Smithsonian Design Museum: Design Beyond Vision!

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum will present “The Senses: Design Beyond Vision” . In the 1980s the Swiss design thinker Lucius Burckhardt coined: “Design is invisible“.

Burckhardt called for a design that consciously takes into account the invisible overall system comprised of objects and interpersonal relationships. He obviously did not call for a design beyond vision. Yet, his slogan plays with vision and its role in design. Burckhardt calls for a design that is invisible, i.e. not to be seen or noticed. Beyond vision: Expanding the sensorium!

At this point the sense of smell can become relevant given that smells are often hardly noticed or perceived subconsciously. Scent is the unseen dimension! Accordingly, other sensory modalities are increasingly discussed in the design world. This is also the context for the upcoming major exhibition at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, i.e. the only museum in the United States devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design.

The Senses: Design Beyond Vision

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum will present “The Senses: Design Beyond Vision” exhibition, on view April 13 through October 28 2018, which examines how multisensory design amplifies everyone’s ability to receive information, explore the world, satisfy essential needs and experience joy and wonder. “The Senses” features direct sensory experiences and displays practical, innovative and exploratory products to touch, hear, see and smell.

Scent fountain

According to the press release Christophe Laudamiel’s Scent Fountain is part of the show: Fear and Volatile Marilyn, which invites visitors to compare texture and smell. Our ethnographic study of practices in perfume making started with studying the development of new scents with Christophe Laudamiel at Dreamair.

Image source: Heilig, M. L. (1992). EL Cine del Futuro: The Cinema of the Future. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 1(3), 279–294, p. 285.

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