Beautiful, old stuff is still really cool: A look inside the new Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Indeed. I often take antique/old designs, technologies, tools, etc. and see how they can be redesigned and made useful again as modern inventions.

On the other side of the Beaux-Arts façade and iron-wrought doors of a 115-year-old mansion in the poshest neighborhood of Manhattan, you’ll find something odd: a sleek white and gray retro-futuristic desk shaped like a boomerang. Industrial magnate Andrew Carnegie surely never dreamed of such a thing, but what it signals is that you’ve just stepped into the all-new Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, open today for the first time since 2011.

Carnegie_Mansion_North_Facade The North façade of Carnegie Mansion, which serves as the main entrance to the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

The desk, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (TED Talk: A new museum wing … in a giant bubble), can be partitioned in two and slid behind a 2,000-pound hidden pivot door. It’s just one of the many new features being unveiled this week after the museum’s massive renovation. The stakes for all involved is clear: In a…

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