The Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Toshiko Mori has designed a “pristine,” “exquisite” exhibition entitled “Bob Greenberg Selects: Connected by Design,” guest-curated by the titular advertising-world pioneer and on view at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum through September 9. Drawing 42 items from the museum’s collection—among them, clocks, telephones, calculators, and watches—the exhibit explores how technology has propelled design innovations in form, style, and function over the past 65 years. As the Cooper Hewitt notes, the exhibition is organized into four groupings—Dieter Rams’s Ten Principles for Good Design, Connected Devices, Disruptive Innovations, and Measurement and Calculation—and underscores how historical objects point to future innovation.
A theme girding the exhibit is the narrative that “good design” can present a sleek, simple interface atop a complicated, messy interior; Mori has designed the show’s architecture accordingly. (Mori previously collaborated with Greenberg in designing “Connected House” in upstate New York.)
“The idea and the principle underlying this exhibition is a collaboration with Bob Greenberg that started with the design of his house in upstate New York. We continued our discussion on how our lives have evolved with the onset of digital devices to control and give choices about our lifestyle,” Mori tells Architectural Digest. “In this exhibit, then, he showcases objects that have dynamic properties of connecting our lives with the outside world by measuring, monitoring, socially connecting by becoming portable and mobile.”
Mori’s design includes all-white displays that carve out room-like spaces within the main exhibition interior. Individual products and items are presented on minimalist stands of varying heights, some behind glass and some in open air. The exhibit makes use of Kaneka OLED lighting—noted for having a spectrum remarkably close to natural light—making it the first installation outside of Japan to use this particular lighting.