AIGA Design Legends Gala

[Laura Shore]  “What on earth were you thinking?!” I asked, when I heard that my friends on the AIGA board, Pam Williams and Kenna Kay {aka the Gala Girls}, had volunteered to sell tickets and tables to this year’s AIGA Gala. Back in the Summer, the Federal Reserve couldn’t sell bonds, and here we were trying to fill the ballroom at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC! And then… there we were, in our best black outfits with glittery accessories.

We saw good friends from across the country, got to meet our design heroes and heroines, and – only at AIGA – got to build our own Eames-style table centerpieces designed by Jacob Trollbäck on Mohawk Superfine in the three-story Waldorf ballroom.

For me, one of the best parts of an event like the Gala is the gossip. I was particularly encouraged to hear that many firms are starting, just maybe, to see their business turn around for the better. AIGA President Debbie Millman reminded us in her opening remarks that when designers come together in tough times, we rediscover the power of design to make a difference. Mark Randall has certainly done this with WorldStudio, and it was great to hear him recount personal stories of scholarship winners {for which Mohawk is a major sponsor}.

I always look forward to the Corporate Leadership Award presentations. This year’s winners, JetBlue and Patagonia, reminded me that passion, design, and business can come together to make our lives better at work and at play. But it was the AIGA medalists, Pablo Ferro, Doyald Young, and Carin Goldberg, who demonstrated a passion, humility, and respect for craft that I found truly inspiring. Unlike many in the room who knew these honorees, I was unfamiliar with much of their work, so it was new and revelatory for me.

I’m especially looking forward to seeing Carin’s presentation at Make/Think, the upcoming AIGA conference in Memphis. If you missed the Gala, don’t miss the conference. It’s a great opportunity to immerse yourself in design and draw inspiration from the best the profession has to offer. And of course there’s the gossip, the parties, Graceland, Stax Museum of American Soul Music, good friends from across the country who you never get to see. Only at AIGA.

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Comments (7)

  1. Posted by Michael Hodgson on 09.23.09 at 11:27 am

    and as for those co-chairs!!!!

  2. Posted by Laura S. on 09.23.09 at 12:41 pm

    I know…. Unsung heroes every one. Thanks so much to Mick Hodgson (#4?! but who’s counting?) and Ken Carbone. I hope the Gala Girls bought you martinis!

  3. Posted by Michael Hodgson on 09.23.09 at 12:50 pm

    No drinks from the Gala Girls, but I will hold their tab open on that one, actually correction Kenna bought me a very nice single malt, which I regretted the next day, so its just Ms. Williams who is till (and always) outstanding!!

  4. Posted by Pam Williams on 09.23.09 at 1:29 pm

    Speaking for one-half of the Gala Girls, we still owe many, many martinis. And Mick, it would be virtually impossible to pay you back for all that you do!

  5. Posted by Michael Hodgson on 09.23.09 at 1:38 pm

    xxx who else can wear long gloves, a tiara and a laptop and still look stunning?

  6. Posted by The Editor on 09.24.09 at 10:12 am

    OMGigi. I kuhnfess I hadn’t scrolled down to see the vision of high-tech loveliness: Pamelina la Fashionista with her Apple of Accord! She should be the inaugural image in a series showing people in glam settings with their Apples. And punny titles, natch.

  7. Posted by Pam Williams on 09.24.09 at 2:56 pm

    Always, ALWAYS on the job!

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