26 Jul 2019 - NYTimes - Design Triennial envisions the possibilities for algae, yeast & other nonpolluting materials. Will they help save the planet?
Plastics transformed the material world after World War II. Today, they pollute our oceans. A better future will be made with … algae. Or bacteria. That’s the dominant theme of a sweeping exhibition, “Nature: Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial.” On display here at the Smithsonian’s temple to the culture of design, on upper Fifth Avenue, are objects you might once have expected only at a science museum: Proteins found in silkworms are repurposed as surgical screws and optical lenses. Electronically active bacteria power a light fixture.
Heedless exploitation of resources has undergirded industrial society and is quickly becoming untenable. The exhibition celebrates ambitious collaborations by teams of designers and scientists striving to achieve human ends in ways that don’t require extracting fossil fuels from the earth, for example, and that restore such vast damaged realms as oceans. The “Nature” triennial is positing no less than a new relationship between the human and the natural.
CONTINE READING ONLINE HERE: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/25/arts/design/nature-climate-change-cooper-hewitt-review.html