Is it possible to to smell flowers driven to extinction? To transform  pollution into a work of art?  For a building to become a biome of coexistence for people, plants, and butterflies? Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum presents Experience Cafe—a night of interactive activities and conversations with designers featured in Nature—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial. Guests will rotate through stations spanning the museum and explore the possibilities that lie at the intersection of design and nature.

Featured projects include:

  • Terreform ONE’s Monarch Sanctuary, which proposes new urban habitats for monarch butterflies, whose wild populations are being decimated by climate change.
  • Origami Membrane for 3D Organ Engineering, an origami-based system for engineered organs that can collapse into a folded structure without damaging the biological material inside. The system is created by Chuck Hoberman, Richard Novak, Elizabeth Calamari, Sauveur Jeanty, and Donald Ingber, at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University.
  • Resurrecting the Sublime, which recreates the smell of extinct flowers using DNA from specimens preserved at the Harvard University Herbaria. It is created by  artists Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg and Sissel Tolaas, and synthetic biologist Christina Agapakis of Ginkgo Bioworks.
  • Ultraboost Shoes by adidas x Parley, which are designed and fabricated using recycled marine plastic waste.
  • AIR-INK, which collects CO2 emissions from fossil-fuel powered cars and diesel engines and purifies the emissions into a carbon pigment that is manufacutred into ink. The project is spearheaded by Anirudh Sharma, co-founder of Graviky Labs.

Check in and cash bar open at 6:00 p.m.
Rotations begin promptly at 6:30 p.m.

This is timed, ticketed program. Participants are encouraged to arrive promptly.

Find out about Cooper Hewitt’s accessibility services

Nature—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial is made possible by support from The Ainslie Foundation. Additional support is provided by Amita and Purnendu Chatterjee, the August Heckscher Exhibition Fund, the Esme Usdan Exhibition Endowment Fund, and the Creative Industries Fund NL.

Funding is also provided by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York as part of the Dutch Culture USA program, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Featured image: Origami Membrane for 3D Organ Engineering (2018-) Chuck Hoberman, Richard Novak, Sauveur Jeanty, Donald Ingber, Elizabeth Calamari – Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University (Cambridge, MA, USA)