DATE: 1/24/2013 | BY RANYA ASMAR
We are pleased to announce DesignFile, the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum's new line of e-books on design writing and research, published in consortium with academic and institutional partners. DesignFile is the latest publishing initiative of Cooper-Hewitt, following the establishment of an independent publishing imprint in 2006.
DesignFile will feature a wide range of books, from short, text-only works to full-length illustrated publications. The first three titles to be released in the series on February 1st, 2013, are Design Cult by Steven Heller, The Miser's Purse by Laura Camerlengo and Hacking Design by Avinash Rajagopal. DesignFile will be produced and distributed by ARTBOOK | DIGITAL. All DesignFile publications will be formatted as EPUB 2.0 files and accessible through any e-book reader.
"Through DesignFile, Cooper-Hewitt is able to reach new audiences who want great design content quickly on a mobile device—the devoted groups who are passionate about design practice, theory and the pure aesthetics," said Caroline Baumann, acting director of Cooper-Hewitt. "By partnering with universities whose graduate students generate much of this cutting-edge thought, this new publishing platform will broadly increase public access to design scholarship and resources."
In Design Cult, Heller reaches into the most contemplative recesses of his mind to offer an entertaining new collection of ruminations on the nature and future of design. A renowned designer, author, critic, co-chair of the School of Visual Arts Master's program in design and National Design Award recipient, Heller expounds on such disparate topics as Milton Glaser, Japanese masks, velvet touch lettering, anthropomorphism and people in glass apartments.
The Miser's Purse, originally written by Camerlengo as a thesis for the Parsons/Cooper-Hewitt Master's program, tells the compelling story of how a small, decorative purse became deeply embedded in 19th-century Victorian popular culture. Known at the time as long purses, gentlemen's purses or simply purses, they came to be called miser's purses because their diminutive openings made it difficult to retrieve coins. The e-book contains 29 images and a video of the author demonstrating how to use a miser's purse.
Originally written by Rajagopal as a thesis for the School of Visual Arts Master's program in design criticism, Hacking Design examines both common histories and persisting misunderstandings between hackers and designers and uncovers shared ground on which the two creative communities can work together. Rajagopal nimbly skips between the computer and design communities, from Makerbot to the Hacking Ikea site, from 3-D printing to DIY, providing 23 illustrated examples.
About the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
Founded in 1897, Cooper-Hewitt is the only museum in the nation devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. The museum presents compelling perspectives on the impact of design on daily life through active educational programs, exhibitions and publications.
Cooper-Hewitt's main facility, housed in the Carnegie Mansion, is undergoing renovation as part of a $64 million capital campaign that includes enlarged and enhanced facilities for exhibitions, collections display, education programming and the National Design Library, and an increased endowment. During the mansion renovation, Cooper-Hewitt's usual schedule of exhibitions, education programs and events are being staged at various off-site locations.