Meet the Staff: Alvaro Imbrett

Can you explain a little bit about the type of work you do?
I work in the Facilities Department where I am involved with general building maintenance and upkeep. I have many different responsibilities, but the focus of my job is to keep all of the Museum’s buildings and spaces—including the Museum offices, National Design Library, and Master's Program classrooms—clean, well maintained and functioning at their best.

What is the most challenging part of your job?
I enjoy the challenge of maintaining Cooper-Hewitt’s new administrative spaces in two townhouses on East 90th Street. The Museum moved into our new administrative home in fall 2011 and there are always challenges with running and maintaining a new space.

What do you enjoy most about your work?
I enjoy working with a great team in Facilities and Operations. I learn something new from my peers every day.

What is good design? Bad design?
Good design is something that has form and meaning, and sends a message. Bad design often lacks meaning.

How has the renovation either opened new doors or posed new challenges for you?
When the project is complete, the Facilities Department will be given the challenge to clean and maintain a newly restored National Historic Landmark so that all guests have a wonderful experience in our galleries, shop, café and garden.

Looking forward, what are you most excited about once the museum reopens?
I am excited for visitors to come back to the Museum. I look forward to guests enjoying the restored and well maintained Mansion.

What is your favorite Cooper-Hewitt exhibition to date? Why?
My favorite exhibit was Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef and Arpels, with its many emeralds, diamonds and rubies. It was interesting to learn about the history of the jewelry worn by leaders and artists, and the amazing attention these works of design attracted.

What was the most memorable moment for you at Cooper-Hewitt?
My most memorable moment was seeing Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis visiting the Museum. I remember how much she enjoyed the Museum’s shop.

What is your favorite place on the museum campus?
I enjoy the Mansion’s conservatory. It is a peaceful space, with wonderful views of the garden.

Finally, if you could redesign anything, what would it be?
I would redesign elevators and vertical transportation systems. I dislike being trapped in elevators, and I feel they should be more reliable.

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