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Atlason studio wins Cooper Hewitt’s 2023 National Design Award in Product Design
Pastille upholstery collection for DWR, easy sit-to-stand for aging populations (2022).
Image: Courtesy of DWR
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Atlason studio wins Cooper Hewitt’s 2023 National Design Award in Product Design

Hlynur Atlason's visionary studio was honoured for reshaping the design landscape with iconic creations.

by Pooja Suresh Hollannavar
Published on : Aug 19, 2023

Atlason, the distinguished New York-based strategic innovation and industrial design studio founded by Hlynur Atlason, has been announced as the recipient of the esteemed 2023 National Design Award in Product Design by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Celebrated as the nation's paramount recognition of design excellence, the National Design Awards are a tribute to individuals and teams that exemplify innovation, creativity, and mastery across diverse disciplines. Past laureates of the Product Design category include luminaries such as Yves Behar, Jonathan Ive, Stephen Burks, and Tinker Hatfield, all of whom have left an indelible mark on the design landscape.

Hlynur Atlason, a native of Reykjavik, Iceland, and an alumnus of Parsons School of Design at The New School, founded Atlason studio with an aspirational vision of crafting design icons that resonate with culture, history, and human interaction. His two-decade journey has been marked by a relentless pursuit of elevating the way we perceive, engage with, and embrace everyday objects. The studio's innovative approach has spurred collaborations with a spectrum of clients, from start-ups to multinational giants, including the likes of Museum of Modern Art, IKEA, Design Within Reach, and Microsoft.

In the Product Design category, Atlason studio has consistently demonstrated a commitment to pushing boundaries and reimagining the aesthetics and functionality of consumer products, furniture, and packaging. It is very evidently driven by curiosity and a passion for impeccable design and envisions, creates, and transforms commodities for a diverse range of clients. The studio's impressive portfolio boasts a myriad of notable contributions, such as seating designs for Design Within Reach and L.Ercolani, innovative kitchenware for Our Place, captivating lighting fixtures for Artecnica and Hennepin Made, and packaging concepts for Xbox and Stella Artois.

In May 2023 the studio collaborated with American furniture manufacturer Heller to introduce the Limbo Chair. This ground-breaking creation, made from Low Density Polyethylene using rotational moulding, embodies Atlason's ethos of sustainable design and product longevity, aligning seamlessly with the cradle-to-cradle philosophy.

Reflecting on this prestigious accolade, Hlynur Atlason expressed profound gratitude and pride in being recognised by peers in the industry. As an immigrant who ventured to the United States with aspirations of creative exploration, he acknowledged the opportunities and inspiration that the nation has bestowed upon him and passionately believes that design can be a catalyst for a brighter future, reshaping the world one thoughtful creation at a time.

Maria Nicanor, the director of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, commended this year's cohort of National Design Award winners for their dedication to innovative, sustainable, and socially responsible design practices. Nicanor noted that these visionary designers are carving new paths within their respective domains while focusing on the well-being of individuals and the planet.

The 2023 National Design Awards celebration is slated for October 5th at Cooper Hewitt. The event coincides with National Design Week, during which the museum is set to host an array of engaging design programs, exhibitions, panels, and a design career fair for aspiring students. The public is invited to explore the honourees’ diverse contributions and gain insights into the transformative power of design.

The recognition of Atlason studio's commitment to design excellence through the National Design Award underscores its pivotal role in shaping the design landscape and reinforcing the studio's ethos of creating objects that transcend utility, becoming enduring symbols of creativity and innovation. Hlynur V. Atlason’s dedication to research, brand integration, and craftsmanship underpins the studio and its innovative design philosophy, leaving an indelible mark on the world of design.

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