A $600,000 grant by The Rockefeller Foundation will fund a series based on the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum's groundbreaking 2007 Design for the Other 90% exhibition, which focused on design solutions for populations not traditionally served by the professional design community.
"This exhibition series demonstrates exactly how design is a dynamic force in transforming and, in many cases, saving lives around the world," says Caroline Baumann, the museum's acting director. Cynthia Smith, the museum's curator of socially responsible design, will guide the development of the exhibition series.
The series will kick off in fall 2011 with "Critical Mass," an examination of the complex issues that will emerge as a result of unprecedented population growth—chiefly in the southern hemisphere—in the next 20 years. It will explore the overlapping relationships among urban planning and design, education, social entrepreneurship, climate change, sanitation and water, migration, public health, and affordable housing in underprivileged communities.
Along with the museum exhibition, Cooper-Hewitt will create an online open-network database to make information gathered in the field accessible to all, allowing designers, communities, and other stakeholders to form partnerships and develop solutions to the design challenges highlighted in the series. A scholarly catalog and accompanying educational programs also will be offered.
Three installations in the series are currently planned. The original Design for the Other 90% is currently on exhibit in Portland, Ore., through Feb. 28; it will then move to the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C., from April 28 through Sept. 6, 2010. Visit the exhibition site at other90.cooperhewitt.org. For details about the forthcoming series, visit www.cooperhewitt.org.
In other Cooper-Hewitt news: Bill Moggridge, co-founder of design and innovation firm IDEO, has been named the new director of the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. Moggridge—who designed the first laptop computer in 1980, as well as many other high-tech products—will take office as the museum's fourth director in March, succeeding former director Paul Thompson. In 2009 Moggridge received the Lifetime Achievement Award at Cooper-Hewitt's National Design Awards, in recognition of his profound, long-term contributions to the practice of contemporary design. He currently serves as consulting associate professor in the design program at Stanford University.
"This is an enormous honor and opportunity for me," Moggridge said of his appointment. "It is deeply satisfying that design is being embraced today as a way to tackle many of the complex challenges facing business and society. In my new role as director of Cooper-Hewitt, I aim to communicate its impact and relevance in everyday life to inspire people's interest, understanding, and engagement with all disciplines of design."