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Illustration of Design, cover
Lockwood de Forest Teaches Indian Design
This publication was written by Lockwood de Forest during the years of his retirement from decorating after moving permanently to Santa Barbara, California.  As he says in the preface, de Forest wrote the book for design teachers so they could teach the principles of Indian design to students, helping them generate pattern through using certain...
Design is a process
From “eureka” to “uh-oh”, Design Is A Process. And designing the design museum has been quite a process in itself. The newly renovated Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum will open its doors on December 12th, 2014. The new museum experience will be like nothing you’ve ever seen, brought to you by an interdisciplinary team of...
Design for an ewer featuring foliate scrolls and miniature nymphs
An Extravagant Ewer: Jean-Charles Delafosse’s Greek Style
This is a design for an ewer by the Parisian architect, designer, decorator and print maker, Jean-Charles Delafosse (1734-91). Delafosse engaged in diverse artistic productions producing urban planning proposals, architectural plans, furniture designs as well as drawings of ruin capriccios and allegorical and ornamental prints. His designs were widely circulated across France, England, and Germany...
Drawing of a fantasy landscape with flying boats
When Ships Fly
Ships, precariously tethered to mountain tops by garlands, hover over a landscape of pure fantasy in this graphite drawing by the French artist Jean-Baptiste Pillement (1728-1808).  Pillement was known for his imaginative prints featuring chinoiserie designs that were in essence European variants of Japanese and Chinese motifs. Pillement was a prolific artist who operated in...
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Mirror, mirror on the wall; which is the bluest of them all?
Everyone has a favorite color, but how often are our conscious thoughts trained on those inclinations for various tints and hues? Our careless observation of the essentials of design was of paramount importance to Josef Albers, a German artist and color theorist whose lessons at the Bauhaus, Black Mountain College, and Yale focused on overcoming...
Circular molded plate with curved upturned edge; white ground printed with black irregular lines and twelve reserve vignettes with furniture, kitchen tools, plants, etc.
A Heaping Plate of Design
After World War II, design boomed in Europe. Colors were brighter, lines more dynamic and materials more industrial—affordable modernism emerged to feed thriving consumers in the 1950s. The now iconic Homemaker tableware line started as a challenge for young English designer Enid Seeney. She was tasked with creating an “all-over” pattern for fashionable rimless plates....
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Education Innovation Award
The Education team was excited to take a field trip to Washington DC to be part of the Smithsonian Education Innovation Awards. Although, we often travel for individual programs, this was one of those rare chances where the whole team got to travel together. After a short flight and a nice celebratory lunch, we headed...
Behnaz Sarafpour on Design
Behnaz Sarafpour is this year's National Design Award winner for Fashion Design. Hear her speak about fashion, nightlife and the art of creating a "look." The National Design Awards were conceived by the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum to honor lasting achievement in American design. The Awards are bestowed in recognition of excellence, innovation, and...
June Cohen and Chris Anderson on Design
TED is this year's National Design Award winner for Corporate & Institutional Achievement. Hear June Cohen and Chris Anderson speak about their beliefs on imagination, a philosophy of "radical openness," and design. The National Design Awards were conceived by the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum to honor lasting achievement in American design. The Awards are...