Making Design: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collections
Cara McCarty and Matilda McQuaid
Cooper Hewitt possesses one of the most diverse and comprehensive collections of design works in existence and is the only museum in the United States devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. Reopening in late 2014, the museum has undergone a transformative renovation. Its landmark home in the Andrew Carnegie Mansion offers an entirely new and interactive visitor experience resulting in 60 percent more gallery space. To mark the occasion, Cooper Hewitt is publishing an expansive book on its unparalleled collection, which consists of more than 210,000 objects from all over the world, spanning 30 centuries. Designed by Irma Boom, and a wonderful design object in itself at over 900 pages, the book expresses the museum's primary goal--to inspire people to see how design impacts their lives. Available in three different colors and printing with glow in the dark ink, the book embodies design process. This user-centered approach is reinforced throughout the pages with 54 narratives and an extensive process glossary that discusses individual objects through a design lens. Featuring more than 1,100 collection objects selected by the curatorial staff, Smithsonian Design Library, and renowned designer Irma Boom, Making Design is organized entirely by Boom's visual sequencing of images; her design and the curators' essays weave parallel narratives throughout the book. This wildly playful and unexpected jaunt through the collection ends with Boom's exploration of her process, "Making Making Design," which embraces the essence design and the new experiences in Cooper Hewitt's galleries.