COLLAB, the group of design professionals which supports the Philadelphia Museum of Art's 20th century decorative arts collection, has selected architect Richard Meier as the recipient of its 1996 Design Excellence Award. The prestigious award will be presented on Wednesday, October 30, 1996 at 5:30 pm by Anne d'Harnoncourt, Director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Following the award ceremony, Meier will give a slide lecture about his work and introduce his exhibition of furniture and product design, opening that evening in the 20th century galleries of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The show, which runs until February, 1997, is designed by Richard Meier and presents his process of design in sketches, models, and drawings, as well as finished products created for such well known companies as Knoll Design and Swid Powell.
Utterly refined and elegant, Richard Meier's architecture displays a consistency and a commitment which often eludes the trendier, more fashionable architecture styles of the pre-millennial era. A prominent force in modern architecture since the 1960's, Meier was heralded by Vanity Fair Magazine's July, 1996 issue as the "architect of the decade" by virtue of his $1 billion Getty Center commission - nearly the largest single commission in history - scheduled to open in Los Angeles in late 1997. While the facade of the six-building arts complex diverges from Meier's trademark white metal material palette by using sand colored travertine, the form remains classic Meier. Richard Meier & Partners portfolio is notably diverse, including housing and private residences, museums, high-tech and medical facilities and commercial buildings. His office recently completed the Museum of Television & Radio in Beverly Hills and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona, Spain, and recently won a competition sponsored by the Vatican to design a "Church of the Year 2000."
As part of COLLAB's education initiative, a city-wide college level student design competition asks students to consider an interior gallery within the Stadthaus (a civic exhibition and assembly building) in Ulm, Germany designed by Meier, and design a seating unit to work within the space. The jurors this year include furniture designers, Robert & Barbara Tiffany; art historian and gallery owner, Robert Aibel; architect, interior and furniture designer, Tom McHugh; and architect Timothy Douglas from Richard Meier's office. Jurors will select three finalists from the entries, and awards will be presented following Meier's talk. A selection of the students entries will be on display in Daffy's 17th Street window through November.
As part of COLLAB's fund-raising effort, Meier has created a limited-edition, signed and numbered silk-screen. The collage image, titled "Objects", includes some signature Meier elements such as his key chain design of four squares centered in a circle. The lithograph can be purchased for $90.00 plus shipping before October 30th. To order, call: 215/925-7198. A limited number will also be available in the Museum shop on and after October 30th for $100.00.
COLLAB supports the Philadelphia Museum of Art's activities in the field of contemporary design through education, research and special events. COLLAB's gifts of rare and unusual objects has enriched the museum's pre-and postwar decorative arts collections.