New Yorkers are getting a chance to change the way they see and experience beauty.
“Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial” has brought together 63 designers from all over the world to characterize beauty. The designers explore beauty through fashion, art, graphic design, smell and technology. “Beauty,” which includes more than 250 works, is split into seven categories: extravagant, intricate, ethereal, transgressive, emergent, elemental and transformative.
“Beauty connects design to desire, to emotion, to sensation, which are all incredibly important components of the human condition,” said Andrea Lipps, an assistant curator, and co-curator of “Beauty.”
“With this exhibition, we’re making this bold leap into the realm of the senses and celebrating the role that sensual experience plays in design.”
One piece, “The Scarab,” is a finned leather jacket covered in ink that responds to heat and wind pressure. When automated fans blow on the jacket, the ink reacts and changes color. The jacket takes a unique direction in fashion by its use of chemical technology created by designers at The Unseen.
Other interesting pieces include “The Beauty of Decay: Smellscape Central Park Autumn 2015,” a smell created by microencapsulation, “A Million Times,” a clock prototype made from 288 clocks and the “GLASS” series, which are 3-D printed glass vessels.
“We want people to think of design as something emotional... not just something useful,” said Ellen Lupton, Senior Curator of Contemporary Design, and co-curator of “Beauty.”
The museum’s interactive pens available for visitors add to museum’s experience — on one end of the pen is a stylus, which can be used on the interactive tables around the museum; on the other end is a sensor that will store information from different objects in the museum when it is pressed against a tag on those objects. The objects and their information can be viewed either using the pen at the interactive tables, or with an individual code that can be used online at home.