Beauty: Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial

ISBN 13: 9781942303114

Beauty: Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial

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9781942303114: Beauty: Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial

Beauty--the book, born out of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum's 2015 Triennial of the same name, curated by Andrea Lipps and Ellen Lupton--showcases some of the most exciting and provocative design created around the globe during the past three years. These pages aim not to emphasize the hidden beauty in the everyday--a beloved teapot or favorite shoe--but to locate transformational beauty in contemporary design that is exuberant, ethereal, atmospheric, experiential, exceptional or sublime. Sixty-two designers represent a vast range of disciplines from architecture, fashion, digital, graphic, and product design, to interiors, hair, nail and lighting design. The objects featured cause us to take pause, catch our breath and get lost in our pursuit to understand or explain them.
Designed by the innovative Kimberly Varella, the book is itself a tactile, fluid and provocative interpretation of beauty. Varella's design provides unexpected points of entry, playing with the concepts of beauty by using reflective surfaces, hot pink thread weaving pages together and a "heart" of the book, from which all else flows. Ethereal, Intricate, Extravagant, Transformative, Transgressive, Elemental and Emergent Beauty are the seven themes. Each section includes the individual designers in conversation with the curators about her or his process and beauty's differing forms, punctuated by rich galleries of their work, generating the ultimate feast for the senses.

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Review:

Beautiful surprises and surprising depth.... an exquisite survey, displaying an array of design as well as challenging our definitions of beauty. (Alexander Cavaluzzo Hyperallergic)

Far from preaching a singular standard of beauty, the alluring pieces on display pose alternative, and refreshingly diverse depictions that break wide open that elusive, age-old notion. A catalogue companion to the show, itself a distinctive object, designed by Kimberly Varella of Content Object Design Studio, collects each of the featured designers’ takes on the topic, many of them poetic musings. (Aileen Kwun Dwell)

[A] sumptuous catalog. (Avinash Rajagopal Metropolis)

...sensation and astonishment trump function and systems. Traversing genres, "Beauty - Cooper Hewit Design Triennial"... showcases more than 250 works by 62 innovators from around the globe. (Diane Solway W Magazine)

The show's wide range of works - well documented in a concurrent book, Beauty: Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial, released November 24 [2015] - expresses that all-are-welcome moment design finds itself in right now. (Dan Rubinstein Departures)

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Andrea Lipps; Ellen Lupton
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