functional

SORT BY:
Image features set of 18 clear glass rectangular and square modular, nesting food and beverage storage containers and lids. Containers are of differing heights (about 2" to 6"), widths, and depths. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
KUBUS – A STYLISH 1930s FRIDGE ACCESSORY
Author: Zenia Malmer The ‘Kubus’ clear glass stacking and modular storage system was created in 1938 by German designer Wilhelm Wagenfeld (1900-90), who frequented the Bauhaus school in the former Weimar Republic. Kubus, which was manufactured by Lausitzer Glasverein, was one of Wagenfeld’s most well-known affordable designs in pressed glass that he created for commercial...
Image features upright vacuum cleaner with yellow, gray and clear plastic cylindrical body. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
James Dyson: Designing Out Annoyances
To celebrate the opening of Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color (May 11, 2018-January 13, 2019), Object of the Day this month will feature colorful objects from the exhibition. This post was originally published on May 1, 2013. For many of us, a glance at everyday appliances elicits a wince or a groan: they’re dull looking,...
Image features telephone comprising wedge-shaped black plastic body, the front with clear circular rotary dial with finger holes and surrounded by white numerals and letters; handset with earpiece at one end and speaker at other, set in cradle at top rear of telephone body; coiled black plastic-covered cord connects handset to body. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Before There Were Ringtones There Were Rings
In celebration of our new exhibition, The Senses: Design Beyond Vision, this Object of the Day post explores the multisensory experience of an object in Cooper Hewitt’s permanent collection. Today’s blog post was written by Cynthia Trope and originally published on March 7, 2013. If you grew up in America in the mid-1950s – 1980s, you no doubt...
Image features an off-white rectangular speaker, the front with two rows of vertical slits; left and right sides faced with square, blond wood panels. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
“Less, but better”
In celebration of our new exhibition The Senses: Design Beyond Vision, this Object of the Day post explores the multisensory experience of an object in Cooper Hewitt’s permanent collection. Dieter Rams, Chief Design Officer for German consumer products manufacturer Braun AG from 1961-95, designed the neutral and unassuming L1 speaker in 1957. Influenced by Braun’s...
Image features an hourglass-shaped coffee maker of transparent glass with high neck and circular mouth molded with a narrow spout; tapered wood collar/hand grip at neck tied with leather thong with bead stop; small projecting dot as water level indicator in lower body, vertically aligned with spout. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
The Perfect Cup, Coffee Brewed to Perfection
This coffee maker was devised by chemist and inventor, Dr. Peter Schlumbohm, for the Chemex® Corporation. It is made of heat-resistant non-porous borosilicate glass, and surrounded by a wood collar tied with a leather thong, that serves as an insulated handle with which to pour the hot beverage. The ingenious use of glass allows the...
Chilled But Not Diluted
You might think that this pitcher looks a bit like crushed ice, and perhaps the illusion is intended. This isn’t just any old pitcher, but a champagne pitcher, and it is special because of its so-called “bladder.”  Within the body of the vessel, underneath the handle, is a cavity in which ice can be inserted,...
Waste Not
In pre-industrial Japan, aprons were a basic element of everyday dress, worn by children and adults to protect one’s clothing, which was infrequently cleaned. Some form of apron was worn by workers of all sorts, from shop-keeping to field work to fishing. Like other work clothes, aprons were often made of repurposed cloth, as this...
Baby on Board
Many southwest Chinese ethnic groups, especially the Miao, are known for their spectacular embroidery. Traditionally women’s work, embroidery was a Miao girl’s first attempt at needlework starting as early as four or five years old. Watching their mothers and other women in the community weave and embroider, they would later pass on this knowledge to...
Peruvian Nets
Knotted netting is one of the most ancient methods of constructing textiles, often used for functional objects essential to early cultures, such as bags, snares and nets. Many examples have been found in the middens, or refuse piles, of the Pre-ceramic cultures of the desert coast of Peru. Nets played an essential role in fishing:...