The 2022 Rowena Reed Awards go to Jon Pai and Keith Kirkland

Aug 17 2022 - 9:55am


John Pai BID ‘62 and Keith Kirkland MID ’15 are this year’s winners of the Rowena Award.

The Award promotes the educational pedagogy of Rowena Reed Kostellow, FIDSA, by celebrating the kind of design excellence she taught her students. Two great examples: John Pai has been producing beautiful sculpture for his whole life and Keith Kirkland demonstrated his entrepreneurial design drive founding WearWorks in 2015.

Join the Award Ceremony on Sept 7, 2022, at the Knoll showroom, 1330 6th Ave 1st Floor, New York and on Zoom.



John Pai was Rowena’s student when he studied industrial design and then sculpture in the graduate program at Pratt in the 1960’s. He became the youngest professor to be appointed to the faculty and lead Pratt’s fine arts and sculpture programs. Teaching for nearly four decades, Pai proved a talented educator, simultaneously nurturing generations of sculptors and fostering the burgeoning Korean artistic community in New York. Pai found success exhibiting his oftentimes unfolding, geometric sculptures at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, and the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea. He is represented by Gallery Hyundai. 

Professor emeritus, John Pai told us: “For Rowena, seeing was not a passive past time,  but a call to action: look, think, feel, analyze, Make your best judgement, act on your intuition. Study your work until you understand its language, structure, and most importantly, its nature, until you can carry on a rich and challenging conversation with your work. The quality of that conversation will shape who you are, and your voice will find you.”

Jon Pai

Keith Kirkland is “deeply honored to have been considered for the Rowena Award which was given to 3 of my great teachers: Gina Caspi, Bruce Hannah and Charles Pollock. Reading about her teachings in the book Elements Design is what made me first choose to come to Pratt.” He also studied at Keio University School of Media Design, Tokyo; Royal College of Art, London; FIT, NYC and Rutgers University in NJ. He was a TED Resident and MET MediaLab fellow. Combining design, technology, movement and touch his work with haptic navigation in a wrist-wearable Wayband helped the first blind person run the NYC marathon without sighted assistance. Kirkland also is a juror for the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA)'s International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) 2022.

This Award recognizes people who advance the principles of design developed by Rowena Reed Kostellow, one of most important industrial design educators of the 20th century, and rewards those who have excelled with their application. The previous 33 champions of the abstract principles of visual relationships who have received the award are: Gina Caspi, Ivan Rigby, Eva Zeisel, Gerald Gulotta, William Fogler, Eugene Grossman, Ralph Appelbaum, James Fulton, Louis Nelson, FIDSA, and Judy Collins, Bruce Hannah, FIDSA, Ted Muehling, Lucia N. DeRespinis, FIDSA, Tom Patti, Leonard Bacich, Bill Katavolos, Charles Pollock, FIDSA, Ruth Shuman, RitaSue Siegel, FIDSA, Linda Celentano, Dr. Tom Schutte, Ariana Zarillo, John Cafaro, Cindy Juett, Dean and Sandra Richardson, Rene Bouchara, Simon Hamui, Everardo Jefferson, Billy Cotton, Karen Stone, IDSA, Chen Chen and Kai Williams.  

Keith Kirkland



Since 1997 the Fund has awarded thousands of dollars in cash and scholarships encouraging students’ commitment to excellence. The Fund produced the Elements OF Design book and is helping Pratt develop a digital archive. For more information: