Cooper Hewitt Announces 2016 Exhibition, “Beauty―Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial”

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum (2 East 91st St. at Fifth Avenue in New York City) will present “Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial,” the fifth installment of the museum’s popular contemporary design exhibition series, from February 12 through Aug. 21, 2016. With projects ranging from experimental prototypes and interactive games to fashion ensembles and architectural interventions, “Beauty” will fill most of two floors of the museum with more than 250 works by 62 designers from around the globe.

Featuring recent work from the most outstanding voices in the global design scene, ‘Beauty’ will expand the discourse around the transformative power of aesthetic innovation,” said Caroline Baumann, director of the museum. “The exhibition will celebrate design as a creative endeavor that engages the mind, body and senses with works of astonishing form and surprising function.Cooper Hewitt logo

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 “Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial,” the museum engaged a panel of international curatorial advisors early in its process: Adélia Borges (Brazil), Claire Catterall (England), Kenya Hara (Japan), Mugendi M’Rithaa (South Africa), Suvi Saloniemi (Finland), Sarah Scaturro (United States) and Annemartine van Kesteren (Netherlands). The exhibition is designed by Tsao & McKown Architects

Organized by Assistant Curator Andrea Lipps and Senior Curator of Contemporary Design Ellen Lupton, the exhibition explores beauty through seven lenses: EXTRAVAGANT, INTRICATE, ETHEREAL, TRANSGRESSIVE, EMERGENT, ELEMENTAL and TRANSFORMATIVE.

EXTRAVAGANT

Designers use rich materials and shimmering, sometimes deceptive, surfaces to create an aura of luxury, glamour, seduction and excess. Highlights of the works on view include makeup artist PAT MCGRATH’s transformative visages; GIAMBATTISTA VALLI’s candy-colored gowns that beg to be touched, smelled, even tasted; and hair artist GUIDO PALAU, who creates fantastic hairstyles that consistently push the field, and our eye, forward.

INTRICATE

Performing astonishing feats of craftsmanship and physical construction, designers and artisans create textured or patterned surfaces that engage the eye in a wandering journey. Among the works on view in this section include the voluptuous typography of NON-FORMAT; the textured garments of fashion designer MARY KATRANTZOU, which glisten from a distance and pulse with intimate detail up close; and, the work of STUDIO JOB, featuring patterns that appear traditional at first glance yet give way to a jarring iconography of the everyday—from gas masks and peace signs to syringes and kitchen tools.

Mary Katrantzou Fall 2012 RTW

Mary Katrantzou Fall 2012 RTW

ETHEREAL

Designers create forms that shape space, time, light or air, sometimes defying permanence and weight in favor of ephemeral materials or fleeting effects. Highlights of the designer projects on view include work by scent artist SISSEL TOLAAS, who collects and preserves smell molecules from around the world and has been commissioned by the museum to create a new scent based on Central Park; and a grid of analog clocks that forms a giant digital timepiece whose elements align every 60 seconds to read out the time in numerals made of clock hands, created by the firm HUMANS SINCE 1982.

Editorial / 2009 / Berlin Published in [www.mono-kultur.com linktext:mono.kultur] / Berlin Sissel Tolaas has dedicated her life to something we all take for granted: the sense of smell. Obsessively researching and exploring our most primal and yet unnoticed sense in all its facets, Tolaas has shared her research in many ways: from research projects with hospitals and institutions such as MIT or Harvard, to commercial projects for the likes of Adidas, Comme des Garons and Louis Vuitton, to art exhibitions at the MoMA New York or the Third Berlin Biennial. Tolaas is fiercely passionate and outspoken on the power of smell, and how paying greater attention to it might just change our lives.

Published in [www.mono-kultur.com linktext:mono.kultur] / Berlin
Sissel Tolaas has dedicated her life to something we all take for granted: the sense of smell. Obsessively researching and exploring our most primal and yet unnoticed sense in all its facets, Tolaas has shared her research in many ways: from research projects with hospitals and institutions such as MIT or Harvard, to commercial projects for the likes of Adidas, Comme des Garons and Louis Vuitton, to art exhibitions at the MoMA New York or the Third Berlin Biennial. Tolaas is fiercely passionate and outspoken on the power of smell, and how paying greater attention to it might just change our lives.

TRANSGRESSIVE

Embracing androgyny, antiform, the grotesque, the formless and the fantastic, designers blur established boundaries and definitions, challenging normative standards of beauty, gender, genre or behavior. Works on view include Ana Rajcevic’s Animal headpieces, which partly obscure the face of the wearer, questioning the boundary between humans and animals; NOA ZILBERMAN’s jewelry series Wrinkles, which distributes lines of gold across the artist’s face and cleavage; the unisex clothing collections of RAD HOURANI; and AFREAKS, a collection of fantastical beaded creatures created by the HAAS BROTHERS in collaboration with female beaders from the Khayelitsha informal settlement outside Cape Town, South Africa.

Animal: The Other Side of Evolution by Ana Rajcevic

Animal: The Other Side of Evolution by Ana Rajcevic

 Jewelry That Celebrates Wrinkles Instead Of Hiding Them

NOA ZILBERMAN’s jewelry series Wrinkles: Jewelry That Celebrates Wrinkles Instead Of Hiding Them

Afreaks by Haas Brothers and Monkeybiz

Afreaks by Haas Brothers and Monkeybiz

EMERGENT

Emulating nature and embracing code and mathematics, designers create rules and processes that determine the final outcome of a project, working with data flows and user interactions to create responsive forms. Featured work includes DANIEL BROWN’s digital blossoms, which celebrate the glamour of artifice; NERI OXMAN’s Wanderers, 3-D-printed wearable objects permeated with capillaries and seeded with microorganisms to enable future survival on distant planets; and ALEXANDRA DAISY GINSBERG’s project Designing for the Sixth Extinction, which depicts genetically engineered creatures that could someday clean the air of toxins, neutralize acid in the soil and collect and scatter seeds. Cooper Hewitt has commissioned architect JENNY SABIN to design a knitted, textile structure for the exhibition.

Forest 15 (www.daisyginsberg.com)

ALEXANDRA DAISY GINSBERG’s project Designing for the Sixth Extinction, Forest 15 (www.daisyginsberg.com)

Brown said; “The ‘Love Blossoms’ project gave the opportunity to apply cutting edge generative-art principles to an established, heritage luxury brand and create a seasonal and unique gift for each Mulberry follower. Using prints from the Spring Summer 2011 collection, each flower is generated so that no two blooms are ever the same.”

Brown said; “The ‘Love Blossoms’ project gave the opportunity to apply cutting edge generative-art principles to an established, heritage luxury brand and create a seasonal and unique gift for each Mulberry follower. Using prints from the Spring Summer 2011 collection, each flower is generated so that no two blooms are ever the same.”

ELEMENTAL

Drawing energy and character from basic materials, designers create serene geometries and uncluttered forms that invite intuitive interaction from users. The exhibition will feature works by SAM HECHT and KIM COLIN, founders of Industrial Facility, who find beauty in the equilibrium of making, use and memory; FORMAFANTASMA and EMILIANO GODOY, who give shape to lava and glass respectively, materials that shift from liquid to solid; and YEONGKYU YOO, whose World Clock rolls to display the time in all 24 time zones.

Formafantasma re-appropriates mount etna lava into experimental objects

Formafantasma re-appropriates mount etna lava into experimental objects

Formafantasma 'denaturafossilium' Small Pillar (www.formafantasma.com)

Formafantasma ‘denaturafossilium’ Small Pillar (www.formafantasma.com)

TRANSFORMATIVE

Brynjar Sigurdarson's, 'Silent Village Collection, Entrance Table', 2013, Galerie kréo.

Brynjar Sigurdarson’s, ‘Silent Village Collection, Entrance Table’, 2013, Galerie kréo.

Buym table by Brynjar Sigurðarson (Sigurdarsonbrynjar, Furnitureproduct)

Buym table by Brynjar Sigurðarson (Sigurdarsonbrynjar, Furnitureproduct)

Under the hand of the designer, familiar materials, vocabularies or forms assume new and surprising identities. Featured projects include the furniture and objects of BRYNJAR SIGURÐARSON, who borrows materials and techniques from Icelandic fishermen; JANTJE FLEISCHHUT’s abstract jewelry, shaped from precious materials and found objects that suggest asteroids and interstellar debris; and LADUMA NGXOKOLO’s line of knitted garments, designed for young men in South Africa’s Xhosa community who have passed through the rite of circumcision.

A 276-page book with 274 images, designed by Kimberly Varella of Content Object Design Studio, is published by Cooper Hewitt and distributed by Artbook | DAP (Distributed Art Publishers), $50.00. The publication “Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial” will be available beginning December 2015, in advance of the exhibition.

Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial” is made possible by generous support from Edward and Helen Hintz. Additional funding is provided by Margery and Edgar Masinter, May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation Inc. and Rockwell Group.

In spring and summer 2016, a series of public programs will inspire dialogue about design and beauty. Planned events include Magical Materialism, Beauty + Biology and Graphics + Interaction.

As the only museum in the United States devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design, Cooper Hewitt educates, inspires and empowers people through design. The museum has recently undergone a transformative renovation resulting in an entirely new visitor experience and 60 percent more exhibition space to showcase one of the most diverse and comprehensive collections of design works in existence.

Hours are Sunday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The new Tarallucci e Vino café is open daily at 8 a.m. The Arthur Ross Terrace & Garden, currently under renovation, opens in early fall 2015 and will be accessible without an admissions ticket through the new East 90th Street entrance. 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) and the Fifth and Madison Avenue buses. Adult admission, $18; seniors, $12; students, $9. 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.