The Rowena Reed Kostellow Fund


17 April 2019

Deane and Sandra Richardson, and Young Designers Rene Bouchara and Simon Hamui Receive 2019 Rowena Reed Kostellow Award

(left to right) Simon Hamui (’85), Rene Bouchara (’85), Pratt President Frances Bronet, Deane Richardson (’56), and Sandra Richardson (’57)

Sandra Longyear and Deane Richardson were in the same color class in their Freshman year at Pratt. Sandra’s father, Dr. William Longyear, chaired the Pratt Advertising Department, and was a Pratt faculty member for 50 years. Deane and Sandra studied with both Rowena Reed Kostellow and Alexander Kostellow, who Deane says: “Taught us to develop our intuitive powers and to integrate aesthetic analysis with imagination—exactly those skills needed to forge strategic paths to new visual languages and positive user-interactions.”

Deane graduated in 1956 and teamed up with classmate David Smith in 1960 to form RichardsonSmith. When Sandra graduated in 1957, GM Design VP Harley Earl hired her to design Pontiac production and concept cars. Damsels In Design by Constance Smith tells how the Pratt women industrial designers were pioneers in the automotive industry. Deane drove his white Austin-Healy to Detroit, married Sandra, and brought her back to Columbus, Ohio to contribute to the company.

RichardsonSmith grew worldwide with offices in Asia and Europe, and was America’s largest product design company when they merged with Fitch in 1990. The company designs product programs, communications, branding, and retail environments for Chrysler, Disney, Nissan, Hitachi, Xerox, Microsoft, Nokia, and Crown. Deane focused on Pacific Rim clients like LG, Mitsubishi, and Nissan. Deane was president of ICSID, a Fellow of IDSA, and received an Honorary Doctorate from the Columbus College of Art and Design. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Deane gave keynotes at Pratt's 100th Anniversary in 1987.

Sandra taught industrial design at the Columbus College of Art and Design. RichardsonSmith’s “Farm” (former office) is now a mini-campus, seeding, nourishing and growing innovation. Because, as Deane “learned from Rowena, to innovate brings personal fulfillment to the designer as well as the end user—[a] rewarding experience for us all.”

Young Designer Awards: René Bouchara and Simon Hamui

The Young Designer Rowena awards presented to René Bouchara and Simon Hamui recognizes Rowena’s effect beyond the United States. René Bouchara (French) and Simon Hamui (Mexican) were 1985 Pratt classmates. Simon’s residential, corporate design, luxury yachts and furniture, and manufacturing company is headquartered in Mexico City.

René practices design in the broad sense—from graphic design to scenography through furniture design and interior design—working with Christian Dior and Karl Lagerfeld, and is also passionate about aeronautics and classical music. René says: “Rowena’s aura has shone upon us ever since we had our first design class.”

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?”

Since 1997 the Fund has awarded thousands of dollars in cash and scholarships encouraging students’ commitment to excellence.

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.