The guest list read like a catalogue of A-listers: Martha Stewart, Margaret Russell, Alexa Hampton, Patricia and Michael Sovern, Cynthia Frank, Bunty Armstrong, Newell Turner, Michael Bruno, Jamie Drake, Mieke ten Have, Matthew Patrick Smyth...and on and on. The New York School of Interior Design centennial gala, held at Cipriani in downtown New York earlier this month, honored names just as notable: Designer Ellie Cullman received the Albert Hadley Lifetime Achievement Award; industry leader Jim Druckman, president and CEO of the New York Design Center, was honored with the first-ever NYSID Centennial Medal; real estate investor and manager Michael Phillips, president of Jamestown, received the Green Design Award; and landscape architect Deborah Nevins took home the Thomas N. Armstrong III Award in Landscape Design.
Ellie Cullman with Jim and Nancy Druckman
Druckman, who sits on the NYSID board and also serves as treasurer, was recognized in part for his leadership at NYDC, an institution NYSID called both progressive and historic. “Our strategy is to try to be on the forefront of what’s going on in design [such as by] attending as many of the trade shows as I can,” Druckman tells EAL of his approach to growth. “I encourage my tenants to bring in new styles; I look for new tenants when I have availability… You can’t sit on your laurels and be static. You have to look for new ways to teach.”
NYSID trustees Jodie King, Ellen Kravet and Jill Dienst
NYSID president David Sprouls and chairman Patricia Sovern with Martha Stewart; Jim Zirin and Marlene Hess
Jill Esterman, Susan Zises Green, Phillip Costikyan and Beth McDonough
“Personally, I’m not anybody who looks for [awards], and if I had my druthers, I probably wouldn’t accept them! But the school plays such an important part in changing the future of the design profession that it is gratifying to get this medal and that they would think that I—of all these people in a hundred years—deserve it!” He jokes, “Professionally, it’s nice to have people think I know about interior design! I think I really know how to collect the rent.”
Learn more about the school’s lineup of centennial programming.