On May 10th, an exhibition focused on inventive and promising solutions to 21st century challenges will be simultaneously presented in Washington, DC and in Kerkrade, Netherlands. Co-organized by Cooper Hewitt, the Smithsonian Design Museum, and the Cube design museum, Nature—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial will explore design and architecture's response to critical issues surrounding nature, climate, and the environment.
“With 2018 the Earth’s fourth-warmest year on record and global carbon emissions at an all-time high, the crisis of human-caused climate change has never been more dire,” said Caroline Baumann, director of Cooper Hewitt. “Solutions will not emerge without radical new thinking and alliances. ‘Nature’ brings together some of the most creative and intelligent designers whose works address our complex relationship to nature and its precious resources and advocate for greater empathy for our planet.”
Organized around seven categories—Understand, Simulate, Salvage, Facilitate, Augment, Remediate and Nurture—60 projects will be presented that offer innovative and promising answers to questions such as—"How can technology enable designers to simulate nature?"—and— "How can designers attempt to slow, stop and reverse the negative impacts of humanity's footprint on the planet?"
Among them are Terreform ONE's Monarch Sanctuary, which offers a new urban habitat for the butterfly whose population is at risk of collapse. Another—Bamboo Theater by DnA Design and Architecture founder Xu Tian, which weaves and bends living bamboo into a vaulted space—demonstrates how nature can be used as a partner, rather than a resource. Joining them, are works from MIT's Neri Oxman, the Spanish firm Ensamble Studio, the conceptual material designer Shahar Livne, and other collaborations with scientists, engineers, environmentalists, and academics.
"The project in 'Nature' show great inventiveness," said Hans Gubbels, director of Cube. "This carries the promise that we can bring human behavior back in line with nature again. Co-operation between design, science and technology thus can turn the tide for out planet," they added.
On display through January 10th, 2020, Nature is the sixth installment of the Cooper Hewitt series which looks at new developments in design as they surface in studios, fairs, galleries, and media around the world.
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