In spring 2019, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and Cube design museum in Kerkrade, Netherlands, will co-organize the exhibition “Nature—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial,” which will open simultaneously at both museums. On view May 10 through Jan. 20, 2020, the Design Triennial will feature innovative projects, from 2016 and later, that highlight the ways designers are collaborating with scientists, engineers, farmers, environmentalists and nature itself to design a more harmonious and regenerative future.
International in scope, “Nature” will include more than 60 groundbreaking works across various design disciplines, including architecture, urbanism, product design, landscape design, fashion and communication design that enhance and reimagine humans’ relationship to the natural world. The exhibition seeks to inspire ideas, collaboration and dialogue to address the most significant and consequential environmental and humanitarian issues.
“Conceived at the start of a new millennium, Cooper Hewitt’s Triennial series brings a global view of design to the United States to inform conversations on a broad range of issues,” said Caroline Baumann, director of Cooper Hewitt. “The 2019 Triennial will confront humanity’s biggest challenge yet—climate change—and asks all of us to reevaluate our relationship with nature. Opening the Triennial simultaneously on both sides of the Atlantic will amplify that message and paves the way for leaders and communities from all sectors to engage with design in this important dialogue.”
“The theme of Cooper Hewitt’s Design Triennial aligns very well with Cube’s mandate: to show design that impacts our world, as well as design for human needs and ambition,” said Hans Gubbels, director of Cube. “Working side by side, we have gathered thought-provoking projects from around the globe, and look forward to engaging Cube’s audiences on this vital issue.”
“Nature” will address the ways designers are exploring sustainable production methods, identifying new ways for protecting future generations and deepening the understanding of, and relationship with, nature. Areas of innovation include synthetic biology, data visualization, urban agriculture and alternative materials research.
Curatorial teams from both museums are developing the exhibition content, including Cooper Hewitt’s Caitlin Condell, associate curator and head of Drawings, Prints & Graphic Design; Andrea Lipps, assistant curator of contemporary design; and, Matilda McQuaid, deputy director of curatorial and head of Textiles; and Cube’s Gene Bertrand, program and development director; and Gubbels.