A WilliWear showroom. In an urban / industrial gray warehouse space, garments are suspended not from clothing racks but from chain link fence that lines the wall. The garments are simple blouses and pants. In the background, two models, one woman and one man, look at each other like they're sizing each other up
Willi Smith: Street Couture
Previously On View: Friday, March 13, 2020 to Sunday, October 24, 2021

During his twenty-year career Willi Smith (1948–1987) united fashion and American culture, marrying affordable, adaptable basics with avant-garde performance, film, art, and design. Smith hoped to solve what he called “the problem of getting dressed,” or the lack of control fashion afforded the everyday person, by using clothing as a tool for the liberation of...

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A glamorous model with a medium skin tone sashays in a long scarlet red gown. Her hair is wrapped in silks in cheetah print and jewel tones.
Contemporary Muslim Fashions
Previously On View: Friday, February 28, 2020 to Sunday, July 11, 2021

Contemporary Muslim Fashions is the first major museum exhibition to explore the rise of the modest fashion industry. Modest fashion refers to garments that are both highly fashionable and provide sufficient body cover to address cultural concerns for modesty. Many Muslim women and men dress modestly, in accordance with their faith, but individual and collective interpretations of modesty vary widely.

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Ribbon-like folds of black and white cubes overlaid with colorful cube ribbons that say "Olivetti" and "Divisumma" and have digits and plus, minus, division, equals sighns
Herbert Bayer: Bauhaus Master
Previously On View: Saturday, November 16, 2019 to Sunday, April 26, 2020

Coinciding with the centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus in Weimar, Germany, this exhibition presents rare works by the groundbreaking graphic designer Herbert Bayer (1900–1985). As a student and teacher at the Bauhaus, Bayer helped shape the discourse of modern graphic design. After leaving the Bauhaus in 1928, he worked in Berlin, where he designed commercial advertising and typefaces. ...

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In Cooper Hewitt's gallery, a mannequin wearing a stretchy green athletic suit (including a ski mask) is on display. The mannequin is presented alongside a white chair with branch-like form, a minimalist grey and yellow prosthetic leg, and a white prosthetic leg that is bulky. The gallery is white with historic, ornate gold decorations on the wall and ceiling.
Wyss Institute Selects
Previously On View: Friday, July 12, 2019 to Sunday, March 29, 2020

Wyss Institute Selects: Works from the Permanent Collection is curated by members of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, led by its founding director, Don Ingber, working in collaboration with his co-faculty, Joanna Aizenberg, Jennifer Lewis, Radhika Nagpal, and Pam Silver. Founded in 2009, the Wyss Institute has become a world leader in biodesign engineering. The ...

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A man stares at wonder at the Curiosity Cloud, an installation composed of oversized incandescent lightbulbs suspended from the ceiling
Previously On View: Friday, May 10, 2019 to Monday, January 20, 2020

Designers are forging meaningful connections with nature, inspired by its properties and resources. Their collaborative processes—working with nature and in teams across multiple disciplines—are optimistic responses at this moment when humans contend with the complexities and conditions of our planet. Compelled by a sense of urgency, designers look to nature as a guide and partner....

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A broad view into the gallery for the exhibition The Road Ahead: Reimagining Mobility. On view is a small yellow and black electric vehicle, a white drone in the shape of a glider airplane and a connected set of hexagon panels of circuit boards designed to transform street surfaces into smart, energy-generating infrastructure. Scroll down for more information about the exhibition.
The Road Ahead: Reimagining Mobility
Previously On View: Friday, December 14, 2018 to Sunday, March 31, 2019

The Road Ahead: Reimagining Mobility presents 40 design projects inspired by the technologies that will change how we move people, goods, and services in the future. With the rapid convergence of data and design innovation, cities are becoming smarter and transport options are multiplying. The Road Ahead encourages visitors to creatively consider how droids, bots, drones, and more can make ...

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A gilt-bronze table centerpiece with mirrored glass and hand engraving comprised of classical figures, 3-tiered serving dishes, and Classical ornamental figures and motifs, dated to 1805 and on view in Tablescapes: Designs for Dining.
tablescapes: designs for dining
Previously On View: Friday, October 5, 2018 to Sunday, April 14, 2019

Design has had an enduring impact on the rituals and customs of dining. The centerpiece for Tablescapes: Designs for Dining, which explores three distinct dining moments, is Cooper Hewitt’s magnificent surtout de table. On view for the first time in 30 years, this newly conserved masterpiece, designed by Pierre-Philippe Thomire for the stepson of Napoleon Bonaparte, Eugène de Beauharnais, exemplifies ...

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A group of teen boys sit around a work table experimenting with color combinations in the Process Lab installation Scholten & Baijings: Lessons from the Studio. Scroll down for more information about the exhibition.
Scholten & Baijings: Lessons from the Studio
Previously On View: Friday, September 14, 2018 to Monday, September 2, 2019

An interactive installation in the museum’s Process Lab, Scholten & Baijings: Lessons from the Studio invites visitors to explore the experimental design process of the award-winning contemporary industrial design studio. Founded by Stefan Scholten & Carole Baijings and based in the Netherlands, the studio combines craft techniques with industrial design practices to create tableware, furniture, and textiles. Examples of Scholten ...

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View exhibitions prior to 2015 on the collection site