The poster on the fence outside the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum showed a photograph of the Tata Nano with the caption “actual size.” That didn’t mean that it was easy to install for display in the museum, as you can see from this little movie (filmed by our media makers Shamus Adams and Alex Tibbets). One of the challenges of using the Carnegie Mansion as a design museum is that the architects of the building never expected that we would want to install a motorcar in the great hall!
The good news is that our RE:DESIGN renovation project is under way. Work has started on the Miller/Fox townhouses on 90th Street that will house the National Design Library and staff offices. When we have moved into the renovated space next year, work will start on the Museum itself, adding new gallery space on the third floor and allowing us to offer a permanent (but frequently refreshed) exhibition on the ground floor called “What is Design?” There we will talk about the contribution that design can make at all levels, illustrated by examples from our collection and elsewhere.
A major advantage of the RE:DESIGN project will be an elevator with plenty of room for people and things to reach any of the three exhibition floors. We will increase our exhibition space by sixty percent to over 16,000 square feet, allowing us to host travelling exhibitions as well as mounting our own. During the time while the work is going on, we plan to spread the word about design in other locations in New York and around the country, as I mentioned in the “Dandelion Seeds” blog post (April 7th).