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  1. Barbara Michalak said, on January 16, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    Judith Davidsen: I appreciate your critique of the Why Design Now installation at Cooper-Hewitt. I did see the show. Those who curate so technical a show surely have to cede some power of choice to those who design the installation. I think the bias for an attractive installation explains items like the big, splashy, celebrity wallpaper, otherwise a puzzling choice. I enjoyed the exhibit and its mind-stretching survey of environmental problem-solving, but I would have liked longer and clearer (and eye-height) explanations. These are not objects that explain themselves at a glance. keep reporting with your wry eye!

  2. Rosemary G. Fleig said, on September 25, 2010 at 10:12 PM

    It’s great to see a comprehensive review that flies high but can also get down and dirty when it comes to practicalities. You’re telling it like it is, unlike some other so-called reviewers.

  3. Ann said, on September 20, 2010 at 5:21 PM

    Wow. It make me want to visit Cooper-Hewitt (even though you panned it somewhat). It’s been ages since I’ve been there, and the technological exhibits interest me. I think it’s great that you’re doing a blog!

  4. Jane Peddicord said, on September 20, 2010 at 5:18 PM

    This is a beautiful page and the content is fascinating. I’m learning a lot here and plan to keep coming back!

  5. Martin Cassidy said, on September 20, 2010 at 3:19 AM

    Good writing. Keep it going. I was taken by the solar panels in the shape of curved tiles. But why didn’t they tint them to match the real tiles? As a matter of local design, they often scatter purplish tile here and there to enhance the view. I wonder if panels could be made like that, making the whole roof solar.

    As to earthquake, I rode out the Northridge Quake in bed. It was pretty big and busted the house up in a thorough if hidden way. Power was out for three or four days on my block and all sorts of things we took for granted stopped granting. Bush One, still smarting from the lambasting he took on his fucked up response to the big Florida hurricane, ordered checks sent to all and everybody. In fact, people got checks based on their zip code. On the other hand, insurance companies sent unqualified new hires to handle inspections with instructions to stone wall, resulting in immense wrangling and law suits that dragged on for years. But that’s a mere snaggly situation that we had — some dead, a lot more traumatized, and some permanent homelessness. — still we got through and over it pretty well. BUT, if the BIG one comes, we might as well hide under a desk. It will be lights out for everybody and martial law time. The highly vaunted water we stored in the back house and in the kitchen will be destroyed, along with us, by the collapsed house, gas main fires and exploding electric lines. We live in a methane zone. That means the Miracle Mile, Fairfax districts will be burning and blowing up. The bullshit you cited at the exhibition is what makes me think most exhibitors, curators and critics live in a world of meaningless flack manufacture.

    PS I love the old arts And crafts movement. Pray, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater just because the talent sucks.

  6. Ken Gray said, on September 19, 2010 at 5:04 PM

    Hi Judith, congratulations on a great blog. Honest, objective review of Cooper-Hewitt exhibit, not overpraised or overcriticized.

    Above are two links related to the Biomimicry Institute, a fabulous research project, which seeks to find clues from nature to adapt to human technology, i.e. working with natural principles rather than against. Click on Expand – it takes a while to load – and see why, for example, rabbits touch their ears, and lick their paws, and how we coudl devleop a better sunscreen as a result.

    Ken Gray

    • jdavidsen said, on September 20, 2010 at 9:14 AM

      Ken–thanks for your wonderful comment and the link. The thing that disturbed me was the claim that the biomimetic BioWave has no effect on marine life–maybe not, but I think the Museum should have explained why not. Oh, well.

      Can I ask a favor? Since it’s my blog, I don’t get to make comments and don’t know how that works, but someone else wants to make a comment and can’t figure out to do it. Do you remember what to do?

      thanks Judith

  7. Loyola Peddicord said, on September 19, 2010 at 3:18 PM

    I’m impressed, awed and exhausted. My first reading, it will take one or two more and I will still have dozens of questions. Think seeing the exhibition would take me a week. You certainly have piqued my interest

  8. Susan Gross said, on September 18, 2010 at 8:33 PM

    Loved it! Will look forward to reading/seeing more!

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