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.”
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.
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