The Rowena Reed Kostellow Fund


1 Feb 2008

Lucia DeRespinis Receives the 2008 RRK Award

Lucia N. DeRespinis, designer and educator was awarded the 2007 Rowena Reed Kostellow Award for her dedication and teaching of three-dimensional design. The ceremony took place at the Knoll Showroom in New York on January 25, 2008. The Award recognizes people who advance the principals of design that Rowena Reed Kostellow developed and rewards those who have excelled with the application of those ideas. “The committee selected Lucia because of the beauty of her personal work and teaching. She consistently applies the principals of abstract design she learned from Miss Reed,” says Tucker Viemeister, Rowena Fund Chair.

Lucia has been an Industrial Designer for over fifty years and is an Adjunct Professor at Pratt where she studied with Rowena. She is renowned for picking the pink and orange color scheme for Dunkin’ Donut’s — based on her five-year-old daughter’s favorite colors. She was in the Bard Graduate Center’s exhibition and major publication: Women In Design/1900 – 2000. She worked for Sandgen and Murtha, Delco Tableware International, Minners & Co. and with George Nelson Associates, where she worked on the amazing 1959 American Exhibit in Moscow designing the exhibition with a team of 8 from the Nelson office plus Charles and Ray Eames, Buckminster Fuller, and Bill Katavolos. And the clocks she designed while at the Nelson Office are still available at the MoMA store!

Lucia N. DeRespinis joins the other champions of the Abstract Principals of Visual Relationships who have received the award, including Gina Caspi, Ivan Rigby, Eva Zeisel, Gerald Gulotta, William Fogler, Eugene Grossman, Ralph Appelbaum, James Fulton, Louis Nelson, Judy Collins, Bruce Hannah, and Ted Muehling. These teachers, entrepreneurs and designers embody the mission of the fund: to encourage and guide a systematic educational approach to all forms of visual expression, which is inspired by Rowena’s teaching.

Contact: Tucker Viemeister, 1239 Broadway, NYC 10001, 917 969 6268

About the RRK Fund

The Rowena Reed Kostellow Fund at Pratt Institute was organized after her death in 1988 to continue her teachings by supporting scholarships, publishing and programs. Rowena, with her husband Alexander Kostellow and Donald Dohner, created Pratt's Industrial Design program merging form, function, and industry. Their objective was to develop an education system based on analysis of abstract visual relationships that would be valid for all forms of visual expression, including architecture, product design, graphic design, and fine art.

The program flourished and became the foundation of many courses and ID programs around the world. For over 50 years, Rowena taught three-dimensional design at Pratt, where she told her students “If you can't make it more beautiful, what's the point?”

Learn more about Rowena, her teaching methodology, and Pratt Institute in Gail Hannah's book, Elements of Design: The Structure of Visual Relationships, published by Princeton Architectural Press.