MFA Design Department Co-chair Steven Heller and other winners of the 2011 National Design Awards were honored by first lady Michelle Obama at the White House this week (watch video below). Heller was recognized for earning the Design Mind Award, which honors “a visionary who has effected a paradigm shift in design thinking or practice through writing, research and scholarship.”

According to Businessweek, Michelle Obama offered another nod to SVA during the ceremony, quoting the College’s Acting Chairman Milton Glaser. “Good design is good citizenship,” she said, emphasizing that good design improves life for everyone.

Heller and the other recipients will receive their awards from the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum at a gala on October 20 at Pier Sixty in New York City. For more information and to view all the winners of the 2011 National Design Awards, visit Cooper-Hewitt.