In spring 2019, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and Cube design museum in Kerkrade, Netherlands, will co-organize the exhibition “Nature—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial,” which will open simultaneously at both museums. On view May 10 through Jan. 20, 2020, the Design Triennial will feature innovative projects, from 2016 and later, that highlight the ways designers are collaborating with scientists, engineers, farmers, environmentalists and nature itself to design a more harmonious and regenerative future.
International in scope, “Nature” will include more than 60 groundbreaking works across various design disciplines, including architecture, urbanism, product design, landscape design, fashion and communication design that enhance and reimagine humans’ relationship to the natural world. The exhibition seeks to inspire ideas, collaboration and dialogue to address the most significant and consequential environmental and humanitarian issues.
“Conceived at the start of a new millennium, Cooper Hewitt’s Triennial series brings a global view of design to the United States to inform conversations on a broad range of issues,” said Caroline Baumann, director of Cooper Hewitt. “The 2019 Triennial will confront humanity’s biggest challenge yet—climate change—and asks all of us to reevaluate our relationship with nature. Opening the Triennial simultaneously on both sides of the Atlantic will amplify that message and paves the way for leaders and communities from all sectors to engage with design in this important dialogue.”
“The theme of Cooper Hewitt’s Design Triennial aligns very well with Cube’s mandate: to show design that impacts our world, as well as design for human needs and ambition,” said Hans Gubbels, director of Cube. “Working side by side, we have gathered thought-provoking projects from around the globe, and look forward to engaging Cube’s audiences on this vital issue.”
“Nature” will address the ways designers are exploring sustainable production methods, identifying new ways for protecting future generations and deepening the understanding of, and relationship with, nature. Areas of innovation include synthetic biology, data visualization, urban agriculture and alternative materials research.
Curatorial teams from both museums are developing the exhibition content, including Cooper Hewitt’s Caitlin Condell, associate curator and head of Drawings, Prints & Graphic Design; Andrea Lipps, assistant curator of contemporary design; and, Matilda McQuaid, deputy director of curatorial and head of Textiles; and Cube’s Gene Bertrand, program and development director; and Gubbels.
The accompanying 240-page book, Nature: Collaborations in Design, will be published by Cooper Hewitt and Cube, and distributed in the U.S. by Artbook | D.A.P. and worldwide by Thames & Hudson UK. Designed by Neil Donnelly, more than 300 photographs, illustrations and content from data visualizations will illustrate seven essays, which explain and explore designers’ strategies around understanding, simulating, salvaging, facilitating, augmenting, remediating and nurturing nature. Four conversations between scientists and designers—including George Church with Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, and Michael John Gorman with Koert van Mensvoort—delve into topics related to synthetic biology, scientific versus design lexicon and recent shifts in the meaning of nature. Retail: $35.00.
Inaugurated in 2000, the Triennial series looks at new developments in design as they surface in studios, fairs, shops, galleries and media around the world. In organizing “Nature—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial,” the curators’ engaged a panel of international advisors: Aric Chen, curator at large, M+ Museum (Hong Kong); Michael John Gorman, founder, BIOTOPIA Museum (Munich); Suzanne Lee, chief creative officer, Modern Meadow (New York); Ravi Naidoo, founder, Interactive Africa (Cape Town); Simone Rothman, founder and CEO, FutureAir (New York); and Barbara Stauffer, chief of community programs, Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History (Washington, D.C.).
“Nature—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial” is made possible in part by support from the August Heckscher Exhibition Fund, Esme Usdan Exhibition Endowment Fund and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
About Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Cooper Hewitt is America’s design museum. Inclusive, innovative and experimental, the museum’s dynamic exhibitions, education programs, master’s program, publications and online resources inspire, educate and empower people through design. An integral part of the Smithsonian Institution—the world’s largest museum and research complex—Cooper Hewitt is located on New York City’s Museum Mile in the historic, landmark Carnegie Mansion. Steward of one of the world’s most diverse and comprehensive design collections—over 210,000 objects that range from an ancient Egyptian faience cup dating to about 1100 BCE to contemporary 3D-printed objects and digital code—Cooper Hewitt welcomes everyone to discover the importance of design and its power to change the world. Cooper Hewitt knits digital into experiences to enhance ideas, extend reach beyond museum walls, and enable greater access, personalization, experimentation and connection. In 2018, the London Design Biennale awarded a medal to Cooper Hewitt for its presentation “Face Values,” an immersive installation that explores the pervasive but often hidden role of facial-detection technology in contemporary society.
Cooper Hewitt is located at 2 East 91st Street at Fifth Avenue in New York City. Hours are Sunday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden, accessible without an admissions ticket, opens at 8 a.m., Monday through Friday. The Tarallucci e Vino café is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Public transit routes include the Lexington Avenue 4, 5 and 6 subways (86th or 96th Street stations), the Second Avenue Q subway (96th Street station), and the Fifth and Madison Avenue buses. Adult admission, $16 in advance via tickets.cooperhewitt.org, $18 at door; seniors, $10 in advance via tickets.cooperhewitt.org, $12 at door; students, $7 in advance via tickets.cooperhewitt.org, $9 at door. Cooper Hewitt members and children younger than age 18 are admitted free. Pay What You Wish every Saturday, 6 to 9 p.m. The museum is fully accessible.
For further information, call (212) 849-8400, visit Cooper Hewitt’s website at www.cooperhewitt.org and follow the museum on www.twitter.com/cooperhewitt,
www.facebook.com/cooperhewitt and www.instagram.com/cooperhewitt.
About Cube Design Museum
Cube is Holland’s first museum entirely dedicated to design. It displays meaningful design that has an impact on the world. A visit to Cube will provide an insight into the design process and it will inspire visitors to take an active part in thinking about shaping the world. The museum does not only stage exhibitions of trend-setting international and European design, it also functions as a multidisciplinary laboratory where visitors can join students and designers working on innovative product design. For further information, visit Cube’s website at www.cubedesignmuseum.nl/en.
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