Using design objects from the current exhibition Energizing the Everyday: Gifts from the George R. Kravis II Collection and works from Cooper Hewitt’s collection, Curatorial Director Cara McCarty will examine how scientific inquiry, technology, and our persistent fascination with manipulating materials—from plastics and aluminum to silicon chips and LCDs—have impacted modern industrial design, as well as our desire for increasingly responsive and customized products.
“Energizing the Everyday” recognizes the collecting vision of George R. Kravis II and its synergy with Cooper Hewitt’s broad and diverse collection of modern and contemporary design. An early interest in phonograph records and a background in broadcasting inform Kravis’s enthusiasm for and knowledge of radios, televisions, and technology. As Kravis’s passion for design grew, he expanded his collecting efforts beyond American electronic devices to include industrial design and furnishings for the home and office from the United States, Europe, and Asia. The exhibition features highlights of the Kravis collection dating from the early 20th century to the present. From industrial design and furniture to tableware and textiles, the exhibition makes visual, material and conceptual connections across time and geography to relate the far-reaching impact of design on the enhancement of daily life.