"The President’s Medal of the Architectural League is presented to recognize extraordinary contributions to architecture and design.
Massimo and Lella Vignelli are awarded the 2011 President’s Medal in recognition of a body of work so influential that it has shaped the very way we see the world, and so perfectly conceived and executed in its specifics that each encounter with a Vignelli object or book or sign or space is a moment of delight. The integrity and consistency of Massimo and Lella Vignelli’s work, their commitment to the essential, the timeless, the rational, and the beautiful, inspires now and will continue to inspire long into the future."
In an hommage to the Vignelli's, Pentagram's Michael Bierut designed the programs for the evening with famous "Vignelli-isms" as they are called. They encompass a design ethic and a world view that champion the beauty of symmetry and simplicity. As classically trained Architects, they have married the worlds of architecture and design, Italian craft and American ingenuity – all the while, reminding us that the greatest legacy of design is that it provides us with the material artifacts of our culture. The Vignellis' body of work shows us that through great design these artifacts will withstand the test time, become ageless, out grow the obsolescence and ephemera of modernity and in doing so, will become part of the history of visual culture, and how future generations will come to know us.