In the ornate, wood-paneled Teak Room of Cooper Hewitt, a dozen illuminated white sculptures cast a warm glow. The sculptures look like sheets of fabric suspended and spinning in mid-air. There are also two of these forms in red. On a the corner are process models that make clear these ethereal forms are actually cast in plaster. Three gold sheets are suspended in layers near the top of the ceiling with a gold light projected through them. This creates an additional source of illumination.
Remembering Ingo Maurer, Lighting Poet
Author: Cara McCarty, Director of Curatorial Playful, humorous, poetic, and humble are not words typically associated with lighting design. It is considered a serious discipline.  But the work of the prolific German lighting designer Ingo Maurer, who sadly passed this week, is just that.  His endless fascination with the “magical and mystical” qualities of light...
Image features a woven textile with a charcoal gray ground and a pattern of fragmented color wheels, made up of small squares of greens, gray-blues, browns, pinks, and off-whites. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Colorwheel
Since 2006, Hella Jongerius has been working with Swiss furniture producer Vitra, conducting an intensive study of the colors and textures of the materials used in the company’s products, from textiles and leathers to plastics and woods. Her research was intended to help the company’s designers and clients make the best possible use of color...
Image features a cantilevered chair of ribbon-like form, made of natural brown laminated plywood; the front feet slightly raised. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Sinuous Seat
Probably best known for his one-piece injection-molded plastic design, the Panton ‘S’ chair of 1960, designer Verner Panton was sketching ideas for one-piece, self-supporting, cantilevered stackable chairs made of a single material as early as 1955. Panton’s 275 S chair is the first one-piece cantilevered chair made of molded plywood. It was among his entries in the 1956...
X-Ray Vision: Exposing 40 Years of Gadgets
Digital Collection Intern Nicolai Garcia recounts the experience of producing x-ray images of electronic objects from Cooper Hewitt's collection.
Image features a wallpaper with cameos of General Nathanael Greene and a battle scene, printed in shades of gray. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Remembering Major General Nathanael Greene
This wallpaper honoring Major General Nathanael Greene is designed in the arabesque style, a format very popular in France at the end of the eighteenth century. Inspired by the mosaics and painted murals discovered at the recently unearthed Herculaneum and Pompeii, the designs are delicately balanced along a central axis. General Greene, spelled Green on...
Image features yellow file folder with loose sketch in black ink of the basic form of a garden with pathways. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Swirl of Nooks for Contemplation
In celebration of the milestone 20th anniversary of the National Design Awards, this week’s Object of The Day posts honor National Design Award winners. Completed in 2013, Monk’s Garden is a small garden on the grounds of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts. Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates took their inspiration for the garden’s...
Image features: Handwoven fringed rug or length with vertical stripes in dark yellow, blue and red. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Color Harmony
In celebration of the milestone 20th anniversary of the National Design Awards, this week’s Object of The Day posts honor National Design Award winners. In 1959 Louis Kahn was commissioned to design a new building for the First Unitarian Church of Rochester, New York. The congregation had met for many years in a building of...
Image features camera of rectangular form, the housing of red anodized aluminum, one end with a recessed circular lens surrounded by black plastic with small “Lytro” logo, the other end, covered in textured black silicone rubber, with an LCD touchscreen. Recessed shutter release button and controls on top of camera; USB port and power button on bottom; lanyard hole on side. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Refocus
In celebration of the milestone 20th anniversary of the National Design Awards, this week’s Object of The Day posts honor National Design Award winners. A version of this post was originally published on October 1, 2014. Throughout the history of photography, advances in technology—from daguerreotype to digital photography—have continued to propel the field forward. Recently, the...
Image features a wallpaper design of scrolling cast iron work, printed in orange on a red ground. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Wallpaper Stronghold
In celebration of the milestone 20th anniversary of the National Design Awards, this week’s Object of The Day posts honor National Design Award winners. Citadel is among the early wallpaper designs Jack Lenor Larsen created for Karl Mann. This is a striking, intense pattern that needs to be viewed up close or zoomed in on...