By  on October 21, 2013

NEW YORK — This month’s government shutdown didn’t deter the Cooper-Hewitt from throwing its National Design Awards at Pier Sixty Thursday night.

Nonfurloughed National Design Museum staffers worked from home, cafés or borrowed office space to try to keep things up-to-speed, including organizing the annual gala. Former vice president Al Gore honored TED, Tom Wolfe waxed poetic about Lifetime Achievement winner James Wines and Elettra Wiedemann touted Fashion Design winner Behnaz Sarafpour at the David Stark-designed bash. And Todd Oldham presented the People’s Design Award to PackH2O, a water-carrying backpack designed by Greif Inc. for women in developing countries. While by no means intentional, the unprecedented lead-up to the gala captured what the actual event celebrated — the transformative power of design.

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