CooperHewitt Design Museum
2 East 91st Street, New York, NY
Through August 21st, 2016
“… ‘Beauty’ will expand the discourse around the transformative power of aesthetic innovation. The exhibition will celebrate design as a creative endeavor that engages the mind, body and senses with works of astonishing form and surprising function.” ~ Caroline Baumann, Director
Inaugurated in 2000, the Triennial series looks at new developments in design as they surface in studios, fairs, shops, galleries and media around the world. A panel of international curatorial advisors from Brazil, England, Japan, South Africa, Finland, United States and the Netherlands. The exhibition is designed by Tsao & McKown Architects.
The fifth installment of the museum’s popular contemporary design exhibition series features more than 250 works by 63 international designers. Projects range from experimental prototypes and interactive games, fashion ensembles, hair art, decorative art, and architectural interventions.
According to the website, the exhibition explores the theme of ‘beauty’ through seven lenses:
Extravagant: Designers use rich materials and shimmering, sometimes deceptive, surfaces to create an aura of luxury, glamour, seduction and excess.
Intricate: Performing astonishing feats of craftsmanship and physical construction, designers and artisans create textured or patterned surfaces that engage the eye in a wandering journey.
Ethereal: Designers create forms that shape space, time, light or air, sometimes defying permanence and weight in favor of ephemeral materials or fleeting effects.
Transgressive: Embracing androgyny, antiform, the grotesque, the formless and the fantastic, designers blur established boundaries and definitions, challenging normative standards of beauty, gender, genre or behavior.
Emergent: Emulating nature and embracing code and mathematics, designers create rules and processes that determine the final outcome of a project, working with data flows and user interactions to create responsive forms.
Elemental: Drawing energy and character from basic materials, designers create serene geometries and uncluttered forms that invite intuitive interaction from users.
Transformative: Under the hand of the designer, familiar materials, vocabularies or forms assume new and surprising identities.
Cant make the show? Order a copy of the catalogue here.
Beauty, The Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial will travel to the San Jose Museum of Art in October, 2016.
Photo by Matt Flynn © 2016 Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
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