Photo via: Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
George Nelson, Herman Miller’s first director of design, always had the answer. He said, “Design is a response to social change.”
With urgent human challenges like climate, dwindling resources, growth, hunger, waste, poverty, and health—all on a global scale—Nelson’s celebrated quote is never more true than today. Why design now? Because more than ever, the design world needs to respond to change with solutions that are sustainable, practical, affordable, and safe. And we need solutions that inspire, raise questions, and help us move forward.
A selection of the most innovative answers are now featured at the “National Design Triennial: Why Design Now?”, an exhibition at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. It opened May 14 in New York and runs through January 9, 2011.
The diverse designs are grouped into several categories:
There are over 130 enlightening designs: from carbon-negative concrete made from a process similar to how corals make reefs (please, don’t ask me to explain), to self-adjustable eyeglasses (mass-made for the developing world), to the Viet Village organic urban farm near New Orleans. Go see it. These inspiring and exciting designs are helping to give people worldwide the means to improve the environment, improve their lives, and thrive.