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American Prize for Design

The American Prize for Design, founded in 2016, is awarded annually in conjunction with the historic Good Design® Awards by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, together with The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. Supplemental awards can be given at the discretion of the jury or the institution.

Good Design was instituted in Chicago in 1950 by architects Edgar Kaufmann, Jr., Eero Saarinen, Charles and Ray Eames to forward the principles of modern design.

Edgar KaufmannPhoto: Edgar Kaufmann, Jr. principal founder of Good Design. From the design archives of The Chicago Athenaeum.

The American Prize for Design is awarded to an individual regardless of their nationality for lifetime achievement in the areas of industrial design, communications design, and graphic design.

The selection of the awards are for excellence, innovation, and the enhancement of the quality of public life and public design.

Candidates are proposed by design professionals, design educators, and general public who are invited to submit materials for a jury’s review.

The jurors are selected by the Museum based on their prominence and expertise in the design world at large and largely consist of members of the Museum’s International Committee.  Decisions are based on core criteria: excellence, innovation, and contributions to humanity and to the public good.

The annual award celebrates design in various disciplines as a vital tool to forward public education concerning the benefits of Good Design and how design can positively impact the world at large by promoting design excellence, innovation, and lasting design.


For more information, contact Jennifer Nyholm, Director of Communications at 
The Chicago Athenaeum at
Prize for Design
The Chicago Athenaeum | 601 South Prospect Street
Galena, Illinois 61036, USA | Tel: 815/777-4444 | Fax: 815/777-2471