Rowena Reed Kostellow Fund Honors Industrial Design Alumni Everardo Jefferson and William Cotton


For the 30th anniversary of the Rowena Reed Kostellow Award, Everardo Jefferson, BID ’68, and William Cotton, BID ’07, were honored for their outstanding achievements and leadership in design. The Rowena Reed Kostellow Fund recognizes every year Alumni of the Pratt Institute whose work advances design principles developed by industrial designer and educator Rowena Reed Kostellow. The 2020 awards ceremony took place virtually on August 13.

Rowena Reed Kostellow created Pratt’s industrial design program with her husband, Alexander Kostellow, and Donald Dohner in the late 1930s. A campus teacher for more than five decades, she played a central role in develop a basic program for art and design students which has been widely adopted by colleges across the country. She was particularly interested in fostering visual literacy through a deep understanding of structure and dimension so that the next generation of artists and designers will make the world a better place. The Rowena Reed Kostellow Fund at Pratt was established after her death in 1988. It celebrates and communicates its heritage by supporting the continuation of its teachings with scholarships, publications and other programs.

Jefferson is honored with the 2020 Rowena Reed Kostellow Award for her work in the fields of architecture, education and preservation. He studied at Pratt with Rowena Reed, Bill Folger and Ivan Rigby and then attended the Yale School of Architecture. With Caples Jefferson Architects, which he co-founded in 1987 with Sara Caples, he focused on how architecture can engage with the social issues and cultural context of a community. The company’s projects range from Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn that complements the surviving homes of a 19th century black community to the Starr East Asian Library at Columbia University who graciously remodeled a Fine Art design by McKim, Mead & White. Jefferson is a longtime teacher at colleges and universities, including most recently as Louis I. Kahn Visiting Assistant Professor at the Yale School of Architecture. He is currently the New York City Monument Preservation Commissioner promote the preservation of buildings of architectural, historical and cultural importance in the five arrondissements.

Cotton is honored with the Young Designer Award for his inventive and multidisciplinary design practice. While freelancing for Domino magazine shortly after graduating from Pratt, he founded his own design company. Through this, he broadened his design work to encompass furniture, lighting, objects, flooring, and commercial and residential interiors, always pushing the boundaries of form and size. That the playful intersections of his Pick up the collection lighting or the eclectic interior of home of artist Cindy Sherman, he brought an original perspective to dynamic designs. In 2010 he launched a tableware line with Bergdorf Goodman and in 2017 he was added to the AD100. In 2019, he was appointed Senior Vice President and Creative Director of Ralph Lauren Home.

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