The Rowena Reed Kostellow Fund


10 January 2010

Tom Patti to Receive 2010 Rowena Reed Kostellow Award

Tom Patti, industrial designer and glass artists, will be awarded the Rowena Reed Kostellow Award for his dedication to 3 dimensional design. The ceremony will take place the Knoll Showroom, 76 9th Avenue, NYC, on January 28, 2009.

The Award recognizes people who advance the principals of design that Rowena Reed Kostellow developed and rewards those who have excelled with the application of those ideas. “The committee selected Tom because of his multidisciplinary innovations and the beauty of his work. I knew him when we were students and he embodied Miss Reedness” says Tucker Viemeister, Rowena Fund Chair.

Tom’s body of work includes small scale sculptural works, visionary architectural systems, product designs and large architectural art commissions. Published and exhibited throughout the world, his work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Museum of American Art in Washington D.C., the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Louvre in Paris and numerous others. While at Pratt, Tom experimented with inflatable plastics, embracing the relationships between art, engineering and architecture, seeking and developing solutions for global housing issues. Patti became interested in glass for its form potential. His art reveals itself in transparent cross-sections that encapsulate veils and patterns within the borders of simple, sophisticated forms. His work reflects a multidisciplinary spirit - encompassing an interest in architecture, design education, engineering, science, and the power of creativity.

Tom Patti joins the other champions of the abstract principals 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, Judy Collins, Bruce Hannah, Ted Muehling, and Lucia N. DeRespinis. These teachers, entrepreneurs and designers embody the mission of the fund: to encourage and guide a systematic educational approach to all forms of visual expression, which is inspired by Rowena’s teaching.

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.