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kottke.org posts about Cooper Hewitt Design Museum

Pixar: The Design of Story

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 27, 2015

Design Pixar

Pixar: The Design of Story is an upcoming exhibition at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum here in NYC.

Through concept art from films such as Toy Story, Wall-E, Up, Brave, The Incredibles and Cars, among others, the exhibition will focus on Pixar’s process of iteration, collaboration and research, and is organized into three key design principles: story, believability and appeal. The exhibition will be on view in the museum’s immersive Process Lab — an interactive space that was launched with the transformed Cooper Hewitt in December 2014 — whose rotating exhibitions engage visitors with activities that focus on the design process, emphasizing the role of experimentation in design thinking and making.

More details are available in the press release. Definitely going to check this out and take the kids.

We Work Remotely

Top new typefaces of 2014

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 31, 2015

Cooper Hewitt typeface

Although I am slowly coming around1 to Massimo Vignelli’s assertion that designers should only use a handful of typefaces, I enjoyed seeing Typographica’s list of their favorite typefaces of 2014.

Typeface design and distribution is in a state of rapid change. Last year we noted its diffusion around the globe, and that trend persists. The majority of font production is no longer concentrated in a few regional epicenters.

That goes for corporate epicenters as well. The independence of type designers themselves is increasingly evident. Small foundries have existed since the dawn of digital fonts, but now they are the norm. Only a handful of the selections in this year’s list were published by companies with more than ten employees.

I discovered that one of the selections, a beautiful custom typeface made for the reopening/rebranding of the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum (sample shown above), has been made available by the museum for free download (including a web fonts version).

  1. I mean, not really. But when 95% of everything sucks, paring down to only the good stuff is a seductive idea, isn’t it? Also, Vignelli’s NYC subway map was not good and would have benefitted from a less Swiss approach.

Ah-Ha to Zig-Zag

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 25, 2015

Kalman Ah-Ha to Zig-Zag

I’m a big fan of Maira Kalman but somehow missed a book she illustrated that came out in October, Ah-Ha to Zig-Zag: 31 Objects from Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

“A. Ah-ha! There you Are.” begins Maira Kalman’s joyfully illustrated romp through the treasures of Cooper Hewitt’s design collection. With her signature wit and warm humor, Kalman’s ABC book introduces children and adults to the myriad ways design touches our lives. Posing the question “If you were starting a museum, what would you put in your collection?”, Kalman encourages the reader to put pen to paper and send in personal letters — an intimate, interactive gesture to top off her unique tour of the world of design. Objects ranging from a thirteenth-century silk thinking cap to 1889 tin slippers with bows, all the way to Gerrit Rietveld’s Zig-Zag chair are brought to colorful life. Kalman’s hand-lettered text is whimsical and universal in turns, drawing lessons as easily from a worn old boot as a masterpiece of midcentury modernism. Irresistibly, we are led to agree, “Everything is design.”

(via tinybop)

The Cooper Hewitt Design Museum has announced

posted by Jason Kottke   May 01, 2007

The Cooper Hewitt Design Museum has announced plans for expansion. I was up there this weekend checking out the Design Triennial and found the exhibition a bit small; a similar show at the expansive MoMA might have run to twice the size and would have included larger items. I hope they don’t do too much to the building though…in many rooms, the building is just as much of an attraction as the items on display.

The National Design Triennial 2006 is on view

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 27, 2006

The National Design Triennial 2006 is on view at the Cooper Hewitt museum in NYC from Dec 8 - July 29.

National Design Triennial

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 16, 2003

With the cold weather officially here in NYC, there’s few better ways to spend a weekend afternoon than to sample one of the city’s many museums. Yesterday, Meg and I went to see the Design Triennial (catalog) at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum. The curators did a nice job in highlighting good, solid, creative work, avoiding the temptation to include pieces that might have been highly creative but have yet to prove themselves useful in the world (this was a design *review* after all).

The Triennial runs until January 25, 2004; I recommend checking it out should you find yourself in NYC between now and then.

Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 17, 2002

When I was in Washington D.C. a few years ago, I was all jazzed up to visit the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, part of the Smithsonian Institution. Imagine my disappointment when I learned the Cooper Hewitt was in NYC, not in DC.

I finally got the chance to check it out today, and I was again disappointed. They didn’t have their permanent collection on display, only an exhibit on global hotels which wasn’t all that impressive. Maybe I missed something….