About the exhibition

“…it not only represents the world of the future; it is announcing the brave new present.”—New York Times

The first U.S. major exhibition of the Dutch designer Joris Laarman and his multidisciplinary team, known for their pioneering and elegant applications of digital technologies.  Working at the intersection of design, art, and science, Joris Laarman Lab is abolishing traditional distinctions between the natural and machine made, the decorative and functional to produce design of flawless beauty and technical ingenuity.

The exhibition explores Laarman’s conceptual thinking, as well as his embrace of experimentation to fuel the creative process. Organized around each significant step forward in the Lab’s research and development, the exhibition presents the full range of Joris Laarman Lab’s empirical investigations of digital design; from the iconic Bone Chair generated from algorithms that mimic bone growth to a pedestrian bridge built in midair using advanced robotic 3D printing. Twenty-one process videos document the Lab’s collaborative environment and high-tech tools— providing fascinating demonstrations of digital technology in action, as well as the skilled craftsmanship that is equally important to each object’s evolution. Pushing design beyond its current dictates, the Lab’s scientific and technological breakthroughs are advancing how we will design, manufacture, and distribute the objects of tomorrow—and  point to a future where form and fabrication will surpass the limitations of industrial production.


A selection of objects featured in the exhibition.

Exhibition programming

Touch Tour
January 10, 2018
2:30 p.m.
Museum educators will engage participants in conversation and touch experiences of the exhibition. Learn more.

exhibition catalog

Cover of exhibition catalog for Joris Laarman Lab

An upfront and personal introduction to a vanguard of design innovation, with a back cover featuring a custom-created stereogram image of a Joris Laarman Lab design. Available from SHOP Cooper Hewitt.

Joris Laarman Lab: Design in the Digital Age is organized by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and the Groninger Museum, the Netherlands. It is curated by Mark Wilson, Chief Curator and Sue-an van der Zijpp, Curator of Contemporary Art and Design, at the Groninger Museum and Andrea Lipps, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Design at Cooper Hewitt.

Joris Laarman Lab: Design in the Digital Age is made possible by the generous support of Amita and Purnendu Chatterjee and the May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Inc. Support is also provided by the Ehrenkranz Fund, the Dutch Culture USA program of the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York, The Iwata Family Foundation,Tory Burch, Kim and Al Eiber, and the Creative Industries Fund NL.