SVA LogoConceived by the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, the National Design Awards honor the best in American design. Several faculty members from the School of Visual Arts (SVA) were designated as winners and finalists for the awards this year, including MFA Design Criticism Department faculty member Ralph Caplan, the winner in the Design Mind category. The MFA Design Department had an impressive showing in the Communication Design category, with faculty members Stephen Doyle and Maira Kalman designated as winner and finalist, respectively. BFA Advertising and Graphic Design Department guest lecturer John Jay was also named a finalist in this category.

Two design studios with MFA Interaction Design Department faculty members at their helms were designated as finalists: Local Projects, whose founder and principal is Jake Barton, was a finalist in the interaction design category and frog design, whose vice president of creative is Robert Fabricant, is a finalist in the product design category.

On the film festival circuit, Mark Kendall, a current student in the MFA Social Documentary Film Department, continues to garner praise for his short film The Time Machine, which was completed for a class project at SVA last year. Kendall’s film recently earned top honors from telegraph 21, the innovative website for documentary filmmakers, as part of its Best of Student Docs 2010 contest. One of just four winning films from an international pool of submissions, The Time Machine will be showcased on telegraph21 in September. Kendall also took home a 2010 Golden Eagle Award in the Student Division (Documentary) from CINE, a non-profit organization that has been dedicated to recognizing the work of outstanding filmmakers, videographers, producers, directors and other craftspeople in the film, television, and new media industry since 1957. Kendall was joined by alumnus Dustin Grella (MFA 2009 Computer Art), whose narrative stop-motion animation Prayers for Peace about his younger brother’s death on deployment with the U.S. military in Iraq also won a CINE Golden Eagle.

In photography as in film, the summer brings a series of high-profile prizes. Of the five student awards given at The New York Photo Festival this year, two went to SVA graduates: Natan Dvir (MFA 2010 Photography, Video and Related Media) and Stanislava Georgieva (BFA 2010 Photography). Dvir won in the Social Documentary – Essay category, and Gerogieva won in the Fine Art – Series competition. Both Dvir and Georgieva will have their work included in the New York Photo Awards 2010 Annual book as well as the forthcoming New York Photo Festival 2011.