Author: Seb Chan

Highlights from Solar Wall
The Solar Wall is featured in Tools: Extending Our Reach, on view from 12.12.2014 to 5.25.2015. Video display of the Sun’s surface from the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly aboard NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO); Satellite launch date: February 11, 2010. Courtesy of Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
3D scanning the Carnegie Mansion
See how state-of-the-art 3D scanning, 3D imaging, and 3D printing techniques came together in this epic effort to fully model Andrew Carnegie’s 1903 mansion in the heart of New York City. The Cooper Hewitt museum, which is housed by the Carnegie mansion, has made this 3D data freely available for architects, filmmakers, video game developers,...
Design Talks | Redesigning Cooper Hewitt
From a bold new font to a brand new name, hear how Cooper Hewitt is reimagining itself for the 21st century and how the museum’s new identity was conceived and designed. Eddie Opara (Pentagram) and Chester Jenkins (Village) talk with Caroline Baumann, Cooper Hewitt’s director, about the new graphic vision for America’s design museum.
Chair, Consumers Rest, ca. 1991
Shopping carts crashing (servers)
In post-apocalyptic cinema the slow sweeping shot of a half-submerged shopping cart in a river is a standard – just before the horde of zombies lurch onscreen. Symbolic of consumerism under late capitalism, in these films the shopping cart is a marker of our (lost) civilization. Shopping carts also evoke memories of childhood – hours...
a diptych showing on the left a collection of black-and-white ceramics arranged on a table, as if in a shop, and on the right a photo of Cooper Hewitt director Caroline Baumann posing on a large curving interior stair.
Cooper-Hewitt in Czech Republic
It was an action-packed trip to the Czech Republic last week to receive the 2013 Ladislav Sutnar Award for Cooper-Hewitt's contribution to the world of design and the promotion of Sutnar's legacy and work. Cooper-Hewitt is proud to have the largest archive and collection of Sutnar in the United States, which includes nearly 23,000 archival...
Planetary: collecting and preserving code as a living object
  “This is a field in which one does one’s work and it will be obsolete within 10 years.” – Steve Jobs, 1994 Cooper-Hewitt has just acquired its first piece of code. Although the collection has objects that are the end result of algorithmic processes, notably Patrick Jouin’s 3D printed chair, Solid C2, this is...
Formed as a slatted back rest fanning out with spindles that resemble peacock feathers framed by a rounded crest rail ending in a rope cord seat. The legs of the chair splay out slightly and are connected by a stretcher. Below the seat, two sticks rise up and are continued above by the arm support, where these two elements meet at an acute angle through the arm rests.
Down the Rabbit Hole

In this latest report on your usage of our new online collection, I'm going to look at entry points.

One of the main aims of an online collection these days is to move beyond a "view on a database" and deliver some of the affordances of a gallery experience—especially the ability to serendipitously discover new rabbit-holes down which to disappear.

Initialed "AC" and "JC"; a base of cream-colored knitted silk is solidly covered with minute opalescent beads; it is further ornamented with gold and cut steel beads in a stylized leaf pattern and a pattern of small rosettes. Two gold rings control side opening; small gold drops at either end.
What’s popular in a museum collection after a user interface change?
In last month’s report we looked at what was popular on our collection site before we launched our new alpha version. I can happily report that traffic to our collection is up by almost a factor of three. That’s three times as much traffic to our collection than before. Even when we exclude the burst...
Scattered motifs, mostly geometric, dominated by large butterfly in the center, embroidered in many colors on a natural linen ground. With a flowering vine border.
Popular objects
Once a month the Digital & Emerging Media team will be reporting back on how objects in the collection circulate online. And here’s our first missive. We’ve just launched a new version of our collections online. We’re calling it an “alpha release,” which means it is unfinished, incomplete, and generally underdone. But, being a design...