Silver Check and Pinstripe mesh fabrics, designed by fabric futurist Elizabeth Whelan for Humanscale, have been selected by the Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum as exemplars of contemporary textiles—and have become part of its permanent collection.
Deputy Curatorial Director and Head of Textiles at Cooper Hewitt Matilda McQuaid said in a letter to Whelan,“[The textiles] will help to tell an often overlooked angle of the story of furniture manufacturing how textiles are integral to the structure of the chair.”
Silver Check reflects the natural movements of the human body, and was created to be both resilient and beautiful, with enough strength and flexibility to be supportive. In 2005, Silver Check won a Design Distinction award from I.D. Magazine.
The idea of suspension, as illustrated by the cables of the Brooklyn Bridge, informed and inspired Pinstripe, which is lightweight, yet conveys the strength and support of a much heavier mesh.
The acquisition of Silver Check and Pinstripe complements Cooper Hewitt’s modern seating collection. Both mesh textiles are used on Humanscale’s mesh-backed task chairs including Liberty, Diffrient World and Diffrient Smart.
In addition to Silver Check and Pinstripe, other textiles including designs by Irma Boom for Knoll Textiles and "Drawing Lines" and "Crossing Colors" by Sheila Hicks have been added to Cooper Hewitt's permanent collection over the past few years.