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Image features a white plastic chair molded in the form of a circular basket-type seat of flat branch-like elements on four thin cylindrical legs. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Vegetal Chair
In the mid-2000s, designers (and brothers) Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, came up with the concept of a chair that would “sprout up like a plant…with its branches gently curving up to form the seat and back.” They also took inspiration from historical seating, such as English cast iron garden benches, American chairs in the rustic...
Image features two circular bowls, one smaller than the other, made of translucent aqua-toned glass, their surfaces showing the textures and irregularities of the stone molds used to shape them. Please scroll down to read the blog post about these objects.
Glass Shaped in Volcanic Stone
Innovative designer, Emilio Godoy, first came to the museum’s attention for his concerns about environmental sustainability, materials, and efficiency in production. His Pablo and Pedro glass project emerged from “the analysis of the energy used in glass manufacturing, in particular, the energy and resources needed for the fabrication of metal molds” used to form glass...
Image features a bronze brooch in the realistic form of a decayed and torn dried leaf, in tones of ochre to golden brown. Please scroll down to read the blog post about the object.
Capturing a Bit of Autumn
This bronze brooch by John Iversen, in the form of a delicate decaying leaf with all its ripples and tears, celebrates the variety, cycles, and even decline found in nature. Variations in the metal’s color and finish meticulously capture a dry leaf’s faded hues and brittle textures, heightening a sense of nature’s unpredictability and randomness....
Image features a large, mottled-blue irregularly shaped plastic vessel tapering to a narrow neck with a circular mouth. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Big, Blue, and Bioplastic
Designers Rutger de Regt and Marlies van Putten, the principals of Handmade Industrials, are both inspired and concerned by today’s production processes that are increasingly driven by computers. They ask, are we reducing or removing the presence of human experience and experimentation in manufacturing? Are we losing touch with our environment—is it becoming increasingly artificial?...
Nature and the Embroidered World
In celebration of the fourth annual New York Textile Month, members of the Textile Society of America will author Object of the Day for the month of September. A non-profit professional organization of scholars, educators, and artists in the field of textiles, TSA provides an international forum for the exchange and dissemination of information about...
Image features a large armchair, the frame made of multiple curved, twisted, and joined Longhorn steer horns comprising a bow-shaped back and arms surrounding a rectangular seat upholstered in modern metalic-toned leather on curved horn supports and legs terminating in feet with small brass casters. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Wenzel Friedrich’s Longhorn Furniture
Trained as a cabinetmaker in his native Bohemia, Wenzel Friedrich immigrated to the United States in 1853, settling in San Antonio, Texas, and opening a revival-style furniture business. In 1880, he became more innovative, realizing the potential of the Texan stockyards’ abundant supply of Texas Longhorn cattle horns as a material for use in furniture...
Image of Dr. Max Liboiron looking directly at camera. She has shaved hair on the sides and the top of her hair is pulled back. Her grin is small, but joyful, and her eyes show a smile behind wireframe glasses.
Dr. Max Liboiron’s “BabyLegs”
Max Liboiron is a feminist environmental scientist, science and technology studies (STS) scholar, and activist. As an Assistant Professor in Geography at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Liboiron directs Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research (CLEAR), a feminist, anti-colonial laboratory that specializes in grassroots environmental monitoring of marine plastic pollution. Liboiron’s STS work focuses on how invisible...
Image features a decorative comb of triangular form, made of mottled, translucent brown tortoiseshell. The edges with intricate pierced scrollwork surrounding a solid section with a V-shape cut in the center; five long teeth at bottom, to fix the comb in the wearer's hair. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
The Tortoise in the Hair
A version of this post was originally published on September 22, 2015. Some combs are used to groom hair, others to embellish and hold it in place. This decorative lady’s hair comb dates from the nineteenth century. By the 1830s, the austere, classically inspired Empire or Regency fashions popular since about 1795 had been supplanted...
Image from a panel discussion at Cooper Hewitt. Three women sit on a stage, holding microphones.
Nature Salons: Materials of the Anthropocene
Designers Shahar Livne and Charlotte McCurdy in conversation with Caitlin Condell, Associate Curator and Head of Drawings, Prints & Graphic Design. Join us for a discussion exploring the ways in which designers consider the abundance of materials available to them in the 21st century. As the boundary between ‘synthetic’ and ‘natural’ materials becomes increasingly blurry,...