Cultured Magazine

December 2011

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 51 of 115

An Eye for Design Bill Moggridge, the Cooper-Hewitt's new director, shares a few of his favorite things, and what he has in store for the museum post-expansion. Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum director Bill Moggridge. Some people love design. Some people make design. Some people sell de- sign. Bill Moggridge is design. He studied industrial design in London, de- signed the first laptop in 1979, formed the international design consulting business IDEO (eye-dee-oh), which designed the first mouse for Apple, in Palo Alto in 1979. Moggridge, a philosopher of design, today heads the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York. A few questions for the man who favors Kazuo Kawasaki eyewear, Mont Blanc fountain pens, Whiteboards and Post-It notes, and who collects vintage, ar- tisan Japanese plastic food.—Linda Lee Cooper-Hewitt galleries will reopen in 2013 after renovations. What's hap- pening today? We stay alive by doing exhibitions elsewhere. There's "Design With the Other 90 Percent: Cities" at the United Nations now. Next spring we're doing a design scavenger app for the iPhone and Android, and next summer there will be "Graphic Design: Now in Production" on Governors Island, curated in part by Ellen Lupton. It's at the Walker in Minneapolis right now. What country is most design-y today? Japan has this fine awareness of de- sign, like the tea ceremony. Italy has 2,000 years of beautiful design. Scan- dinavia has furniture innovations, a general awareness of design. In the United Kingdom, in the 1980s, they introduced design as a standard subject for A, O or F levels, and as a result London is now a center for design. Hol- land is endlessly creative, especially Eindhoven. Paris is a little spare, mostly fashion. Milan has furniture and lighting. Berlin is great for art. America? America was the leading light in the post-war period. It had a con- sumer economy, unlike Europe and Japan. So America had the design heroes: Norman Bel Geddes, Raymond Lowey, Henry Dreyfuss, Donald Deskey, Walter Dorwin Teague. But then the tradition became diluted, as industry became strong in the Midwest. There was resurgence in the 80s and 90s, with people like me coming in. Then foreign competition made people more aware. Who does the best design coverage? In print, Fast Company, for interesting stuff about design at the consumer level. Online, CORE 77 is where design- ers go if they want to know what's going on. Design Observer is online too, with those great Debbie Millman podcasts on design. Behind the Wheel Tucked away on a quiet West Village street, Located on a tree-lined, West Village street, Greenwich House Pottery is an under-the-radar New York City institution. Originally established as a stone working school for boys, over the years it evolved into a ceramics studio and cel- ebrated its centennial two years ago. Its low pro- file, street level store stocks one of a kind, hand made bowls, teapots, mugs and platters; its five studios host a robust schedule of hands-on classes and its small exhibition space shows a range of styles that appeal to all manner of col- lectors, dealers and curators. "In the gallery we focus on exploratory work," says director Adam Welch. "Our ceramicists defy traditional concep- tions with their unique use of clay." Todd Merrill represents two ceramicists, Beth Katleman and Jeanne Quinn, who have GHP shows on their resumes. In one memorable 50 CULTURED installation, Katleman filled the gallery with ro- coco porcelain bridesmaids and landscapes that could have moonlighted as demented, three-di- mensional Toile de Jouy fragments. In Miami, Merrill will show Everything Is Not As It Seems, a lighting installation Quinn fired in her Brooklyn studio. A web-like porcelain assemblage, it hangs overhead and has enough presence to command an entire room. Mid century dealer Mark McDonald is also a long time fan of GHP. "Some people are at- tracted to elastic ways to use ceramics, but I'm a traditionalist," he says, referring to work he carries by studio artist and Greenwich House teacher Kathy Erteman whose painterly, sculp- tural vessels and wall pieces combine the mate- riality of craft with the intentionality of design.—Linda O'Keeffe Greenwich House Pottery is rich with artistic talent. Jeanne Quinn's lighting installation is constructed from porcelain, wire, paint and electrical hardware.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Cultured Magazine - December 2011