Nature—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial

Practice Area


Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum

Project Vision

“Nature—Cooper Hewitt Triennial” is a collaboration of projects that demonstrate how designers are collaborating with scientists, engineers, environmentalists, academics and other stakeholders, culminating in an exhibition that looks to design’s ability to address critical issues surrounding nature, climate and the environment.

Although precisely fitting the curatorial narrative, the sixty-two international design teams’ featured prototypes, consumer products, immersive installations, and architectural constructions that were vastly different in scale and disposition. Coupled with the backdrop of the museum’s conspicuous, historic shell, the visual disparity between items posed a challenge in creating a holistic exhibition experience. Rather than having the objects isolated from the building’s architecture, the solution is an activation of the space through organic, innovative, and flexible design. The display system molds into the framework of the building, creating a conceptual oozing of nature from the walls of the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, which flows and fuses with the building. 


Project Details
Design Team

Wendy Evans Joseph (principal), Monica Coghlan (design director), José-Luis Vidalón (project manager), Joseph Parrella, Ellen Wong, and Shou Yang (designers)

Project Area

8000 sq ft

Project Budget

$150,000 USD


Neil Donnelly Studio: Neil Donnelly (principal), and Ben Fehrman-Lee (graphic designer)


Supermatic Studio, Voodoo Manufacturing — 3D Printing Fabrication