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June 27, 2013 7:53 AM   Subscribe

The Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum is the only museum in the nation devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. While its home, the grand Andrew Carnegie mansion in Manhattan, is currently undergoing a major renovation, you can still experience the richness of the collections through its Object of the Day blog. Recent highlights range from scratch & sniff wallpaper to the elegant simplicity of an Eames dining chair.
posted by Horace Rumpole (9 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
The Senior Engineer of Digital and Emerging Media at the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum is Aaron Cope (formerly of flickr), and he has some really excellent stuff on his weblog. If you haven't read time pixels, his speech to the New Zealand National Digital Forum, it's particularly awesome.
posted by jeffkramer at 8:12 AM on June 27, 2013 [7 favorites]

Not sure where my contribution will end up but I just donated several "design" related items to the Smithsonian.

My friend Joe Breeze donated what is universally accepted as the first modern mountain bike to the Smithsonian, and the curators asked me for some items to accompany it. I sent them my 1972 club jersey from "Velo Club Tamalpais" (Joe and Gary Fisher were also members), several copies of the first mountain bike magazine, which I published, the "Fat Tire Flyer," my 1983 mountain bike race license (#14), and the original artwork for the first poster advertising a mountain bike event in 1978.
posted by Repack Rider at 8:16 AM on June 27, 2013 [8 favorites]

The Cooper-Hewitt is my favorite museum, so much so that my dog is named Cooper, and his nickname is Cooper-Chewit.
posted by BrotherCaine at 8:18 AM on June 27, 2013 [4 favorites]

It's a great museum, and I recommend it highly to anyone planning a NYC vacation (in 2014 or later). Great building, great location, great subject matter. A+ 4 stars would go there again.
posted by mcstayinskool at 8:25 AM on June 27, 2013

Do the snozzberries smell like snozzberries?!
posted by coachfortner at 9:34 AM on June 27, 2013

There's a lot of genius going on under the hood at Cooper-Hewitt. They've been engineering an amazing Collection Database, where the holdings of the museum are treated as first-class citizens of the network, with the notion being that when the museum reopens next year, the building itself will be the largest consumer of the API. On the other hand, your phone can be too; since they launched Object Phone call or text (718) 213-4915 to get their collection API.

And the data... oh the data...
They're giving it all away (something Seb Chan brought along with him from The Powerhouse Museum), along with their concordances, which is just a fancy way of saying "Oh other museums and wikipedia know this about this person or object" as a way to get museums to hold hands together on the web.

Oh, and if you work in a museum and have to use the beast that is TMS, but want to do things with your data, give TMS Tools a try. It takes your museum catalog and fights the database to give you a wonderful, easy CSV.

As someone who works in a similar institution in New York, we like to steal from the best. We steal a lot from these folks. They're great people, who do amazing work, and really give a shit about making Cooper Hewitt and museums in general better places.
posted by e1presidente at 1:21 PM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Your last link is borked, e1presidente.

And it's wild to see that museums have github pages. About as strange as when I first saw a billboard with a URL.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:50 PM on June 27, 2013

e1presidente's link was meant to go here, presumably.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 1:59 PM on June 27, 2013

Cooper-Hewitt was on my list of places to go when I lived in NJ and I never got there. I want to visit New York next year and I'm really hoping it's open again when I want to go.
posted by immlass at 3:19 PM on June 27, 2013

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