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Image features design for rectilinear air purifier in metal and wood laminate with hand-holds and modern glass vases displayed on top. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Let’s Clear the Air: The Rise of the Domestic Air Purifier
In ancient Greece, air (along with earth, water, fire, and aether) was one of the five elements thought to comprise all substances. Questions of air quality began to arise in the Middle Ages, even before the composition of the atmosphere was discovered.[1] In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as coal became deeply entrenched in both...
The Architecture of Deafness: On the Subversive and Dignified Architecture of the Deaf School
Written by Jeffrey Mansfield Set in picturesque Casco Bay in southeastern Maine, Mackworth Island is a peculiar knob of land. It is a place I have known since I was a child: to the Deaf community it is known for The Governor Baxter School for the Deaf, to the locals for its hiking trails and...
This Museum is Gorges
Where does a building end and the earth that surrounds it begin? Often, this question is easy to answer. We tend to think of buildings and land supporting them as separate entities. This preliminary drawing by the Weiss/Manfredi Architects for the Museum of the Earth in Ithaca, New York shows us that sometimes buildings and...
Flight of the RoboBee
Though it weighs in at just 80 milligrams, you’ll definitely want this little RoboBee in your corner. Designers Kevin Y. Ma, Robert J. Wood, Pakpong Chirarattananon, and Sawyer B. Fuller at Harvard School of Engineering and Applies Sciences, in collaboration with the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, followed nature as their guide to create...
The Internet of Buttons
The Nest Thermostat found its way into our collection a couple of years ago. It made perfect sense at the time. The Internet of Things was quickly becoming a thing, and devices like the Nest were popping up in a variety of shapes and forms. From a design standpoint, the Nest solves a number of...
High Performance Museums and Galleries
Installation view, Yinka Shonibare Selects: Works from the Permanent Collection exhibition, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution, 2005. Photo: Andrew Garn, © Smithsonian Institution, reproduced courtesy of the artist, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, and James Cohan Gallery, New York At a recent salon sponsored by Urban Green, industry pros discussed new strategies and the changing...
What’s Your Footprint?
This Friday, April 22, is Earth Day. On April 20, 1970, the first Earth day celebration was launched. It sparked a momentum credited with launching the modern environmental movement and the creation of many environmental laws, such as the landmark Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. Currently, Earth Day involves over one billion...
Optics and Aesthetics
  James Carpenter Design Associates opened their studio doors to Cooper-Hewitt Members on October 6. Members were captivated by the ‘show and tell’ of prismatic effects of transmitted and reflected light. JCDA seeks to bring light into our lives in a way we recognize, translating its abundance or rareness, and always its richness. Masters of...
Bill’s Design Talks: David Owen and Our Green Metropolis
New York City is widely considered an ecological nightmare—a wasteland of concrete and high-rises, diesel fumes and traffic jams, garbage and pollution. But, in the groundbreaking work of contrarian environmental thinking that is Green Metropolis, David Owen declares New York City as the greenest community in America. In Green Metropolis, David Owen conceives a new...