When creating Design Life Now: National Design Triennial, the curators decided not to organize the exhibition by discipline (graphic design, product design, architecture, and so on), or by theme (green, social, formal, technological, etc). Instead, the show is more like life, where diverse objects and images sit beside each other in loose affiliations. Some rooms in our exhibition focus loosely around a topic, such as medical innovations, large-scale technology projecs, or social media, but by and large, the exhibition likes to mix things up. (The visual flow was determined largely by the exhibition designer, Sandra Wheeler of Matter Practice Architects, working with the curators.)

Not everyone likes the mix. A review in the Architect’s Newspaper, for example, asked, “How do you look at Chip Kidd’s book covers next to Alison Berger’s lamps?” (January 17, 2007).

But I like seeing Chip Kidd’s work near domestic objects (and I like seeing them in our very domestic museum space). In real life, you might find a book in a bookstore with lots of other books, but you can also find a book at home, with tables, lamps, furniture, and many other things.

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