Design and Healing: Creative Responses to Epidemics
December 10, 2021 to August 14, 2022
What is design’s role in times of crisis? Communities and individuals come together to aid each other, push for change, and create new spaces, objects, and services. Epidemics—both in the past and in the present—have triggered the discovery of new ways to treat and prevent disease while exposing systemic gaps and failures.
This exhibition will feature the work of designers, artists, doctors, engineers, and neighbors who asked, “How can I help?” In response to crisis, they created medical devices, PPE, mutual aid, infographics, posters, and architecture. Their creative actions have included open-source collaboration, rapid-response prototyping, hacking, and activism. The exhibition is curated and designed by MASS Design Group with Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Architectural case studies and historical narratives will appear alongside creative responses to the current pandemic.
Design and Healing: Creative Responses to Epidemics is made possible with major support from Crystal and Chris Sacca. Generous support is also provided by Lisa Roberts and David Seltzer and Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.
Images: Social Distance Graphic, New York City, 2020, photograph: Jennifer Tobias; Rebirth Garments Mask, 2021, Sky Cubacub, Rebirth Garments; Charlotte Valve and Mask, 2020, Cristian Fracassi and Alessandro Romaioli, Isinnova; GHESKIO Cholera Treatment Center, 2015, MASS Design Group; photograph © Iwan Baan; Social Distance Graphics, Vicchio, Italy, 2020, Caret Studio; Mosquito Net Veil, photograph: Wellcome Collection; Shaash Negative-Pressure Ventilator, 2021, Karnaphuli Industries Limited; Zero-waste Scrub Set, 2020, Danielle Elsener; Paimio Chair and Aino Aalto, ca. 1932; chair: Alvar Aalto; photograph: Alvar Aalto Foundation; New York City Streatery, photograph: Jennifer Tobias; Ventizolve Naloxone Kit, 2020, ANTI (A New Type of Interface); Silence=Death Poster, 1987, Avram Finkelstein, Silence=Death Project; Workers First Poster, 2020, Brian Herrera.