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Mayor Bill White Proclaims World Day of Design in Houston

Alchemy Awards honor people making Houston better by design

HOUSTON, April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Houstonians on the leading edge of design were honored at a press conference for the Houston Alchemy Awards today ( atop the Hilton-Americas Hotel downtown. Elected officials, business leaders and Houston's creative community congratulated winners in five categories: Monica Pope (food), Hines (shelter), University of Texas School of Nursing, Houston (health), Horizon Wind Energy (energy), and Anne Olson/Buffalo Bayou Partnership (catalyst).

"Design professionals and their work are driving forces in Houston's economy today," said Mayor Bill White, as he proclaimed World Day of Design in Houston. "Their creativity generates the energy that makes Houston a place where people want to be."

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 5,000 Houstonians work in the design industry, with an annual payroll exceeding $334 million. More than 2,000 Houston students are enrolled in University programs preparing for design industry careers.

Mayor White, Houston City Councilman Peter Brown, and the Mayor's Assistant for Cultural Affairs, Emily Todd, joined a group of creative professionals spanning architecture, fashion, graphic arts, publishing and urban design who aim to make Houston as synonymous with good design as with oil, space flight and medicine.

"Design is an essential part of everything we create as a society, from apparel to products, structures to communication. The Alchemy Awards is an important step toward recognizing Houston companies utilizing design as a strategic business decision to improve the quality of our lives," said Jim Mousner, founder of Origin, a Houston-based creative firm and presenting sponsor of the Alchemy Awards.

A distinguished jury selected the 2008 Alchemy Award honorees. The judges were: Diane Barber, Co-Executive Director, DiverseWorks Art Space; Chloe Dao, Fashion Designer and Creator, Lot 8 Boutique; Craig Minor, Principal, Minor Design and Designer, CITE magazine; Kellye Sanford, Designer, Gloss magazine, Houston Chronicle; Barrie Scardino, Executive Director, AIA Houston; Jason L. Stuart, Executive Director, Urban Land Institute Houston; Emily Todd, Mayor's Assistant for Cultural Affairs.

Alchemy Awards are given in five categories, the first four recognize areas in which design has the greatest potential to improve quality of life for the most people: Food, Shelter, Health, and Energy. A fifth category, Catalyst, honors a champion of good design who has created a lasting legacy in Houston. Criteria for Alchemy Award nomination include: Creative Excellence, Innovation, Business Success, Environmental Responsibility and Community Impact.

World Day of Design in Houston is the local version of an observance held each April around the world. In celebration of World Day of Design, an independent jury of design industry leaders selected Houston Alchemy Awards honorees to recognize companies, institutions and individuals transforming the ordinary into the exemplary through excellent design in all applications.

For more information, visit or contact Ann Taylor or Sahar Wali at Origin, 713-520-9544.

SOURCE Alchemy Awards
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