The timeless debate between art and design

Dr. Yosef Wosk delivered a thoughtful and empowering speech to the awardees, their colleagues, friends and families at the 2019 Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design presentation ceremony. 

He spoke of the age-old debate between art versus design, what distinguishes art from design, and how this award unites them both. 

“The artist, the fine artist, the free artist, the pure artist operates more perhaps as a shaman, as a revolutionary as a transformer and as a lover. Whereas the applied artists’ work is more often thought of as domesticated, as tamed, as practical, as ritualized. Perhaps the greatest champion and master of applied art and design was Willam Morris, the author, the designer, the printer and the seller of this book from the Kelmscott Press 130 years ago. 

One of his most famous statements, ‘If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it, have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’.  

There are two different things he’s brought together as we have brought together tonight art and design. ‘Know’ means to understand; it’s a rational idea, it’s logic, it’s most often related to practical design. And ‘believe’ is more transcendent, intuitive, the pure art.  

Those who we celebrate this evening are among the few, the rare, the best who are both artists and designers, mystics and manufacturers. You are the hybrid few who bridge both worlds and allow the rest of us to cross between otherwise unreachable dimensions.” 

To those applied artists who are recognized by the Carter Wosk Award program, we salute you for making the practical, more beautiful. And we invite those of you who are artists and designers to nominate now for the 2020 Carter Wosk Award in Applied Art + Design.  

Online nomination forms are at until August 9th


Join the Conversation, Share the News.