Author: Laurie Bohlk

View of the Carnegie Mansion from the house's garden, with green foliage on its facade and orange chairs in the grass.
Cooper Hewitt Announces New Board Appointments
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum today announced four appointments to its board of trustees: Jennifer Deason, Paul Leinwand, Natalie Nixon and Ivy Ross.
Three photos in a collage: From left, a young boy in a bright red shirt and black shorts and a teenage girl in a pink shirt and floral pants are seen riding a hot pink teeter totter on one side of a tall, rusty wall. Families crowd around the area observing the action and taking photos; top right photo shows clear plastic orbs filled with messages, which are being handled by men in camouflage attire; bottom right photo shows a large street installation reading in bright yellow, all caps "ACT NOW" and a symbol in the foreground. A group of people carrying flags and banners is visible in the distance.
“Designing Peace” to Open in June at Cooper Hewitt
This June, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum will present “Designing Peace,” an exhibition exploring the unique role design can play in pursuing peace. On view from June 10 through Sept. 4, 2023, the exhibition features design projects from around the world that look at ways to create and sustain more durable peaceful interactions—from creative confrontations that challenge existing structures to designs that demand embracing justice and truth in a search for reconciliation.
Black and white line drawing of the Carnegie Mansion
Cooper Hewitt Announces Recent Acquisitions to the Permanent Collection
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum has announced the addition of several important works to the permanent collection. The museum holds one of the world’s most diverse design collections—over 215,000 objects that span 30 centuries. Among the current collecting priorities are to add born-digital and sustainability-minded works; bolster the diversity of designers represented; and acquire major historical pieces.
Image on left: Square textile in shades of indigo with patterns of figures, animals and leaves. Image on right: Album cover with [TALKINGHEADS] printed in white capital letters at top. Four heads appear in a square grid with facial features partially obscured in red paint. [REMAIN IN LIGHT] appears in small white capital letters at the bottom.
“Duro Olowu Selects” to Open in March at Cooper Hewitt
Nigerian British designer Duro Olowu will guest curate the 20th installment in Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s “Selects” exhibition series, which invites designers, writers and cultural figures to explore and interpret objects in the museum’s permanent collection. On view March 18 to Aug. 28, Olowu’s exhibition highlights the theme of pattern and repetition throughout the collection, demonstrating how designers, artists and makers have relied on pattern to express ideas, preserve heritage, capture attention and construct objects and environments.
Photo of Maria Nicanor.
Maria Nicanor Named Director of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Maria Nicanor, executive director of the Rice Design Alliance (RDA) at Rice University’s School of Architecture in Houston, has been named the director of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, effective March 21. An architecture and design curator and historian, Nicanor has an established career in museum and curatorial work and brings a rich background in architecture and design to the role.
A woman wears blue and white hospital scrubs and face mask, set against a bright pink backdrop.
This December, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum will present “Design and Healing: Creative Responses to Epidemics,” an exhibition examining design’s role in times of crisis. Organized during the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic, the exhibition will feature the work of communities and individuals who came together to aid each other, push for change and create new spaces, objects and services. Architectural case studies and historical narratives will appear alongside creative responses to current pandemics.
Large circular, adobe structure with sticks protruding from the walls, set against distant mountains and crystal blue sky.
This fall, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum will present Mud Frontier: Architecture at the Borderlands, a feature-length documentary about Studio Rael San Fratello’s work to connect contemporary technology with the legacy of pottery making and adobe architecture in the Southwest United States. The 60-minute film will be made available to the public to watch free of charge during its premiere Nov. 17 at the virtual Architecture and Design Film Festival (ADFF). A virtual panel discussion and Q&A session with the filmmakers and studio founders will be held immediately following the premiere, co-hosted by Cooper Hewitt, ADFF and Smithsonian Affiliations.
Cooper Hewitt Announces
2021 National Design Award Winners
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum today announced the winners of the 2021 National Design Awards. The 22nd class of winners were honored for design innovation and impact in nine categories. In October, National Design Month programming will highlight the work of the winners and celebrate the power of design in the everyday world.
Left: Poster with flock of birds in flight against yellow background, with below text: "Soaring to Success ! / DAILY HERALD / — the Early Bird.” Right: Centered stylized black arm swoops forward with extended fist from black round circle, geometric red structure in background of upper right corner. Black, blue, red text: "POWER / THE / NERVE CENTRE / OF LONDON'S / UNDERGROUND".
Cooper Hewitt to Present Largest-Ever Retrospective on Graphic Design Pioneer E. McKnight Kauffer
This September, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum will present the largest-ever exhibition of works by E. McKnight Kauffer (American, 1890–1954), a pioneer of commercial art—the profession known today as graphic design. On view Sept. 10 through April 10, 2022, “Underground Modernist: E. McKnight Kauffer” will feature some 200 objects to examine the designer’s impact and legacy across media.