In celebration of our new exhibition, The Senses: Design Beyond Vision, this Object of the Day post explores the multisensory experience of an object in Cooper Hewitt’s permanent collection. Today’s blog post was written by Greg Herringshaw and originally published on October 22, 2015.

Cord #1 is a greatly magnified image of vertical cords or yarn which creates a very soft and beautiful stripe pattern. Being printed in the single pink color on a white ground makes this a very subtle design that would make a nice complement to other fabrics in the room. The slight irregularity of the stripe pattern give it a handmade appearance, while the very tactile nature of the design would definitely soften any room it was installed in. Each of the seven designs in this collection by Petra Blaisse is a digital image of a textile that has been enlarged up to 300%. This magnification clearly shows the woven structure of the fabrics along with numerous stray fibers, creating a very 3-dimensional look.

Petra Blaisse is a person of diverse talents, having worked in fashion and publicity, landscape as well as interior design. In 1987 she began designing large-scale and quite dramatic curtains for commercial venues, often partnering with architect Rem Koolhaas. She began her own design firm called Inside Outside in 1991, and became known for her successful merging of interior and exterior spaces. Her love and knowledge of textiles led her to design the Touch collection for Wolf-Gordon in 2003.

This wallcovering is currently on view in The Senses: Design Beyond Vision  at Cooper Hewitt through October 28, 2018.


Gregory Herringshaw is head of the Wallcoverings Department at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

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