EDISON, N.J., Oct. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- On Monday, October 15, 2012, Pratt Institute named Maximilian Riedel, 11th-generation CEO of Riedel Crystal, a Pratt Legend at the school's 125th Anniversary Gala held at the Waldorf=Astoria in New York City. Chosen by the Brooklyn, NY-based arts and design school for his "design expertise, ingenuity and leadership of Riedel Crystal of America," and for the revolutionary design of the world's first-ever varietal-specific stemless "O" glassware series, Maximilian accepted the Pratt Legend Award from presenter Kurt Gutenbrunner, Austrian-born chef of Blaue Gans and the Michelin-starred Wallse. The honor follows a collaboration spearheaded by Maximilian between Riedel subsidiary Nachtmann and Pratt in 2010 and 2011, in which he mentored students in a product design competition, selecting winning designs by two Pratt students and culminating in Nachtmann's production of two new collections, Petals and Quartz.
"When I approached the Pratt Institute regarding the Nachtmann competition, I could not have predicted the success of the program," offers Maximilian. "It is rewarding to know that the Pratt Institute values the collaboration as much as the Riedel family does, and the worldwide success of the winning designs is a testament to young designers' talent and energy." For Pratt's acknowledgment of Maximilian's contribution to the design landscape through his "often copied, never duplicated" stemless "O" series of wine glassware, Maximilian said that "it is with humility and gratitude that I accept the Pratt Legend Award."
The 2010 Pratt competition, resulting in the marketing of the winning designs in 2011, followed a similar program first tested with Parsons The New School for Design in 2008. Maximilian has remained committed to nurturing young, emerging talent worldwide, undertaking a third competition with Sweden's Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in 2011 and Musashino Art University in 2012. The winning designs of the Konstfack collaboration will be sold at fine retailers nationwide in 2013.
Noting the "invaluable experience" offered to the students who participated in the Nachtmann competition, Pratt Institute Chairman Mike Pratt and President Thomas F. Schutte acknowledge Maximilian Riedel's visionary leadership, as both a designer and businessman. "Riedel's designs, including [Maximilian's] highly popular 'O' collection, have made the enjoyment of fine wines accessible to millions," the two said in a joint statement, "demonstrating the remarkable impact that designers and artists can have on society and culture."
Maximilian accepted the Legend Award alongside fellow 2012 honorees Julie Taymor and artist Kehinde Wiley, following past Pratt Legend Award recipients Richard Meier, Dale Chihuly, Takashi Murakami and Diane von Furstenburg, among others. The acknowledgment is the latest in a series of honors bestowed upon Maximilian Riedel since he introduced the world's first-ever varietal-specific stemless glassware, the "O" series, in 2004. Named a 2006 House & Garden Tastemaker, Maximilian most recently accepted Wine Enthusiast's prestigious Wine Star Generations of Innovation Award, presented jointly to Maximilian and his father Georg J Riedel, 10th-generation, who oversees Riedel in Europe and Asia. Maximilian's designs for glassware and decanters have been acquired by the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco MoMA and the Corning Museum of Glass.
For more information on Maximilian Riedel, Nachtmann and Riedel Crystal, please visit www.riedel.com.