During the recent three-year renovation, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum transformed itself into one of the most modern, technologically advanced and engaging museums in the city. What was once yet another Fifth Avenue mansion filled with old furniture, wallpaper samples, and flatware is now the standard for museum design in the twenty-first century. 'Design' is a vibrant, contemporary field based on a long, fascinating history. The museum strikes the perfect balance between respecting the past while embracing the modern. Temporary exhibits tend towards the popular and contemporary, with the permanent collection tracing the varied evolution of the field.
Something in the object can render it beautiful as soon as you know something about it, like a process or a history that makes you look at it in a different way
What You Will See
The zoo extends well beyond the traditional charismatic megafauna. Here you will see deep collections spanning the branches of the animal kingdom, both large and tiny. Iconic experiences, like the sea lion feeding, are supplemented by the discovery of a beautiful (or hideous--like the Marabou Stork) new animal from across the globe. Like any zoo, it is optimized for kids, but the Wildlife Conservation Society conducts so much fascinating new research that adults are bound to learn something new. Even empty, the zoo would merit a visit for the lovely grounds and Beaux-Art turn-of-the-century architecture.
Why You Should Go
Why Art? Great minds continue to ponder this question and the best answer is still 'Ars Gratia Artis.' No such question exists in the field of design, where form ever follows function. Design is about creating something useful which exists for a specific human purpose, solving a real-world problem. Great design is about adding beauty, elegance, and simplicity. After a thoughtful visit to the Cooper-Hewitt, you will view everything you interact with in a different light. And simply as a museum experience, the redesign Cooper-Hewitt is an exciting foreshadowing of what future museums can be.
Through the rest of the year, most of the museum is dedicated to the always-popular Cooper-Hewitt Design Triennial. This year the museum collaborates with the Cube Design Museum to present the latest and greatest in the design field. Over sixty design teams have contributed works ranging from lightbulb installations to robotic ants.