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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In a large room with walls embellished with gilded paint on the decorative ornamentation and a wood inlaid floor, large swatches of fabric of various designs hang over a glass vitrine. An exotic bird with glossy blue feathers and a dramatically long tail is posed standing on a bar and enclosed in a glass vitrine and several large, antique books displayed open. Two large preserved eagles are in another vitrine, lying on their sides. Scroll down to learn more about the exhibition Rebeca Mendez Selects.
Rebeca Méndez Selects
Previously On View: Friday, October 5, 2018 to Sunday, June 16, 2019

Designer, artist, and educator Rebeca Méndez is the 17th guest curator of the Selects series, for which designers, artists, writers, and cultural figures are invited to mine and interpret the permanent collection. Winner of the 2012 National Design Award for Communication Design, Rebeca Méndez was born in Mexico and is the founder of Los Angeles-based Rebeca Méndez Design. For her ...

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Leaf Pitcher, designed by Lajos Mack, ca. 1901. Squat gourd form with leaf shaped spout and gourd stem handle with green and gold iridescent luster finish. Scroll down for information about an exhibition of Iridescent design
Iridescence
Previously On View: Saturday, July 28, 2018 to Sunday, October 27, 2019

The term iridescence derives from Iris, the Greek goddess of the rainbow, and refers to a vibrant optical effect of rainbow-like colors that change in the light. Found on pearls and insect wings, iridescence draws from and celebrates the natural world’s multidimensional colors and organic forms. Since the Middle Ages, designers have experimented with ways to achieve an iridescent effect ...

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A detail of a woven textile designed by Richard Landis featuring a complex geometric design of interlocking squares and rectangles in blue, brown, grey, and beige, and light blue. Scroll down to learn more about our upcoming exhibitions.
Color Decoded: The Textiles of Richard Landis
Previously On View: Saturday, June 9, 2018 to Sunday, March 17, 2019

Richard Landis (American, born 1931) is a master weaver who pursued a nearly lifelong investigation of pattern and color. His double-cloth textiles are complex systems of closely related full-tones and half-tones of color, organized into abstract geometries of endless variation. In Landis’s weavings, small, medium, and large rectangles and squares repeat in ever-changing order, and every possible color combination is ...

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This is an image of the exhibition Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color on view at the museum through January 19, 2019. Scroll down for more information about the exhibition.
Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color
Previously On View: Friday, May 11, 2018 to Sunday, March 17, 2019

Saturated explores the elusive, complex phenomenon of color perception and how it has captivated artists, designers, scientists, and sages. Featuring over 190 objects spanning antiquity to the present from the extraordinary collections of Smithsonian Libraries and Cooper Hewitt, the exhibition reveals how designers apply the theories of the world’s greatest color thinkers to bring order and excitement to the visual ...

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Left to right, a prototype of the Dot Watch with touch sensors; Cotton candy dish made of 3D-printed sugar designed by Studio Rael Fratello; Curtain made from Bolon fibers by Studio Joseph for installation in upcoming exhibition The Senses: Design Beyond Vision. Scroll down for more information about the exhibition.
The Senses: Design Beyond Vision
Previously On View: Friday, April 13, 2018 to Sunday, October 28, 2018

Explore experimental works and practical solutions designed to inspire wonder and new ways of accessing our world. Wander through a scented snowstorm, play a furry instrument in a Tactile Orchestra, investigate the sonic properties of glass, and experience many more multisensory experiences from some of the world’s most creative thinkers, including Christopher Brosius, KunstLAB Arnhem, Studio Roos Meerman, Maya+Rouvelle, and ...

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Braun hair dryers, Cifra Flip Clock, and scientific pocket calculator. Some of the objects on view in Bob Greenberg Selects. Scroll down for information about the exhibition.
Bob Greenberg Selects
Previously On View: Friday, February 23, 2018 to Sunday, September 9, 2018

Bob Greenberg is the sixteenth guest curator of the Selects series, which invites designers, artists, writers, and cultural figures to explore and respond to the permanent collection. A 2003 National Design Award winner for Communication Design and founder of the international design innovation company R/GA, Greenberg has been a pioneer of the advertising and communications industry for four decades. To ...

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A photograph of several of the objects on display in the exhibition Access+Ability. Information about the exhibition is below this photograph.
Access+Ability
Previously On View: Friday, December 15, 2017 to Monday, September 3, 2018

There has been a surge of design with and by people with a wide range of physical, cognitive, and sensory abilities. Fueled by advances in research, technology, and fabrication, this proliferation of functional, life-enhancing products is creating unprecedented access in homes, schools, workplaces, and the world at large. Access+Ability features over 70 innovative designs developed in the last decade. From ...

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installation view of Karasz exhibition
Ilonka Karasz
Previously On View: Tuesday, October 10, 2017 to Sunday, April 22, 2018

Ilonka Karasz (American, b. Hungary, 1896–1981) is an important yet overlooked figure in 20th-century design. During her long and prolific career, she worked in a wide variety of media, producing designs for wallcoverings, textiles, carpets, lighting, ceramics, metalwork, toys, and furniture. She is perhaps most well known for her popular cover illustrations for the New...

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View exhibitions prior to 2015 on the collection site