more efficient use of space. In the process,
designers learned about how employees
needed to work and the kinds of environments that would support them. Thanks to
their research and innovations, workplaces
today are more employee-centered, safer,
Sonya Dufner, through her work as
director of workplace strategy for Gensler
New York, has contributed improvements in
workplace culture by helping people build
better communities that promote productivity
and keep employees happier and healthier.
She will be recognized with the Designer of
The reciprocal relationship between culture and design occurs worldwide.
Corporate and technological globalization has led to an international culture
in which ideas, design, products, media, and other cultural influences are
model has remained essentially the same. But now, multiculturalism, envi-
ronmentalism, changing demographics, and the rise of non-traditional living
arrangements have brought about a new cultural perspective on design.
Lisa Marie Tucker is a lifelong educator who continually aims to expand
the viewpoints of her students. She will receive the Nancy Vincent McClelland
Merit award for her efforts to enhance design education by broadening the
curriculum to include sustainable and socially responsible design.
Design can also be a force for change. As all beginning design students learn,
design encompasses both form and function. Harmonizing form and function
involves problem-solving, and that leads to innovation. When designers innovate,
they introduce new ways of thinking, behaving, and looking into the culture.
Consider the development of workplace design. Throughout most of the
20th century, the model for workplace design—whether a manufacturing plant,
office, hospital, or department store—was the factory, with an emphasis on
efficiency, conformity, and managerial hierarchy. As the country has moved
into the digital age and toward a service- and knowledge-based economy,
the nature of work began to change, and with it the workplace. Businesses
called upon designers to help them integrate new technology and make
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Designer of Distinction winner