design

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Drawing of a fantasy landscape with flying boats
When Ships Fly
Ships, precariously tethered to mountain tops by garlands, hover over a landscape of pure fantasy in this graphite drawing by the French artist Jean-Baptiste Pillement (1728-1808).  Pillement was known for his imaginative prints featuring chinoiserie designs that were in essence European variants of Japanese and Chinese motifs. Pillement was a prolific artist who operated in...
Mirror, mirror on the wall; which is the bluest of them all?
Everyone has a favorite color, but how often are our conscious thoughts trained on those inclinations for various tints and hues? Our careless observation of the essentials of design was of paramount importance to Josef Albers, a German artist and color theorist whose lessons at the Bauhaus, Black Mountain College, and Yale focused on overcoming...
Circular molded plate with curved upturned edge; white ground printed with black irregular lines and twelve reserve vignettes with furniture, kitchen tools, plants, etc.
A Heaping Plate of Design
After World War II, design boomed in Europe. Colors were brighter, lines more dynamic and materials more industrial—affordable modernism emerged to feed thriving consumers in the 1950s. The now iconic Homemaker tableware line started as a challenge for young English designer Enid Seeney. She was tasked with creating an “all-over” pattern for fashionable rimless plates....
Education Innovation Award
The Education team was excited to take a field trip to Washington DC to be part of the Smithsonian Education Innovation Awards. Although, we often travel for individual programs, this was one of those rare chances where the whole team got to travel together. After a short flight and a nice celebratory lunch, we headed...
June Cohen and Chris Anderson on Design
TED is this year's National Design Award winner for Corporate & Institutional Achievement. Hear June Cohen and Chris Anderson speak about their beliefs on imagination, a philosophy of "radical openness," and design. The National Design Awards were conceived by the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum to honor lasting achievement in American design. The Awards are...
Behnaz Sarafpour on Design
Behnaz Sarafpour is this year's National Design Award winner for Fashion Design. Hear her speak about fashion, nightlife and the art of creating a "look." The National Design Awards were conceived by the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum to honor lasting achievement in American design. The Awards are bestowed in recognition of excellence, innovation, and...
smiling woman standing inside a picture frame holding post-it notes.
Meet the Staff: Vassiliki Giannopoulos
Can you explain a little bit about the type of work you do? I manage the National Design Awards program – organizing everything from the nomination, submission, and jury processes to the White House and Gala celebrations. What do you enjoy most about your work? Working with passionate people, both at the Museum and in...
Cooper-Hewitt Hits Social Media Milestones
                  Cooper-Hewitt has just surpassed 50,000 followers on Twitter and 25,000 fans on Facebook! Since the museum joined Twitter in 2008, we’ve shared more than 4,000 tweets on everything from historic collection objects to cutting-edge design spotted around the world. Cooper-Hewitt joined Facebook in 2007 to share...
smiling man standing inside an ornate picture frame holding a dollar bill.
Meet the Staff: Alvaro Imbrett
Can you explain a little bit about the type of work you do? I work in the Facilities Department where I am involved with general building maintenance and upkeep. I have many different responsibilities, but the focus of my job is to keep all of the Museum’s buildings and spaces—including the Museum offices, National Design...