Susan Brown

New Day


Often called "England’s Eamses," Robin and Lucienne Day were a designing couple utterly committed to modernism. The unexpectedness and vitality of their postwar interior furnishings, particularly Lucienne’s pattern designs for textiles, carpets, wallcoverings, and dishware, shaped the look of modern England in the 1950s.
Robin Day, Lucienne Day, Festival of Britain, Calyx, Paul Klee, textiles, textile design, england, 20th century, interiors

Extreme Mending


When we talk about sustainability, why don’t we talk about mending? The Netherlands-based Platform 21=Repairing project and its offshoot, Repair Cafés, do just that. Platform 21=Repairing published a manifesto extolling the benefits of mending, and the Repair Cafés bring together skilled tinkerers and those with items in need of repair together in a free social space over tea and coffee.
sampler, repair, sustainability, Dutch, Netherlands, 18th century

Building Movement


An interview with animator James Duesing. Susan Brown: The question I am most frequently asked as a curator is, “How long would it take to make something like that?” In trying to think of a contemporary form that is comparably labor intensive, animation came to mind.
James Duesing, animation, modeling, mapping, Bernini, embroidery, motion capture

The sky is darkening like a stain


Does capturing the malevolent and mysterious quality of Rodarte’s fashions in contract fabrics sound like the impossible brief? Then extra credit is due to this collaboration among former National Design Award winners Rodarte and Knoll. Since their debut in 2005, Rodarte’s collections have been singled out for their intensive, often destructive textile treatments, which have included burning, sanding, and staining.
Kate Mulleavy, Laura Mulleavy, Rodarte, Dorothy Cosonas, Knoll Luxe, W.H. Auden, window treatments, The Moderns, digital printing, National Design Awards

Object of the Month: Finnish Hop


The Lindy Hop was a swing dance phenomenon, but the Finnish Hop?  This lively design was produced by the artists’ collective know as The Folly Cove Designers, for its location near Gloucester on the Massachusetts coast. Many Finnish immigrants had settled there, attracted by skilled work in the granite quarries or the boat building industry. At least half a dozen Finnish immigrants or Finnish-Americans were members of the collective, including Eino Natti and Aino Clarke, who produced large numbers of textile designs.
textile design, Virginia Demetrios, The Folly Cove Designers, Object of the Month, 20th century, American, dance

Object of the Month - February 2012: Knoll Textiles


For over seventy years, Knoll has been a leader in modern workplace furnishings and textiles. Cooper-Hewitt recently added forty pieces of Knoll textiles and furniture to the collection, most of which were recently seen in the exhibition Knoll Textiles: 1945–2010 at the Bard Graduate Center Museum in New York.
Object of the Month, textiles, Knoll, workplace, furnishings, acquisitions

The Right Shoes


Shortly after the Color Moves: Art and Fashion by Sonia Delaunay exhibition opened, I received a call from the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo in Florence. The exhibition features a show-stopping coat designed by Delaunay for the actress Gloria Swanson.
Sonia Delauney, fashion design, coat, Color Moves, Exhibition, inspiration, Salvatore Ferragamo, shoe design, shoes, Gloria Swanson, Hollywood, Inspiration and Vision, Museo Salvatore Ferragamo

Color Moves the Design Library


Color Moves: Art and Fashion by Sonia Delaunay, which opened March 18, brings over 300 examples of the artist’s fashion and textile designs to our galleries. Here are a few fun things that were not included, but can all be found in Smithsonian’s National Design Library, housed here at Cooper-Hewitt.
Color Moves, Exhibition, Sonia Delauney, fashion design, textile design, National Design Library, magazines, rare books, folio

Felt in Haiti


I had the pleasure of meeting recently with Ton Vriens, a Dutch documentary filmmaker and journalist who, through his foundation Turtle Tree, is working with women in Haiti to develop a felt-making co-operative, with the goal of achieving economic and social independence for the members of the self-governed group.
Haiti, felt, collective, women, Tom Vriens, Dutch, documentary, filmmaker, journalist, Turtle Tree, foundation, economic, social, independence, poverty, Fanm Veret Wi Nou Kapab!, Women of Verrettes Yes We Can Do It, grant, Andalusia, spain, Business, training, product development, American, makers, workshops, needlework, organic, wool, source, soft, import, equipment, iPhone, iPod, laptop, covers

Felt at ICFF


I was delighted to see that Lerival – Furniture by Architects is carrying Morehead & Morehead’s brilliant Felt Stool (1).  
International Contemporary Furniture Fair, ICFF, Lerival, furniture, architects, Morehead & Morehead, Felt Stool, synthetic, hand-made, seating, Tanya Aguiñiga, Soft Rocks, pieces, colorful, mixed-media, metal, folding chairs, Gräf & Lantz, wine, accessories, home furnishings, Swiss, wool, coarse, Anne Kyyrö Quinn, strips, wall treatments, acoustics, ABR of Barcelona, Modular, Feel-Thru, room divider, panels, suspend, magnets, curtain, Design Deutschland, Stamp, Hey-Sign, Peter Van Tuyl, DIY, installation, carpet, Rosemary Mifsud, MIO, Green, bowls, lamps, Slice, Lene Frantzen, Berin LLC, FilzFelt

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