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Saturday, October 13, kicks off the seventh annual National Design Week. Hosted by the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, National Design Week runs from October 13–21, and features free public programs, activities, and events celebrating “… the important role that design plays in all aspects of daily life.” Newly added this year is, an interactive site listing National Design Week events hosted by institutions and organizations around the country where users can share event details and information.

Design-week.jpg2011 National Design Award winners discuss the state of contemporary design at the Winners’ Panel. Copyright:Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution

By signing in with Twitter users will be able to browse events happening near them and receive recommendations of events friends are attending or speaking at. In New York City, a comprehensive suite of programs and events for all ages includes family-friendly activities such as Target Design Kids: Kid Made Modern With Todd Oldham, where kids ages 5 to 12 will get to design their own pieces from everyday and recycled materials with Todd Oldham, and Drop-in on Design: Family Programs, where families can explore design through hands-on activities.

High school students will have a chance to learn about careers in design from industry leaders working in the fields of fashion, industrial, multimedia, graphic design and architecture at the NYC Teen Design Fair on October 15, following a keynote by Tim Gunn, chief creative officer at Liz Claiborne Inc. and co-host of Lifetime’s Project Runway.

2011-Teen-Fair-HR087.jpgHigh school students participate in the Teen Design Fair with fashion designer Sena Yang. Photo: Richard Patterson. Copyright:Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution

Other highlights include a live webcast of the National Design Award winners discussing the state of contemporary design in America moderated by Lifetime Achievement winner Richard Saul Wurman and #Knowosphere, an exploration of “contemporary trends in collaborative communication and design and how they can be used to shape a sustainable human journey” with Andrew Revkin, professor, author and creator of the New York Times Dot Earth blog.

National Design Week participants are encouraged to use the hashtag #ndw2012 to share their experiences. Visit for more information on National Design Week or to find events near you.

National Design Week Logo. Copyright:Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution