Design Life Now December 19, 2006

Last week my friend Jenn and I got the chance to visit the Cooper-Hewitt and see the Design Life Now triennial — a show of current work in all mediums from 87 designers. It was just amazing.

Design Life Now at the Cooper-Hewitt

The sprawling exhibit covers all three floors and ranges from sleek corporate products (like the Apple iPod, Nike Free, and Target prescription drug bottles) to all kinds of furniture, robots, DIY projects (from MAKE and ReadyMade magazines — very cool to see in person after admiring them on the page), and clothing. I had a few immediate favorites: a mix of ingenious lighting by Alison Berger Glassworks and Ron Gilad and “invisibly luxurious” women’s couture clothing by Ralph Rucci. I thought Alison Berger’s pendant-style lamp, illuminating the handwritten lines of text she’d etched all over it, was the loveliest piece on display.

Thanks to the exhibit’s thoughtful notes, I also warmed up to few things I wasn’t taken by at first. The Target prescription drugs display seemed kind of underwhelming until I saw that the labels and containers were designed by Deborah Adler after her grandmother accidentally took the wrong medication — in context, their clear, accessible and ultra-utilitarian labels were much more interesting than at first glance.

You have seven more months to catch the show (it closes July 29, 2007) and I can’t recommend it enthusiastically enough. I left the museum inspired and excited to make some new things of my own! As a bonus, I spotted two books for Andrew in the shop so my Christmas shopping is now completely finished…

My last few presents for Andrew

…plus I found a few things for myself. How could I resist ribbons printed with buttons and how-to-knit graphics? Seriously.

My finds at the Cooper-Hewitt shop