AIGA Gala 2017

The world is a mess. Said everybody. Always.

And yet, the world is still here. And so are we.

And that says to me that besides gravity and the sun and physics, there’s something else that’s been keeping the world spinning like clockwork all these millennia.


Because if the world has always been a mess and if we didn’t marshall our intellects to build a spaceship and leave, it means we believe we can fix it. We imagine what that world might be and set about trying to make it a reality. Over and over and over again.

And again.

And that’s why we’re all here tonight. Because design, if it’s anything, is hope in practice. Hope made visible.

If it wasn’t, why would we bother? Why would we try to create things that expand someone’s experience of the world? Make sense out of the chaos? Clarify understanding? Attempt to give deeper meaning to life?

Everything about design is hopeful, because it uses our knowledge of the past, to inspire our imaginations today, to push the world forward, closer and closer, to the place we think it can be.


So let’s remind everyone that design is more than something you look at, or touch, or hold, or hear, or taste. Design is the constant act of creating the world we all look forward to.

And that’s as true today - and tonight - as it’s ever been. Welcome to the 2017 AIGA Awards Gala.

Last week I was honored to open and co-host the 2017 AIGA Awards Gala. I was joined by my friends and co-hosts Bobby C. Martin Jr. and Christine Taylor.

The event earned AIGA almost two and a half times more than what it had raised in previous years thanks to the extraordinary efforts of the crew at AIGA and AIGA/NY - and the leadership of new director Julie Anixter. Those funds go to scholarships, education and the support of designers at every stage in their careers.

We honored an extraordinary and diverse group of medalists thanks to the work of of Bonnie Siegler, who led the 2017 AIGA Medal Committee. The honorees were all distinguished leaders whose persistent forward-thinking and profound mastery have reimagined design’s impact on business, education, and our communities:

And I was extra thrilled that ten members of my own team from COLLINS joined us, too.

Overall, I’d say, a good night. Foward to next year, AIGA!