Nature—Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Triennial

Studio Joseph worked closely with the curators to bring forth this immense show of extraordinary and diverse pieces with very exacting and often challenging display requirements. Located on both the first floor and the third floor of the museum, the show is organized into six different curatorial themes. The architectural armature for the pieces incorporates undulating platforms forming cul-de-sacs and areas for display that allow visitors to meander amongst the presentations as if wandering through nature. Stringent requirements for interfacing with the historic interiors inspired creative solutions for data and power connections, structural support for elaborate elements and the integration of theatrical spaces for video.

The collaboration with graphic design produced the show’s highly unique and evocative interpretative format. 3D printed forms are mounted in random patterns at the beginning of each subject area. The title graphics, interwoven with these elements, appear and fade along the walls. This implied movement in conjunction with the play of light and shadow, creates a feeling of the walls dissolving as the forms push through their surfaces. This same affect is utilized in both a dark grey and a white palette depending on design context.

Designers are often inspired by nature. This exhibition shows how they also may manipulate nature in different ways to challenge norms and enhance life on earth.