contemporary design

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Foliate plaster dome lamp
Marcel Wanders’ Secret Garden
Warm, yellow light bathes a hemisphere of delicately molded plaster flowers, spindly tendrils and leaves. Shadows deepen the foliate reliefs, a luminous dome suspended above the ground. All the elements of an ornate plasterwork ceiling are compressed into a compact sphere. Marcel Wanders’ Skygarden hanging lamp relies upon the unquestioned unity of stylistic opposites: completely...
Snapshot of Design Miami/ 2013 highlights: Emerging designers
Design Miami/ is always a stunning collection of modern and contemporary design under one roof, but can be a bit overwhelming without knowing where to look. I led tours of the fair (the Museum’s second tour collaboration with DM/) to provide insight into this year’s highlights, connecting the works on view and illuminating themes. Honestly,...
Design and Food Journal 03: Slowing Down
Tableware as Sensorial Stimuli. (Image credit: Jinhyun Jeon, http://jjhyun.com/?portfolio=tableware-as-sensorial-stimuli-2) Over the past few months, a number of design and food trends have been catching my attention. One is the idea of slowing down, inherent in the work of many student design projects I’ve recently seen. Afterall, what can (hopefully) inspire us to slow down more...
A Deeper Dive: Design Miami/ Tour Highlights
It is easy to miss the highlights when you don’t know where to look. At Design Miami/ 2012, there were many, and the guided tours I led sought to help visitors navigate the fair by taking a deep dive into the content, illuminating themes and historical continuity in the contemporary work. What follow are five...
A wilted icon at Design Miami/
Tour Eiffel Lamp. Designed by Studio Job, 2012. Carpenters Workshop Gallery. (Image from http://art.sy/artwork/studio-job-tour-eiffel-lamp.) The work of Dutch design firm Studio Job is at once humorous, witty, and ironic, heavy on ornament and always well-crafted. Without fail, I am intrigued to see what they come up with next as an expression of contemporary decorative arts. At...
Design and food at Design Miami/
Biccio fillet, part of the Faked Meat series by Marije Vogelzang on view at the Food Culture exhibition. Design and food continues to be an area of design practice garnering attention as it pushes at the boundaries of what we think of as traditional design. (Full discloser, I am organizing an exhibition on the subject.) Case...
What IS that? And more at Design Miami/…
Float. Designed by Snarkitecture, 2012. Volume Gallery. As a curator focused on contemporary design, one of the things I seek out is trends. At this year’s Design Miami/, opening December 5th, one of many trends I’m already spotting is the unexpected. Designers are challenging our eye, whether through their material choices, forms, or program, confounding...
Meet the Staff: Ellen Lupton
Can you explain a little bit about the type of work you do here at Cooper-Hewitt? As Senior Curator of Contemporary Design, I organize exhibitions and contribute to the museum's publications and public programs. Sometimes I come up with ideas for new exhibitions, and sometimes I'm asked to work with a team of other curators...
Design and Food Journal 02: Pop-ups
M25 Luncheon. (Image credit: The Back Room by Faye Toogood.) The London Design Festival has since passed (it was held September 14 – 23, 2012), but one trend has held my attention: the design and food pop-up. This is by no means a new phenomenon at international contemporary design festivals, but it continues to be...