication Design
  • Clement Mok, Digital Design
  • Naeem Khan, Fashion Design
  • The Archers, Interior Design
  • Kongjian Yu, Landscape Architecture
  • Atlason, Product Design



Among the winners are four of special note to the graphic design community:


Design Visionary Seymour Chwast

The Design Visionary award, recognizing an individual, company or organization who has made a profound contribution to advancing the field, is given to Seymour Chwast. Chwast has been at the forefront of graphic design since the 1950s and continues to explore new frontiers in design and typography. He is a founding partner of the celebrated Push Pin Studios, whose distinct style has had a worldwide influence on contemporary visual communications. His designs and illustrations have been exhibited in major galleries and museums in the United States, Europe, Japan, Brazil and Russia. Chwast and Push Pin were honored at the Louvre in Paris in the two-month retrospective exhibition “The Push Pin Style” in 1970. His posters are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, Cooper Hewitt, The Library of Congress, The Gutenberg Museum and The Israel Museum, among others. A graduate of The Cooper Union, Chwast holds an honorary doctorate in Fine Arts from the Parsons School of Design and The Rhode Island School of Design. He has received numerous awards including the 1985 AIGA Medal and is in the Art Directors Hall of Fame.


Communication Design Arem Duplessis

The Communication Design award recognizes an individual or firm for the impactful use of design at the service of information sharing, messaging and overall communication. The 2023 recipient is Arem Duplessis. Duplessis is a creative director who has led and designed visual narratives that have positive global impact, currently serving as a group creative director at Apple. Previously, Duplessis was design director of the New York Times Magazine, where his department was named Design Team of the Year for three consecutive years by the Art Directors Club. During his tenure at GQ he commissioned the Gotham

typeface, which went on to become one of the most recognizable typefaces of a generation. He has received numerous awards, including an Emmy and AIGA Medal. He lectures around the world and has taught within Pratt Institute’s Graduate Design Department, SVA and The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Duplessis received a Bachelor of Arts from Hampton University and a Master of Science from Pratt Institute where he was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame as a “Pratt Legend.”


Digital Design Clement Mok

The Digital Design award, given to an individual or firm for the innovative design of digital products, environments, systems, experiences and services, honors Clement Mok. Mok is a designer, digital pioneer, software publisher and developer, author and design patent holder. He began his career in the 1980s at the design department at CBS, then moved to Apple, where he joined the Macintosh design team as a designer working with Steve Jobs. As creative director at Apple, he made computers friendlier and more accessible. Since then, he founded multiple successful design-related businesses, including Studio Archetype, CMCD and NetObjects.

A pioneer in designing in digital media, Mok helped shape what people know of today as experience design, information design, interaction design, interface design and more. His contributions have been recognized by publications and many awards, including the 2008 AIGA Medal. Mok is also an advocate for design and technology practices. He mentors startups and serves on the advisory boards of technology companies, colleges and nonprofit organizations.


Emerging Designer Beatriz Lozano

The Emerging Designer award is given in recognition of a designer or practice who has demonstrated profound talent in the early stages of their career. The 2023 Emerging Designer award is presented to Beatriz Lozano. Lozano is a designer, typographer and educator exploring how technology can push typography to exist at the intersection of the physical and digital world. Originally on the path to becoming a mechanical engineer, Lozano shifted to graphic design as her involvement in immigrant rights activism exposed her to the power of visual communication. She is dedicated to using design to create social change and bridge

the gap in access to resources and knowledge. Lozano’s work has been recognized by the Art Directors Club, Type Directors Club, Communication Arts and PRINT. In 2023, she was awarded the Art Directors Club Young Gun Award, which recognizes the world’s best creatives under the age of 30. She teaches interaction design at Parsons and was formerly a design director at Sunday Afternoon.


Values Worth Celebrating

States Maria Nicanor, director of the museum: “My gratitude goes to this year’s stellar jury for their thoughtful selection of the 2023 winners. This year’s cohort, a diverse group of designers across disciplines, are not only charting new pathways in their respective fields, but also integrating sustainable, socially responsible and people-centered practices in their work in a moment of profound global complexity.” Dung Ngo, chair of the National Design Awards jury adds: “This year’s National Design Award winners are a highly diverse group — from a handcraft-focused fashion designer to one of the early pioneers of digital design—but they share many common traits: a highly rigorous process to their discipline, a truly collaborative approach and putting people front and center in their practice. These are design core values worth celebrating.”