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“Design by Hand” focuses on contemporary global designers

Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2013.

Starting this fall and running through the spring of 2017, the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum’s new series of bi-annual educational conversations and workshops will focus on the craftsmanship, innovations and merits of contemporary global designers.

Each week of immersion programming will spotlight a pioneering design organization, beginning with Finnish brand Marimekko this fall. Other featured firms throughout the series include Heath Ceramics (spring 2014) and the jewelry house Van Cleef & Arpels (fall 2014).



“With our world immersed in technology, this series reaffirms the important role the human hand plays in the design process, from watercolor sketching at Marimekko to hand-thrown prototypes at Heath Ceramics,” said Caroline Baumann, director of the museum.

“Pioneering techniques and designs, combined with exquisite hand craftsmanship, are at the core of Van Cleef & Arpels’ jewelry,” said Nicolas Bos, global president and CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels. “We are delighted to work again with Cooper-Hewitt to provide instruction and insight on design techniques and processes from various industries, from fashion and graphic design to product design.”

Special programs will be developed to reach each of the museum’s core audiences—university students, high school students, adults and families. The main programming component for each week will feature a teen hands-on workshop, adult workshop, college workshop, public lecture and family workshops.



The fall Design by Hand public programs with Marimekko include:

Teen Workshop: Inspired by Life—Tuesday, November 5, at 4:00 p.m.

Cooper-Hewitt’s teen programs are essential to the museum’s goal of developing the designers of tomorrow. This hands-on print workshop will focus on creating prints inspired by everyday life. The teens will work with Marimekko designers to translate colors, patterns and shapes into actual prints. 

University-level Workshop: Dressing Up People and Objects—Wednesday, November 6, at 2:00 p.m.

Students will work side by side with Marimekko designers to learn how to wrap three-dimensional forms with patterns and colors.

Adult Hands-on Workshop: Design Storytelling—Wednesday, Nov. 6, at 6:30 p.m.

Marimekko designers will discuss powerful examples of storytelling through the firm’s prints and lead a hands-on print workshop for participants to explore the theme in their own work. Cooper-Hewitt members, $25; general admission, $50.

Public Lecture: The Spirit of Marimekko Design—Thursday, Nov. 7, at 6:30 p.m.

The public program will feature a discussion about Marimekko’s approach to design, including its design language of colors, patterns and shapes. The program will be webcast live and the broadcast will be archived on Cooper-Hewitt’s website. General admission, $10; senior citizens, $8. Cooper-Hewitt members and students are admitted free with registration. WNYC Greene Space (44 Charlton Street, New York)

Family Workshops: Colors, Patterns and Shapes—Saturday, November 9, at 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

These family workshops will be inspired by Marimekko’s work and will feature a creative, hands-on program, led by museum educators.

Unless noted otherwise, each of the programs takes place at the Cooper-Hewitt Design Center (111 Central Park North, New York). All programs require advanced registration online. For further information, call (212) 849-8353.