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FIT Awards 2012 Lawrence Israel Prize to Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Cheri Fein, executive director, Public and Media Relations
press@fitnyc.edu, 212-217-4700

Designers for High Line and Lincoln Center Renovations

Presentation by Charles Renfro to Take Place on March 15
Free and Open to the Public

The architectural and design firm of Diller Scofidio + Renfro is the recipient of the 2012 Lawrence Israel Prize, awarded by the Interior Design Department at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). The prize, endowed by architect Lawrence J. Israel, has been given annually since 1998 to an individual or firm whose ideas and work enrich FIT Interior Design students’ course of study. Each year, the award recipient is invited to give a public talk on a relevant topic.

Charles Renfro will give a presentation about the work of Diller Scofidio + Renfro on Thursday, March 15 at 6 pm at FIT in the John E. Reeves Great Hall, Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center, Seventh Avenue at 28th Street. This event is free and open to the public, with no reservations required.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the firm known for the High Line and the renovation of Lincoln Center, is a 75-person interdisciplinary studio based in New York City. For three decades, the firm has been involved with all fields of design, as well as graphics and print-oriented installations and experimental dance and theater productions. Past and current projects include museums, restaurants, civic buildings, entertainment complexes, houses, high-rise residential mixed-use developments, and theater and performance pieces. Prominent among these are The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston; The Brasserie in the Seagram Building; the Blur Building, Switzerland; and Moving Target, a dance work made in collaboration with Charleroi/Danses, Belgium and loosely based on Nijinsky's uncensored diaries. In 1999, The MacArthur Foundation awarded Diller and Scofidio with the first “genius” award ever given in the field of architecture.

The Lawrence Israel Prize committee noted, “Diller Scofidio + Renfro stands as a keen role model for all students of design, particularly for our students at FIT. Whether it is exterior or interior, written or spoken, their work inspires thought. One never simply inhabits a work by DS+R; instead they provoke us with new perspectives both literally and metaphorically. They’ve proven to New York how unnecessary it is to pull down the house when smart surgical insertions can upturn a foundation. More than architects, they are the alchemists and choreographers of a new mode of dwelling.”

Past Lawrence Israel Prize honorees are:

2011 David Rockwell
2010 Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis
2009 Gaetano Pesce
2008 Avro|KO
2007 Lindy Roy
2006 Jamie Drake
2005 Adam D. Tihany
2004 Bromley-Caldari
2003 Vicente Wolf
2002 Billie Tsien
2001 Clodagh
2000 Margo Grant Walsh, Gensler
1999 John F. Saladino
1998 Charles Gwathmey

FIT’s Interior Design program, named by DesignIntelligence as one of the country’s top ten interior design programs, by the website www.schoolofinteriordesign.org as among the top ten programs in the world, and by Examiner.com as the number one interior design program in New York City, has been preparing students for success for more than 50 years. This rigorous, multidisciplinary program combines the academic study of the history and theory of interior design with practical, hands-on projects. In classes taught by industry professionals, students learn drafting techniques, computer modeling, lighting, and materials and methods, with an emphasis on sustainability and user health and safety.

FIT is a leader in career education in art, design, business, and technology, with a wide range of programs that are affordable and relevant to today’s rapidly changing industries. Part of the State University of New York, the college offers more than 45 majors leading to the AAS, BFA, BS, MA, MFA, and MPS degrees.

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