Previously On View: February 23, 2018 through September 9, 2018

See exhibitions currently on view.

About the exhibition

Bob Greenberg is the sixteenth guest curator of the Selects series, which invites designers, artists, writers, and cultural figures to explore and respond to the permanent collection. A 2003 National Design Award winner for Communication Design and founder of the international design innovation company R/GA, Greenberg has been a pioneer of the advertising and communications industry for four decades. To emphasize design’s key role in our increasingly connected world, Greenberg chose 42 significant works that illustrate how technology has propelled design innovations in form, style and function over the past 65 years. Presented in four groupings—Dieter Rams’s Ten Principles for Good Design, Connected Devices, Disruptive Innovations, and Measurement and Calculation—the installation underscores how historical objects point to future innovation.


A selection of objects from the exhibition.

Download the Bob Greenberg Selects app

Experience cutting-edge interactive technology, learn more about the exhibition, and explore the connections among the broad range of objects on view. The Bob Greenberg Selects app is downloadable for free and offers state-of-the-art image-recognition technology for visitors to “scan and learn” by taking a picture of an object and discovering explanatory and related materials. Users of the app can also connect at any time to the audio commentary provided by leading designers, including Bob Greenberg, Cooper Hewitt’s Senior Curator of Contemporary Design Ellen Lupton, and Pentagram partner Michael Bierut.

Download the app for iOS and Android.


Bob Greenberg Selects is made possible by the Marks Family Foundation Endowment Fund.

From the blog

Image features two people, one laughing, who sit in front of red typewriter. Please scroll down to read the text related to this image.
Behind the Scenes of Bob Greenberg Selects
The founder, chairman, and CEO of R/GA, a worldwide digital advertising agency, product and service innovator, and consultancy. Bob Greenberg is the 16th guest curator in Cooper Hewitt’s Selects series, in which prominent influencers, designers, and artists are invited to mine and interpret the museum’s collection of more than 210,000 objects. The R/GA team made three videos...
Image of a panel discussion at Cooper Hewitt. From the left: Bob Greenberg in black, Jackie Goldberg in a pink flower dress, John Maeda in a gray suit, and Debbie Millman in black.
An Evening with Design Pioneers
A conversation with Bob Greenberg, Jackie Goldberg, John Maeda, and Debbie Millman.
Image features eyeglass-like wearable technology with titanium frame that is a plain band on the left side and on the right side holds a clip-on camera, computer, battery, and speaker. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
O.K. Glass…
In celebration of Women’s History Month, March Object of the Day posts highlight women designers in the collection. When Isabelle Olsson, head of Industrial Design for Wearables, arrived at Google she was given the brief to make the existing clunky Google Glass prototype (a cellphone’s motherboard, a battery, and a Pico projector all taped to...
Circuar hanging scale with white outer circle with increments in ponds around outer edge. Yellow center with Braun logo. Wire hook at top and wire arm with foam semi-circle end at bottom. Please scroll down for a blog post about this object.
Pleasing the Eye and the Ear
As the head of design at Braun, a German consumer goods manufacturer, from 1961 to 1995, Dieter Rams created a myriad of products—from calculators to fans to watches–which are now considered hallmarks of 20th century industrial design. Many of these objects are currently on display in Bob Greenberg Selects at Cooper Hewitt until September 9, 2018....
Times Are A-Changing
Danese, the Milanese manufacturer of this calendar, often collaborated with the Italian designer Enzo Mari. Together they created a range of products—from domestic tools to office supplies. Their products strove to underscore “the dimension of play as a cognitive tool.”[1] The Timor calendar reflects this philosophy as it requires the user to flip around the...
A New World of Color
These HLD 4 No. 4414 hair dryers announce a new design idiom for the hair dryer with their rounded rectangular shape and bold colors. On the hair dryer’s front face there is a bisected slotted grill. Two central rows of slits correspond to the placement of a black rocker switch, which is easily operated with...
The Brick
We’ve come so far technologically that cell phones are now in museums. And in a museum is likely the only place most people will have seen this model – the world’s first commercially available handheld cellular phone. When it came out, it weighed 2.5 pounds, required ten hours for charging for 35 minutes of talk...
Ahead of the Times
Dieter Rams, the co-designer of this alarm clock, said that good design should “omit the unimportant in order to emphasize the important.” This travel alarm clock embodies his philosophy and design aesthetic—one which became iconic for Braun in the 1970s. The clock features an economic use of color and Akzidenz Grotesk, an easy-to-read sans serif...