The Museum of Modern Art presents Rough Cut: Design Takes a Sharp Edge, an installation in The Philip Johnson Architecture and Design Galleries on the third floor that showcases 98 objects in the Museum's collection whose impact is due not to their graceful formal qualities but to their designers' radical engagement with meaning and emotion.
The selection of works range from striking posters to chairs, and from videos to vehicles designed for harsh terrains and unforgiving circumstances.
The exhibition is organized by Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator, and Patricia Juncosa Vecchierini, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art.
According to the curators: "Good design is not always pretty, but when it is good, it is undeniably powerful, meaningful, and beautiful.
It is a common mistake to equate design with decoration and embellishment, but design is not simply a matter of giving a pleasing form to a functional object."
Some of the objects in the exhibition bare it all, dispensing with surface treatments to expose the processes of their creation, like Nendo's Cabbage Chair (2007).
Others, such as Konstantin Grcic's MYTO chair (2007), which is compact, stackable, suitable for in and outdoor use, and entirely recyclable, distill design down to its strongest expression while pushing materials to the limit.