Our 2011 National Design Awards reaction round-up continues with a look at the coveted Design Mind honor, which recognizes visionary individuals or firms that have affected a shift in design thinking or practice through writing, research, and scholarship. The 2011 award goes to the indefatigable Steven Heller, a man with a million great ideas and approximately the same number of published books to his name. “For me little is more gratifying than writing about, teaching, and making design,” said Heller, fresh from lecturing in London (on publishing as a method of writing history), offering a window into the graphic design of Iran (for T: The New York Times Style Magazine), and investigating efforts to save one of New York City’s few remaining functioning print shops (for The Atlantic). “In one way or another it’s what I do every day,” he told us. “Ergo, nothing could be a greater honor than receiving this award in this amazing company past and present, and especially following on the heels of Ralph Caplan.” Planning to attend a design-minded Memorial Day bash? Prepare to be the life of the party by journeying back in the UnBeige time machine and reviewing our list of little-known facts about Heller, gleaned from his 2007 on-stage chat with another Design Mind-to-be, Michael Bierut, who won the award in 2008.
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