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Image features a laptop computer with a rectangular body with rounded corners, the housing of translucent clear and blue plastic with blue pull-out handle at back. The hinged lid opens to reveal a screen and an inset keyboard with function keys, a touch pad, power button and a small speaker. Separate disk-shaped clear plastic and metal power adapter contains windup cord. Scroll down for the blog post related to this image.
Think Different
Today’s Object of the Day celebrates the winners of Cooper Hewitt’s National Design Awards. Honoring lasting achievement in American design, the Awards take place annually during National Design Week, with festivities for all ages celebrating design creativity and innovation. Today’s post was originally published on September 9, 2015. “When was the last time someone offered...
A New World of Color
These HLD 4 No. 4414 hair dryers announce a new design idiom for the hair dryer with their rounded rectangular shape and bold colors. On the hair dryer’s front face there is a bisected slotted grill. Two central rows of slits correspond to the placement of a black rocker switch, which is easily operated with...
The Brick
We’ve come so far technologically that cell phones are now in museums. And in a museum is likely the only place most people will have seen this model – the world’s first commercially available handheld cellular phone. When it came out, it weighed 2.5 pounds, required ten hours for charging for 35 minutes of talk...
Ahead of the Times
Dieter Rams, the co-designer of this alarm clock, said that good design should “omit the unimportant in order to emphasize the important.” This travel alarm clock embodies his philosophy and design aesthetic—one which became iconic for Braun in the 1970s. The clock features an economic use of color and Akzidenz Grotesk, an easy-to-read sans serif...
Instant Photography Before the Internet
When Edwin Land, co-founder of the Polaroid Corporation, introduced the SX-70 instant camera, he could have hardly predicted how forward-thinking his design truly was. The idea of instant photography, something synonymous with today’s smartphone and social media image sharing applications, was more or less an inexact science before 1972, the year that the SX-70 was...
The Smaller the Better
Wow! I remember thinking that as a youngster, when I first saw the slightly flickering black and white picture on the Sony portable TV at a friend’s house—on the patio. That was the last place I could imagine anything like a television, something I had previously experienced only as a piece of furniture in people’s living...
A Cricket on Ascension Day Keeps Bad Luck Away
According to the New Testament of the Bible, Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven from the Mount of Olives on the 40th day after Easter. Some Christians commemorate this as Ascension Day. In Italy, Ascension Day is celebrated by the exchange of crickets between friends. If, in the course of the day, the cricket chirps, its...
Utility and Marketing: A Matchsafe Made in Heaven
Cooper Hewitt holds a large number of matchsafes: small, metal boxes that emerged around 1830 to house recently invented friction matches. Vital for lighting lanterns, kitchen stoves and smoking accessories, people from all walks of life carried matchsafes, or vesta cases.  The air-tight containers kept matches dry and reduced the risk of spontaneous ignition, a...
A Landmark Design with an Aluminum Shine: John Vassos’s RCA Victor Special Phonograph
This sleek icon of American design embodies the simultaneous rise of listening technology and the streamline moderne style in the 1930s. This portable phonograph’s mechanism was engineered by Alfred Weiland and Selden T. Williams while its case and overall aesthetic were conceived by the prolific graphic and industrial designer John Vassos. Born in Romania, Vassos...