Author: Chris Gauthier

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Watercolor map of New York City
Maptiles by Stamen Design
Stamen Design’s founder Eric Rodenbeck discusses the inspiration behind the design of Watercolor Maptiles, recently acquired by Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum. Watercolor Maptiles is a web-based open-source mapping tool designed by Stamen Design, a San Francisco-based data visualization and cartography design studio and winner of the 2017 National Design Award in Interaction Design. Launched...
Behind the Design: E. McKnight Kauffer
How do graphic designers engage with Cooper Hewitt’s own graphic design collection? Curators Caitlin Condell and Emily M. Orr welcome their recent collaborators, designers Lucinda Hitchcock and Lucienne Roberts, to discuss their experiences of interpreting the work of commercial art pioneer E. McKnight Kauffer (American, 1890-1954). Hitchcock and Roberts each drew inspiration from the museum’s...
Willi Smith: On the Record
American designer Willi Smith (1948-1987) hoped to solve what he called “the problem of getting dressed,” or the disconnect between fashion and diverse lifestyles, by using affordable, adaptable clothing as a tool to liberate people from stereotypes of race, class, sex, and gender. Smith’s brand WilliWear relied on collaborations with artists like Bill T. Jones,...
Behind the Design: The Dorothy Liebes Papers
How can an archive draw a map through a nearly forgotten designer’s four-decade long career? How can an 8 x 10 inch fabric swatch embody a design era, from material choices to color palette? What role can invoices and order books play in filling in key gaps and bringing that era to life? Designer Dorothy...
National Design Awards Cities: Detroit
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum hosts this lively conversation among winners and jurors of the 2021 National Design Awards, which recognize innovation and impact and the power of design to change the world. The discussion looks at contemporary challenges and opportunities in design, including equity and climate change, as well as the role of collaboration...
Behind the Design | Emoji Stories
How are emoji created? How are they evolving? How do they represent us? Since their origins in Japan in 1997, emoji have become ubiquitous, rising alongside digital communications. We use them playfully or to add snark or emotion to a text thread. They enliven or emphasize digital text. We use them to identify ourselves, and...
Fashion, Culture, Futures Symposium
Fashion, Culture, Futures: African American Ingenuity, Activism, and Storytelling is a two-part symposium co-organized by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Presented virtually Thursday, June 17, and Thursday, Oct. 21, both programs bring together academics, designers, critics, models, artists, activists and others to share new...
The Hewitt Sisters | Short Stories
Step into 1890s Manhattan and explore the stories of the women who founded Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Hear from curators and historians who have studied the legacy of Sarah and Eleanor Hewitt—their lives, travels, and the making of a museum. 00:01 Introduction by Matthew Kennedy, Publishing Associate, Cooper Hewitt 11:11 “Friends, Careers, Wars, and...
Arab Fashion and Identity
ARAB FASHION AND IDENTITY The Contemporary Muslim Fashions exhibition showcases the diversity of Arab and Muslim fashion styles and highlights Arab participation in the global and regional fashion industry. Join Cooper Hewitt for an engaging discussion about fashion and identity in the Arab world and diaspora, moderated by consulting exhibition curator Reina Lewis. Panelists include...