Final Project: Cooper H.

The museum has it’s own island in the middle of a residential area. It was large and beautiful as a museum should be. When I entered, I was surprised to be given a pen to help me navigate the museum and save certain exhibits as favorites to look back on them later. The museum is very interactive and encourages you to be child like again, to be curious again which I really appreciated. I had never entered the museum before because I am not originally a designer so museum’s never caught my interest so much. Ironically, many times in class I’ve heard this museum adn the Guggenheim museum get referenced but still was stuck in the mundane museum experiences in the past.

  I had no expectatiosn for what a museum should be like, but now I have lots. A museum should be interactive, informative and encourage you to think. Because some of their exhbits are seasonal, I will try to revisit to see what the curatorial department comes up with next. I think that knowing design styles and being able to influence what is a huge skill, because then you can see what styles are embedded in your own work even if you haven’t formally studied said style.
The museum had 3 floors, all were huge except the first. It was lovely to see how they had full exhbits based on making life easier for the disabled, so they can live their life to the fullest and independantly. My favorite floor though, was the second where they showed staircases and mini figures of actual built architectures. It was very charming to see the little sculptures and I saw many styles in them even though I didn’t choose them as one of the seven choices. Another part of that floor that was amazing was the color lab, and the editorial pieces (that were very illuminated manuscript in design). To think that we have the past to thank for now knowing what color makes what through their own trial and error is amazing to me. If not for them dedicated their lives to color, graphic design would mostlikely be monochrome if anything.

All in all, I really enjoyed this experience and hope to attend another museum that strives for visitors to be curious, to interact with exhibits, to enjoy yourself and really have fun through the museum.


The first piece I stumbled upon during my visit was a piece of Kitsch. Kitsch is a German word meaning “bad taste”, art that solely has consumers in mind. Kitsch is considered to be designed poorly and cheaply with clashing color combinations that don’t work well. Overtly cute pieces such as Hello Kitty and some anime styles are prime examples of Kitsch.

Kitsch ruled from 1940-50s but has reigned in our contemporary life today. Cooper Hewitt’s Kitsch is a fluffy, fuzzy little cat sitting in the section targeted to people with impairments. The inscription ( and the obnoxious barking that filled the room amongst a room filled with quality art) is the funniest and most telling part, it begins with, “This is a dog.” Although unlike other Kitsch pieces I personally believe that this piece is very cheesy, but sweet that it’s creator, Hasbro wanted to ease people’s loneliness and isolation.
Robotic pets that are lifelike pets that are as responsive as the dog can be mocked by the general public as just another Kitsch, but I believe “DOG, JOY FOR ALL COMPANION PETS” is a good, homely idea that would do much better without the bright red banana with ill-fitting patterns adorning its cloth.



Perhaps one of my favorite styles of design is the style of The New York School. It began in the 1950s with a strong emphasis on editorial design and creating art that was truly unlike any seen before. Stars of the style was Thompson whose bold typography shocked viewers of the magazine, the first female allowed in the type director’s club, Cipe, and Paul Rand wh.

This piece is entitled “SIDEWALL, BEETLE, 2016”. What can be seen is a digital print on mylar with analogous, bright colors aligned in a grid, repetitious in nature. What’s interesting is that although The New York School was changing the face of editorial design using a much looser grid, they’d often have pieces that were patterns, strongly fixed on a grid. Because The New York School style directly influenced Andy Warhol’s ‘pop art’ and his rise to fame from repetitive, symmetrical paintings, it’s safe to say that this is another piece that pays homage to the brilliant thinkers of The New York School Style.


It appeared as if Cooper Hewitt’s main exhibits were focused on making life for those with impairments easy through design. In this case, the “MATCH COOKING PREP SYSTEM, 2012” is just that. This piece is made to provide visual routine and structure to those with autism. The cups have easy to grab handles and has a deck of 4 colors and shapes that are paired with the correct slot on the woodenboard. Using the modern innovation, the iPad, recipes are translated and visually explained as the ingredients correspond to the measuring cups.

The artist, Amanda Savitzky created this system to help her adult brother who is on one end of the autistic spectrum how to learn to cook for himself. This piece is influenced by Swiss International style because it is minimalist, and as swiss designers adored their grid, because, in Brookmann’s words, “The grid is an organizational system that enables you to achieve an orderly result at a minimum cost. The task is solved more easily, faster and better.”

Here, the grid is the system of color coded miniature pots and pans that are a fool proof way to make the process of cooking to those with impairment (or without) easy to read, comprehend and apply themselves to accordingly. Not to mention the washes of colors are the same hues many swiss artists such as Vignelli used as a means for wayfinding and his furniture endeavors.



An example of corpate design would be Ken White’s “ POSTER, EQUAL OPPORTUNITY | COLOR BLIND, 1974″  The idea behind the corporate design movement was to creative use logos and other supplement material to  brand the company of origin. Here, it’s IBM. Their logo is used as a chart to make the gap between colorblind consumers and non colorblind consumers closer while at the same time giving IBM a caring,modern tone, that they care about all aspects of their audience and not just one.


DaDa is described as an anti art movement, it was a mix of Cubism, Futurism, Constructivism but unlike the others did not aim to be aesthetically pleasing. People’s reactions to the atrocity of World War I helped sew the seeds and experience of DaDa.

“CUSHIONS, WELL WELL WELL, 2016” is an example of DaDa though it’s very aesthetically pleasing to me. The artist uses hand drawn entities that purely the artists own and doesn’t even bother to use a typeface to explore their ideas. Unlike DaDa at it’s peek, the designs are woven into a connected, coherant story if viewers pay attention.

Paying attention to DaDa is another interesting comment considering DaDa was conceptual but sometimes seemed nonsensical when set side by side with an art style like Corprate identity. This piece is monochrome with heavy use of a handwritten type and floods of illustrations within its columns.


“POSTER, AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, THÉÂTRE DU CHÂTELET, 2014″  is a piece inspired by Art Deco at it’s prime. Art deco used geometrical shapes to tell stories and extreme perspective angles to sell products in a new, never before seen way.

I also associate  Art Deco with ‘The Great Gatsby’ aesthetic because many of it’s paintings featured women with short bob cuts with jewlery and the movie borrowed rightfully from Art Deco’s style.

Here, Paris’ Effiel tower is being sold geometrically with tiny ornaments filling the negative space of the tower.

The composition is very telling of Art deco. I feel that the artist also experiemented with curving the mirroed tower, because this wasn’t a feat seen in traditional art deco. Nevertheless, this is very Art Deco-esque image and it fits it’s target audience perfectly.



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The Victorian Era

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