Emerging Technologies and Techniques

Enignum Free Form Chair, 2014. Designed and made by Joseph Walsh, and Joseph Walsh Studio (Cork, Ireland); Olive ash wood stripped into thin layers, then manipulated and reconstructed, suede upholstery. Photo: Matt Flynn © Smithsonian Institution COPYRIGHT:Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

 

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Making | Breaking: New Arrivals

If  you plan to visit any of the city’s great museums make sure to see New York’s Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum where a new show is pushing the boundaries of materials, making and form. With 43 new objects recently acquired the show be on view in “Making | Breaking: New Arrivals” from now through Oct. 29th. Presented in the museum’s first-floor Process Galleries, the exhibition features contemporary works along with related sketches, prototypes and videos to reveal advances in technologies and techniques and illuminate groundbreaking design thinking.

“Contemporary design is a window into the future as designers wield the latest technologies and manipulate materials to reinvent the familiar or introduce something entirely new and needed,” said Caroline Baumann, director of the museum. “Cooper Hewitt’s permanent collection documents the design process over centuries of progress because we place special emphasis on recording creative breakthroughs. Understanding how a designer transforms plastic into flowing fabric or a poster into digital animation provides visitors with a richer, more holistic view of the impact of contemporary design and designers on our lives.”

 

Temple Dress, Mer Ka Ba Collection, 2013. Designed by threeASFOUR, in collaboration with Bradley Rothenberg. Laser-cut bonded silk organza, nylon power mesh underdress. Photo: Matt Flynn © Smithsonian Institution COPYRIGHT:Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

 
 

Evening Purse, 2014–2015; Designed and made by Michael Izrael Galmer. Cast, chased, and electroformed silver, partly gilt silver and mesh silver.Photo: Matt Flynn © Smithsonian Institution COPYRIGHT:Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

 

Today’s designers frequently experiment with new substances and manufacturing methods or time-honored materials and production processes, often leading to new forms and products. The working sketches, prototypes and videos featured in the exhibition elucidate the making of these objects and help viewers understand how technology such as 3-D printing enables the fabrication of impossibly intricate furniture forms, plastic garments that can drape like fabric, or customized medical devices that are lightweight and strong. The exhibition also examines how designers turn to conventional hand-worked materials such as wood, advancing traditional techniques through a contemporary sensibility, exploring or emulating natural growth processes and forms. Cooper Hewitt.

 

Brompton Folding Bicycle, 2016; Designed by Andrew Ritchie. Assembled bent, brazed, and lacquered tubular steel (frame) and titanium (mudguards), synthetic (saddle), molded rubber and Kevlar (tires). Photo: Matt Flynn © Smithsonian Institution COPYRIGHT:Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

 
 

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