The Rowena Reed Kostellow Fund


24 Jul 2021

The Rowena Reed Kostellow Award honors the 2021 recipients Karen Stone and the design team Chen Chen and Kai Williams.

Karen Stone, MID ’94

Karen Stone is a great designer, teacher, and supporter of the Rowena Fund. Karen's passion for experimenting with spatial relationships and objects in space developed at an early age with formal training in music and music performance. Karen is Director of Design for Knoll, Inc. Her award-winning work has been cited in publications including ID, Domus, Interiors, and Inside Design Now. She has created a new line of products for Knoll Shop retail store and established the Knoll Design Student Internship program. An Adjunct Professor of Industrial Design at Pratt Institute, Karen has been a guest teacher at Bauhaus Universitat-Weimar and Tsinghua University, Beijing. She serves as Pratt Faculty Advisor to the IDSA Student Chapter and leads design workshops at New York City high schools. She holds a BS in Industrial Design from Ohio State University, an MID from Pratt Institute, and has studied at Oxford University.

Young Designer Award: Chen Chen, BID ’07 and Kai Williams, BID ’06

Our young Rowena Award goes to the team of Chen Chen and Kai Williams. They met while attending Pratt Institute and founded their company in New York City in 2011. The studio creates a wide range of products from hand made one-off and limited production collectible works to manufacturing specialty home goods carried by retailers around the world. Whatever the method, an overarching sensitivity to materials, production processes and beauty carries through every object.

The Rowena Award recognizes people who advance the principles of design that Rowena Reed Kostellow developed and rewards those who have excelled with their application. They join 28 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 and Judy Collins, Bruce Hannah, Ted Muehling, Lucia N. DeRespinis, Tom Patti, Leonard Bacich, Bill Katavolos, Charles Pollock, Ruth Shuman, RitaSue Siegel, Linda Celentano, Dr. Tom Schutte, and John Cafaro, Dean and Sandra Richardson and Rowena Young Designer awardees, Ariana Zarillo, Cindy Juett, Rene Bouchara and Simon Hamui.

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


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.