The Rowena Reed Kostellow Fund


6 Feb 2015

RitaSue Siegel to Receive 2015 Rowena Reed Kostellow Award

RitaSue Siegel, an icon of design recruiting will be awarded the Rowena Reed Kostellow Award on March 10, 2015. The ceremony will take place at HumanScale, 11 East 26th Street, 8th floor, in Manhattan on from 6:00 – 8:00pm. “RitaSue is such a natural for this award,” said Pratt President Thomas Schutte.

The Award recognizes people who are advancing the principles of design that Rowena Reed Kostellow developed and rewards those who have excelled with the application of those ideas. “RitaSue's entire professional life has been promoting the profession, professionals, and moving corporations and schools to understand the value of design. Never has she deviated from this,” said Pamela Waters. “Her life's work is the Dominant element.” Fund Chair Emeritus, Louis Nelson added: “She was a dear friend of Rowena, and always had the Fund at heart and had clear and concise input and opinion on all matters under deliberation.”

RitaSue was Rowena’s student, earning both Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute where she was the school's Director of Placement for many years until she founded RitaSue Siegel Resources. Besides senior level searches, RitaSue’s speaking and writing has focused on how design enhances life, championing the designer as the peoples' advocate and promoting design strategy as critical element to support of business objectives. Always an outspoken critic, her work has helped raise the standards of design education. Ms. Siegel is a regular contributor to Communication Arts and Business Week magazines and has spoken at conferences and courses for AIGA, IDSA, and DMI in North America and Europe. She wrote American Graphic Design, Thirty Years of Imagery, and the popular How to Get a Job in Industrial Design (available for free through

RitaSue Siegel joins 18 other champions of the Abstract Principles 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, Ted Muehling, Lucia N. DeRespinis, Tom Patti, Leonard Bacich, Bill Katavolos, Charles Pollock, and Ruth Shuman. These teachers, entrepreneurs and designers embody the mission of the fund inspired by Rowena’s teaching: to encourage and guide a systematic educational approach to all forms of visual expression.

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.