×

Subscribe to our newsletter

Highlights From the Previous Week, Partnered Events and Haikus. View our Newsletter archive

Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial: Beauty

In the shifting climate of design, how do we codify beauty? Curated by Ellen Lupton and Andrea Lipps, Cooper Hewitt’s fifth Design Triennial – 12 February to 21 August – explores this question in a...
Scroll right to read more ›
Text by

In the shifting climate of design, how do we codify beauty? Curated by Ellen Lupton and Andrea Lipps, Cooper Hewitt’s fifth Design Triennial – 12 February to 21 August – explores this question in a range of mediums and methods. Capturing key avant-garde innovations within the global design world’s turnout over the past three year, this contemporary survey asks visitors to reconsider the often stigmatised notions of adornment and taste. Transcending the very scope design now encompasses, the usual suspects of expressive art design, furniture, fashion, textile, and graphics, are now joined by works championing the use of generated material, up-cycled waste, recalibrated function, integrated technology, scientific application, anthropomorphic extension, ephemerality and even a hint of revived craft. Though themes such as Extravagant, Ethereal, Elemental, Transgressive and Transformative takes visitors beyond ameri-cum-euro-centric spheres, the Beauty exhibition finds an affinity in the emotive experience of aesthetics.

Highlights include Michael Anastassiades’ geometrically sublime Mobile Chandelier, Humans Since 1982’s referentially ingenious Clock Prototype, and Lauren Bowker’s avian A I R Collection Jacket. While a number of exhibitors following in the Dutch design tradition – Tuomas Markunpoika, Studio Job, Formafantasma, Olivier van Herpt, Scholten & Baijings, Jólan van der Wiel, Iris van Herpen – others represent design scenes as far reaching as Iceland, South Africa and Brazil. The 250 works on view are as varied as storytelling-heavy object that elicit memory – Markunpoika’s Engineering Temporality cabinet – grotesque-esque wallpaper – Studio Job’s NLXL series –, and vernacular seating – Dokter and Misses’s Horseman bench. 

Beauty – Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial: 12 Feburary – 21 August

Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum: 2 East 91st Street, New York

Tuomas Markunpoika (Finnish, active Netherlands, b. 1982); Cabinet, from Engineering Temporality series, 2012; Welded and burned steel rings; 175 × 95 × 50 cm (5 ft. 8 7/8 in. × 37 3/8 in. × 19 11/16 in.)
Tuomas Markunpoika (Finnish, active Netherlands, b. 1982); Cabinet, from Engineering Temporality series, 2012; Welded and burned steel rings; 175 × 95 × 50 cm (5 ft. 8 7/8 in. × 37 3/8 in. × 19 11/16 in.)
Max Lamb (British, b. 1980); 30 Triangles stool, from Pewter series, 2014; Pewter poured into molded sand; 40 × 55 × 50 cm (15 3/4 × 21 5/8 × 19 11/16 in.)
Max Lamb (British, b. 1980); 30 Triangles stool, from Pewter series, 2014; Pewter poured into molded sand; 40 × 55 × 50 cm (15 3/4 × 21 5/8 × 19 11/16 in.)
Humans since 1982 (Stockholm, Sweden, founded 2010): Per Emanuelsson (Swedish, b. 1982) and Bastian Bischoff (German, b. 1982); Clock prototype, A million times 288 H, 2013; Aluminum, electric components, powder-coated clock hands, screenprinted dials; 180 × 344 × 5 cm (5 ft. 10 7/8 in. × 11 ft. 3 7/16 in. × 1 15/16 in.)
Humans since 1982 (Stockholm, Sweden, founded 2010): Per Emanuelsson (Swedish, b. 1982) and Bastian Bischoff (German, b. 1982); Clock prototype, A million times 288 H, 2013; Aluminum, electric components, powder-coated clock hands, screenprinted dials; 180 × 344 × 5 cm (5 ft. 10 7/8 in. × 11 ft. 3 7/16 in. × 1 15/16 in.)
Michael Anastassiades (Cypriot, active in United Kingdom, b. 1967), Mobile Chandelier 9, 2015; Black patinated brass, mouthblown opaline sphere; 145.5 x 110.3 cm (57 9?32 x 4327?64 in.)
Michael Anastassiades (Cypriot, active in United Kingdom, b. 1967), Mobile Chandelier 9, 2015; Black patinated brass, mouthblown opaline sphere; 145.5 x 110.3 cm (57 9?32 x 4327?64 in.)
Formafantasma (Eindhoven, Netherlands, founded 2009): Andrea Trimarchi (Italian, b. 1983) and Simone Farresin (Italian, b. 1980) for Gallery Libby Sellers (London, England, United Kingdom, founded 2007); Iddu mirror, from De Natura Fossilium collection, 2014; Obsidian mirror, lava rock, brass; 150 × 40 cm (59 1/16 × 15 3/4 in.)
Formafantasma (Eindhoven, Netherlands, founded 2009): Andrea Trimarchi (Italian, b. 1983) and Simone Farresin (Italian, b. 1980) for Gallery Libby Sellers (London, England, United Kingdom, founded 2007); Iddu mirror, from De Natura Fossilium collection, 2014; Obsidian mirror, lava rock, brass; 150 × 40 cm (59 1/16 × 15 3/4 in.)
Yeongkyu Yoo (Korean, b. 1971; active in USA) and cloudandco (Seoul, South Korea, founded 2010); Manufactured by 11+ (Anyang, South Korea, founded 2011); Bottle Humidifier, 2012; ABS Plastic, polycarbonate; 20 × 8.7 cm (7 7/8 × 3 7/16 in.)
Yeongkyu Yoo (Korean, b. 1971; active in USA) and cloudandco (Seoul, South Korea, founded 2010); Manufactured by 11+ (Anyang, South Korea, founded 2011); Bottle Humidifier, 2012; ABS Plastic, polycarbonate; 20 × 8.7 cm (7 7/8 × 3 7/16 in.)
Scholten & Baijings (Amsterdam, Netherlands, founded 2000): Stefan Scholten (Dutch, b. 1972) and Carole Baijings (Dutch, b. 1973) for Verreum; Produced by Gaia & Gino; Carafe and tumbler, from Chromos collection, 2014; Hand-blown, colored glass with metallic coating; 24.8 x 11.7 cm diam. (9 3/4 x 4 5/8 in.) and 7.5 x 8.1 cm diam. (2 15/16 x 3 3/16 in.). Featured in book; alternate object will appear in exhibition
Scholten & Baijings (Amsterdam, Netherlands, founded 2000): Stefan Scholten (Dutch, b. 1972) and Carole Baijings (Dutch, b. 1973) for Verreum; Produced by Gaia & Gino; Carafe and tumbler, from Chromos collection, 2014; Hand-blown, colored glass with metallic coating; 24.8 x 11.7 cm diam. (9 3/4 x 4 5/8 in.) and 7.5 x 8.1 cm diam. (2 15/16 x 3 3/16 in.). Featured in book; alternate object will appear in exhibition
Olivier van Herpt (Dutch, b. 1989); 3D-printed ceramic cylinder vase, from Sediment collection, 2015. Alternate object will appear in exhibition.
Olivier van Herpt (Dutch, b. 1989); 3D-printed ceramic cylinder vase, from Sediment collection, 2015. Alternate object will appear in exhibition.
Brunno Jahara (Brazilian , b. 1979), Fruit bowl, from Multiplastica Domestica collection, 2012; Plastic and aluminum; 60 x 35 cm diam. (23 5?6 x 13¾ in.)
Brunno Jahara (Brazilian , b. 1979), Fruit bowl, from Multiplastica Domestica collection, 2012; Plastic and aluminum; 60 x 35 cm diam. (23 5?6 x 13¾ in.)
Brynjar Sigurðarson (Icelandic, active in Switzerland, b. 1986) for Galerie Kreo (Paris, France, founded 1999); White Side Table, from The Silent Village Collection, 2013; Ash wood, metal, Krion, ropes, nylon strings, feathers, fur, leather, printed fabrics, chains and hooks; 63.5 × 48 × 33.5 cm (25 in. × 18 7/8 in. × 13 3/16 in.)
Brynjar Sigurðarson (Icelandic, active in Switzerland, b. 1986) for Galerie Kreo (Paris, France, founded 1999); White Side Table, from The Silent Village Collection, 2013; Ash wood, metal, Krion, ropes, nylon strings, feathers, fur, leather, printed fabrics, chains and hooks; 63.5 × 48 × 33.5 cm (25 in. × 18 7/8 in. × 13 3/16 in.)
Formwork, 2014; Sam Hecht (British, b. 1969) and Kim Colin (American, b. 1961), Industrial Facility (London, United Kingdom, founded 2002) for Herman Miller (Michigan, United States, founded 1905)
Formwork, 2014; Sam Hecht (British, b. 1969) and Kim Colin (American, b. 1961), Industrial Facility (London, United Kingdom, founded 2002) for Herman Miller (Michigan, United States, founded 1905)
Daniel Emma (Adelaide, Australia, founded 2008): Daniel To (Australian, b. 1984) and Emma Aiston (Australian, b. 1985); Squeaky Clean set, 2015; Acrylic, nickel, polished aluminum, natural fibers, foam, soap; Dustpan and broom: 11 × 15 × 13 cm (4 5/16 × 5 7/8 × 5 1/8 in.)
Daniel Emma (Adelaide, Australia, founded 2008): Daniel To (Australian, b. 1984) and Emma Aiston (Australian, b. 1985); Squeaky Clean set, 2015; Acrylic, nickel, polished aluminum, natural fibers, foam, soap; Dustpan and broom: 11 × 15 × 13 cm (4 5/16 × 5 7/8 × 5 1/8 in.)
Daniel Rybakken (Norwegian, b. 1984) and Andreas Engesvik (Norwegian, b. 1970) for e15 (Frankfurt, Germany, founded 1995); LT04 COLOUR floor light, 2014; Solid-colored pink laminated glass, solid-colored blue laminated glass, signal white powder-coated steel; 105 x 75 cm (41 5/16 × 29 1/2 in.), 84 × 70 cm (33 1/16 × 27 9/16 in.), and 75 cm diam. (29 1/2 in.)
Daniel Rybakken (Norwegian, b. 1984) and Andreas Engesvik (Norwegian, b. 1970) for e15 (Frankfurt, Germany, founded 1995); LT04 COLOUR floor light, 2014; Solid-colored pink laminated glass, solid-colored blue laminated glass, signal white powder-coated steel; 105 x 75 cm (41 5/16 × 29 1/2 in.), 84 × 70 cm (33 1/16 × 27 9/16 in.), and 75 cm diam. (29 1/2 in.)
Jantje Fleischhut (German, active in Netherlands, b. 1972); Brooch, no. 8, from How Long Is Now collection, 2014; Polyamide, Ytong aerated concrete block, sponge, resin, foam; 7 × 9 × 9 cm (2 4/5 × 3 1/2 × 3 1/2 in.)
Jantje Fleischhut (German, active in Netherlands, b. 1972); Brooch, no. 8, from How Long Is Now collection, 2014; Polyamide, Ytong aerated concrete block, sponge, resin, foam; 7 × 9 × 9 cm (2 4/5 × 3 1/2 × 3 1/2 in.)
Jólan van der Wiel (Dutch, b. 1984); Gravity stool, from Gravity series, 2014; Resin, iron filings; 46 × 34 × 38 cm (18 1/8 × 13 3/8 × 14 15/16 in.)
Jólan van der Wiel (Dutch, b. 1984); Gravity stool, from Gravity series, 2014; Resin, iron filings; 46 × 34 × 38 cm (18 1/8 × 13 3/8 × 14 15/16 in.)
Dokter and Misses (Johannesburg, South Africa, founded 2007): Adriaan Hugo (South African, b. 1982) and Katy Taplin (South African, b. 1982); Horseman bench, from Kassena Town series, 2015; Hand-painted white beech, mild steel interior hinges and fasteners; 165 × 83 × 165 cm (5 ft. 4 15/16 in. × 32 11/16 in. × 5 ft. 4 15/16 in.)
Dokter and Misses (Johannesburg, South Africa, founded 2007): Adriaan Hugo (South African, b. 1982) and Katy Taplin (South African, b. 1982); Horseman bench, from Kassena Town series, 2015; Hand-painted white beech, mild steel interior hinges and fasteners; 165 × 83 × 165 cm (5 ft. 4 15/16 in. × 32 11/16 in. × 5 ft. 4 15/16 in.)
Designed by Iris van Herpen, with Jólan van der Wiel; Dress, from Wilderness Embodied Couture collection, 2013; Resin, iron filings; Courtesy of Iris van Herpen
Designed by Iris van Herpen, with Jólan van der Wiel; Dress, from Wilderness Embodied Couture collection, 2013; Resin, iron filings; Courtesy of Iris van Herpen
Sandra Backlund (Swedish, b. 1975); Dress, from Fall / Winter collection, 2013; Crocheted cotton
Sandra Backlund (Swedish, b. 1975); Dress, from Fall / Winter collection, 2013; Crocheted cotton
Maiko Takeda (Japanese, b. 1986); Atmospheric Reentry series, 2013–14; Acetate films, acrylic discs, rhodium-plated metal jumprings, plastic base, fabric-covered metal wire
Maiko Takeda (Japanese, b. 1986); Atmospheric Reentry series, 2013–14; Acetate films, acrylic discs, rhodium-plated metal jumprings, plastic base, fabric-covered metal wire
Ana Rajcevic (Serbian, active in Germany and United Kingdom, b. 1983); Wearable sculpture, from ANIMAL: The Other Side of Evolution collection, 2012; Fiberglass, polyurethane, rubber; 21 x 34 x 16 cm (8 1/4 x 13 3/8 x 6 5/16 in.)
Ana Rajcevic (Serbian, active in Germany and United Kingdom, b. 1983); Wearable sculpture, from ANIMAL: The Other Side of Evolution collection, 2012; Fiberglass, polyurethane, rubber; 21 x 34 x 16 cm (8 1/4 x 13 3/8 x 6 5/16 in.)
Neri Oxman (Israeli-American, active in USA, b. 1976) and MIT Mediated Matter Group in collaboration with Stratasys and Deskriptiv; Rendered by Deskriptiv: Christoph Bader and Dominik Kolb; Produced by Stratasys. Rendering, back view of Otaared, from Wanderers collection, 2014
Neri Oxman (Israeli-American, active in USA, b. 1976) and MIT Mediated Matter Group in collaboration with Stratasys and Deskriptiv; Rendered by Deskriptiv: Christoph Bader and Dominik Kolb; Produced by Stratasys. Rendering, back view of Otaared, from Wanderers collection, 2014
TheUnseen (London, England, United Kingdom, founded 2012): Lauren Bowker (British, b. 1985); Jacket, from the A I R collection, 2014; Leather, wind-reactive ink. Featured in book; alternate object will be on view in exhibition
TheUnseen (London, England, United Kingdom, founded 2012): Lauren Bowker (British, b. 1985); Jacket, from the A I R collection, 2014; Leather, wind-reactive ink. Featured in book; alternate object will be on view in exhibition
Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg (British, b. 1982); Rewilding with Synthetic Biology, from Designing for the Sixth Extinction, 2013
Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg (British, b. 1982); Rewilding with Synthetic Biology, from Designing for the Sixth Extinction, 2013
Wire and thread are hand-wrapped around fiqueplant fibers to create an iridescent rug, 2014. Featured in book; alternate object will appear in exhibition.
Wire and thread are hand-wrapped around fiqueplant fibers to create an iridescent rug, 2014. Featured in book; alternate object will appear in exhibition.
Vlisco (Helmond, The Netherlands, founded 1846), design by Francesca Franceschi; Textile, 5246/RW/3 Java, from the Think collection, 2015; Cotton, rotation and java resist printed on plain weave; 120 × 91.4 cm (47 1/4 in. × 36 in.). Featured in book; alternate print will appear in exhibition.
Vlisco (Helmond, The Netherlands, founded 1846), design by Francesca Franceschi; Textile, 5246/RW/3 Java, from the Think collection, 2015; Cotton, rotation and java resist printed on plain weave; 120 × 91.4 cm (47 1/4 in. × 36 in.). Featured in book; alternate print will appear in exhibition.
Studio Job (Antwerp, Belgium, and Amsterdam, Netherlands, founded 2000): Job Smeets (Belgian, b. 1970) and Nynke Tynagel (Dutch, b. 1977) for NLXL (The Hague, Netherlands, founded 2010); Wallpaper designs, from Archives collection, 2014
Studio Job (Antwerp, Belgium, and Amsterdam, Netherlands, founded 2000): Job Smeets (Belgian, b. 1970) and Nynke Tynagel (Dutch, b. 1977) for NLXL (The Hague, Netherlands, founded 2010); Wallpaper designs, from Archives collection, 2014
Kustaa Saksi (Finnish, active in Netherlands, b. 1975); Nightless Night, from Reveille series, 2015; Jacquard-woven mohair and rubber; 232 × 166 cm (7 ft. 7 5/16 in. × 5 ft. 5 3/8 in.)
Kustaa Saksi (Finnish, active in Netherlands, b. 1975); Nightless Night, from Reveille series, 2015; Jacquard-woven mohair and rubber; 232 × 166 cm (7 ft. 7 5/16 in. × 5 ft. 5 3/8 in.)
Non-Format (Minneapolis, USA, and Oslo, Norway, founded 2000): Kjell Ekhorn (Norwegian, b. 1965) and Jon Forss (British, b. 1966); Illustration by Von; Poster, Elsewhere exhibition, KK Outlet gallery, London, 2014; Silkscreen printed in black and bronze ink; 70 × 50 cm (27 9/16 × 19 11/16 in.)
Non-Format (Minneapolis, USA, and Oslo, Norway, founded 2000): Kjell Ekhorn (Norwegian, b. 1965) and Jon Forss (British, b. 1966); Illustration by Von; Poster, Elsewhere exhibition, KK Outlet gallery, London, 2014; Silkscreen printed in black and bronze ink; 70 × 50 cm (27 9/16 × 19 11/16 in.)
Melitta Baumeister (German, active in USA, b. 1986); Jacket (detail), from Fall / Winter 2014 Ready-to-Wear collection, 2014; Neoprene. Featured in book; alternate object will appear in exhibition
Melitta Baumeister (German, active in USA, b. 1986); Jacket (detail), from Fall / Winter 2014 Ready-to-Wear collection, 2014; Neoprene. Featured in book; alternate object will appear in exhibition
Cover, Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial. Publication date: February 2016. Designed by Kimberly Varella, Content Object. Distributed North America: Artbook | D.A.P. Worldwide: Thames & Hudson, UK. ISBN: 978-1-942303-11-4
Cover, Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial. Publication date: February 2016. Designed by Kimberly Varella, Content Object. Distributed North America: Artbook | D.A.P. Worldwide: Thames & Hudson, UK. ISBN: 978-1-942303-11-4
Back

Articles you also might like