AMES, Iowa — Ann (Wright) Au and King Au, co-founders of 2AU Limited jewelry design studio and art gallery in West Des Moines’ Historic Valley Junction, are the recipients of the 2020 Christian Petersen Design Award presented by the Iowa State University College of Design.

Established in 1980, the award is given annually to alumni, staff and friends of the university for distinguished work that advances the design and art professions. It is named for the noted artist Christian Petersen, who was Iowa State’s sculptor-in-residence from 1934–1955.

Ann received a bachelor of arts in craft design from Iowa State in 1981. King received a bachelor of architecture in 1982 and a master of architecture in 1985. They were recognized during the ISU Alumni Association’s 89th Honors and Awards Ceremony, held virtually April 7, and at a special virtual College of Design reception.

At 2AU, Ann designs custom and one-of-a-kind jewelry and curates the gallery’s collection of art from artists worldwide. She co-produces Gallery Night twice a year in Valley Junction.

Ann’s work is in numerous art collections throughout the U.S. She is a member of the Society of North American Goldsmiths, American Craft Council, Jewelers of America, Des Moines Art Center and Historic Valley Junction Foundation.

Ann received the Outstanding Young Alumni Award from the ISU Alumni Association in 1996. She has served on the ISU College of Design Dean’s Advancement Council and the ISU Department of Art and Visual Culture Advisory Council. Prior to founding 2AU, she was a jeweler at the Goldsmiths and Susan Noland Designs in Gold, both in Des Moines.

King also owns Studio Au Inc., a multidisciplinary design practice specializing in visual designs. He is a freelance merchandising photographer for Williams Sonoma Inc. and other major national brands. He received the ISU Alumni Association’s Outstanding Young Alumni Award in 1995.

Before founding Studio Au and 2AU, King was an architectural intern and associate architectural photographer with Charles Herbert and Associates (later HLKB) and an associate architectural designer and architectural photographer with FEH Associates. He served as a freelance editorial photographer for Meredith Corporation from 1993-2015.

The Aus recently established the Design United Award, a College of Design scholarship that celebrates students’ contributions to diversity, inclusion and social justice within the college, university and greater design community. They have provided significant philanthropic support to University Museums and the College of Design. They regularly share their insight and expertise with students interested in similar careers.


King Au, Studio Au, king@studioau.com
Ann Au, 2AU Limited, (515) 255-7651
Rachel Moylan, Design Events and Alumni Relations, rmoylan@iastate.edu
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, hsauer@iastate.edu