Exhibitions | Feb 23, 2015 |
Prominent architects curate displays at Cooper Hewitt
Boh staff
By Staff

Following the success of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s inaugural exhibitions in the transformed Carnegie Mansion, the museum is ready to unveil new displays for the spring 2015 season—two in particular will strike a cord with the design industry: “David Adjaye Selects” and “Provocations: The Architecture and Design of Heatherwick Studio.”

Architect David Adjaye will present 14 West and Central African textiles from the museum’s permanent collection in “David Adjaye Selects.” On view June 19 through Nov. 8 in the renovated Marks Gallery located on the museum’s first floor, the exhibition is the 12th in the ongoing series, in which prominent designers, artists and architects are invited to mine and interpret the museum’s collection.

David Adjaye

“As the Ghanaian-British architect behind 50 built projects around the globe as well as our sister museum, the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture slated to open in 2016, David’s innovative and bold design concepts have been making waves in the architecture community and worldwide,” said Caroline Baumann, director of Cooper Hewitt. “David brings his unique vision and perspective to the ‘Selects’ exhibition and has chosen extraordinary West and Central African pieces from our textile holdings, the most culturally diverse collection at the museum.”

Rendering of David Adjaye's exhibition

Among the works that will be on view are an Asante kente cloth from Ghana, a bògòloanfini mud cloth from Mali, a Dyula ikat wrapper from the Ivory Coast, a Yoruba indigo dyed wrapper from Nigeria and men’s hats from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola and Cameroon.

Item in David Adjaye's exhibiton

“I have always been interested in the abstraction and range of techniques associated with African textiles,” Adjaye said. “This exhibition offers an exciting moment of engagement within the context of my architectural work. The textiles offer a fascinating narrative that references history, community, spirituality and opportunity and resonates widely with the idea of society and civilization.”

A line of products inspired by the exhibition will be available in the SHOP Cooper Hewitt.

Also making its debut in June will be, “Provocations: The Architecture and Design of Heatherwick Studio,” the first museum exhibition to introduce the imaginative work of British designer Thomas Heatherwick and his London-based studio to an American audience.

Thomas Heatherwick

Heatherwick is known for his unique design concepts ranging from products, infrastructure and temporary structures, such as the U.K. Pavilion at the 2010 World Expo in Shangai, most recently, large-scale architecture projects around the world.

“New York is in a fascinating phase of rethinking itself and my studio is simultaneously fortunate to be working on two significant projects in the city that we hope will contribute to this,” said Heatherwick.

On view from June 19 to Oct. 25 in the Barbara and Morton Mandel Design Gallery, “Provocations” is curated by the recently appointed Cooper Hewitt Deputy Director Brooke Hodge and will focus on the design process of 43 of Heatherwick Studio’s projects through the display of prototypes, presentation and sketch models, full-scale mockups, objects, photographs and film and video footage.

Work by Heatherwick Studio

“‘Provocations’ celebrates the inventive approach of the Heatherwick Studio and reveals the design process and concepts behind the firm’s incredible products and buildings, from the rotation-molded Spun chair—recently acquired into Cooper Hewitt’s permanent collection—to large architectural projects like the Learning Hub in Singapore,” said Baumann. “Cooper Hewitt is committed to shaping how people think about design and this exhibition will have visitors marveling at Heatherwick’s groundbreaking work.”

Work by Heatherwick Studio

Thomas Heatherwick: Making (published by Thames & Hudson; distributed by Monacelli Press), an updated monograph on the work of Heatherwick Studio will be available for sale in the SHOP Cooper Hewitt. A line of products inspired by the exhibition will also be available in the SHOP Cooper Hewitt.

Museum admission is $18 at the door. Hours are weekdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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