Design shapes how we interact with space, connect with those around us, and envision our own identities. “Looking for Design” explores some examples of design in the Smithsonian collections, incorporating objects from National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) and the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. From jewelry to furniture, activist posters to architectural drawings, these objects tell a story about how Black and Latinx designers have produced innovative objects that reference diasporic traditions and shared histories. We engage with objects like this every day – bracelets, chairs, tables, and posters – but don’t always consider who developed them, and what practices and cultures inspired them.

This series on “Looking for Design” is written by Maeve Coudrelle, Summer 2017 Latino Museum Studies Program Fellow, in consultation with Michelle Joan Wilkinson at NMAAHC and Christina de León at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. The fellowship program received federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.

Resource Links

Learn more about design objects at the Smithsonian by exploring the collections at Cooper Hewitt and NMAAHC.

Share this page