Tuesday, April 19, 2016

New York: Beauty – Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial

 Beauty – Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial

Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial is the fifth installment of the museum’s signature contemporary design exhibition series. With a focus on aesthetic innovation, Beauty, until August 21, celebrates design as a creative endeavor that engages the mind, body, and senses. Curated by Andrea Lipps, Assistant Curator, and Ellen Lupton, Senior Curator of Contemporary Design, the exhibition features more than 250 works by 63 designers and teams from around the globe, and is organized around seven themes: extravagant, intricate, ethereal, transgressive, emergent, elemental, and transformative.
Above. Humans since 1982 - Per Emanuelsson (Swedish, b. 1982) and Bastian Bischoff (German, b. 1982) - Clock Prototype – A Million Times – 288H – 2013 - aluminum, electric components, powder-coated clock hands, screen-printed dials, forge graphic and mechanical expression to create conceptual objects that expand traditional function. A specimen study of LEDs serves as a light. Analog clock hands become typography. Their work is unified in its elegance, if not its color palette—black and white—and most often explores the ephemeral qualities of time or light.

Photo by Matt Flynn  - copyright 2016 Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Installation view of "Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial
Tuomas Markunpoika – Cabinet from Engineering - Temporality Series  2012 – welded and burned steel rings

As a tribute to his grandmother, who suffered Alzheimer’s disease, the designer explores memory and its loss in this conceptual piece. Using a traditional wooden cabinet, Markunpoika wrapped it in rings of tubular steel and burned away the cabinet. What is left is a blackened shell, empty of any substance—a fragile ghost of its former self.

  Courtesy Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Maiko Takeda – Atmospheric Reentry Headpiece 
2013-2014 – acetate, acrylic, silver, plastic

Takeda is a milliner and jewelry designer exploring new expressions of body adornment. Inspired by clouds, wind, and shadows, her sensual work evokes the immaterial effects of nature. In her Atmospheric Reentry series, bristles emanate from a wearer’s head to create a synthetic aura made of thinly shredded acetate tinted with color gradients. The pieces have the inviting tactility of a blurred, protective fur.


2x4 – Sidewall, Pause – Knoll Textiles USA
2004 – wallcovering - screenprinted on vinyl

Hans Coray - Landi Chair 
designed 1938 
manufactured by P. and W. Blattmann Metallwarenfabrik 
1936-61 – molded, punched aluminum, silver anodizing, rubber

This chair was among the first successful seating designs using sheet aluminum—a relatively new lightweight, weather-resistant material—anodized to harden the surface and protect against corrosion. The seat and back are made of a single molded sheet perforated with circular holes that lightened the form and when used outdoors provided drainage from the rain.

Barbara Brown – Spiral – Textile 
1969 – Heals Fabrics – cotton, screen-printed on plain weave

Brown is best known for her bold geometric designs of the ‘60s and 70s. Her distinctive style pioneered the fashion for architectural scale patterns, including 3D and Op-Art effects.

Sir Paul Smith – World Stamp Map – Mural - detail 
 2011 - Maharam - digital print on cellulose, latex, nylon substrate

Kris Sowersby – Manuka Typeface – Specimen
2014 – digital print

Manuka (2014) is a narrow sans serif typeface with a blunt, unpretentious quality. Available in multiple weights, the Manuka family allows designers to create a variety of typographic effects. Sowersby, a leader in the field of typeface design, offers his wares to the global design community through his Klim Type Foundry.

  Courtesy Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Non-Format – Elsewhere – poster 
2014 – silkscreen printed in black and bronze ink

Naomi Yasuda – Tsumabeni – Nail Designs

2016 – nail polish, acyrilic

Naomi Yasuda creates mesmerizing nail designs that use color as a starting point. She often tops these tiny paintings with beads and ornaments, transforming nails from flat canvases into sculptural works of art. She grew up watching her grandmother, a kimono tailor, make garments from intricately patterned fabrics. The designs shown here, created for Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial, are inspired by those traditional Japanese patterns.

  Courtesy Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Lauren Bowker and Unseen – The Scarab – Air collection – Jacket 
2016 – leather, heat and wind reactive ink

Founded by Lauren Bowker in 2012, TheUnseen applies biological and chemical technology to wearable materials, creating pieces that transform the way the world sees fashion. Studying chemistry and textiles at the Manchester School of Art, Bowker developed a color changing ink, which responds to changing environments. This ink was added to this finned leather jacket, putting the piece into a state of flowing metamorphosis as it reacts to heat and wind pressure.

  Photograph by Robin Broadbent -Courtesy Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Jean Yu – Overflow Bodice
2015– silk gazar netting

Jean Yu is known for her soft yet architectural underclothes, which embrace femininity while eschewing traditional tropes of lace and padding. The garment reveals its construction: the bodice is configured from a single piece of silk that meets the lower piece at the waist. The sculptural form exposes a rolled edge, strategic darts, and only the slightest bit of lightweight boning.

  Courtesy Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Terhi Tolvanen – Jungle Twins – The Jungle Collection – necklace 
2014 – silver, wood, Hawk’s eye

This haunting necklace combines silver, wood, and Hawk’s Eye to form twin crocodile faces entwined around the front. Silver wraps around the wood base, creating a kind of chain mail effect. Individual strands wrap over the top of the base pieces to form a leash around the necks of the crocodiles. The Hawk’s Eye becomes the eyes of the crocodiles, giving a three-dimensional illusion to their gaze upon the viewer.


Delfina Delettrez – Necklace – The Roll in Stone A/W Collection 2011
Silver, Baroque pearls, freshwater pearls, enamel drops

The curved silver plate of this necklace wraps around the front half of the wearer’s neck, providing a stunning platform for freshwater pearls. The pearls are fixed into organically shaped openings cut into the plate. Each cut shape has been outlined in enamel drops to create an effect that is both unexpected and harmonious. Delettrez is a fourth-generation member of the Fendi family.

Brunno Jahara – Blue and Green Fruit Bowls – Multiplastica Domestica Collection
2012 – plastic and aluminum

Brunno Jahara’s collection Multiplastica Domestica began in 2012 when, passing by recycling center close to his studio, he noticed the vast stock of barely used plastic containers that had been discarded. Experimenting with this material, Jahara created usable containers and structures that unite sustainability, sculptural quality, and functionality. For this fruitbowl, Jahara connects the plastic objects to a central metal spine in order to create a tiered and multicolored arrangement of vessels.

  Courtesy Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Jenny E. Sabin – Polythread Knitted Textile Pavilion – Polythread
2015-2016 – 3D seamless garment digitally knit cone elements, photoluminescent, solar active and drake yarns, twill tape, aluminum tubing

Sabin’s architectural forms are inspired by nature and mathematics. PolyThread (2016) is a temporary pavilion commissioned for Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial. This knitted textile structure employs photoluminescent and solar active yarns that absorb, collect, and deliver light. Portable and lightweight, such a structure could be used outdoors to absorb light from the sun during the day and release it at night.

  Courtesy Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Sou Fujimoto Architects – Souk Mirage 
2013 – rendering – digital print

Sou Fujimoto Architects employs geometric structure to create delicate, complex spaces. Souk Mirage (2013) is a master plan for a city in the Middle East. Reinterpreting the powerful forms of Islamic architecture, the project uses layers of arches to fill the expansive space with light.

Thom Browne Selects
Beauty – Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial

Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum – Thom Browne Selects. Fashion designer Thom Browne explores ideas of reflection and individuality with an installation that includes more than 50 of the museum’s historic and contemporary mirrors and frames. The exhibition is the 13th in the ongoing Selects Series in which prominent designers, artists and architects are invited to mine and interpret the museum’s collection of more than 210,000 objects, until October 23.


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