This exhibition was on display from July 12, 2019 to July 26, 2020.

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The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University leverages nature's design principles to develop new radical soluitions for healthcare, energy, architecture, robotics, and engineering. Guest curated by Wyss founding director Don Ingber, in collaboration with his co-faculty, Joann Aizenberg, Jennifer Lewis, Radhika Nagpal, and Pam Silver, the team selected works from Cooper Hewitt's collection to illustrate the theme of Biofuturism.

Biofuturism is a formulation of Futurism, the art movement that spread across Europe and the world in the early twentieth century that celebrated the sensation of energy, speed, and dynamism in modern technology. Its pioneering visionaries believed that their creations would hurtle the world into the future. They practiced across many media: painting, sculptre, theater, film, and architecture as well as graphic, industrial, interior, urban, and textile design.

One century later, the Wyss Institute is helping to lead a Biofuturism movement that looks to nature for inspiration. It is led by visionaries who use biological design principles and collaborate across multiple disciplines. In this Selects exhibition, the Wyss Insitute team presents objcts from Cooper Hewitt's collection, the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum, as well as the Wyss Institute's own projects to explore how Biofuturism--anticipating the future--can use design to engineer a better world.

  • Platter (France)
  • lead-glazed earthenware.
  • Gift of Francis B. Lothrop, Mrs. George Batchelder, and Jordan Abbott.
  • 1957-29-2
  • Escargot Vase, 1920
  • mold-blown and acid-etched glass.
  • Museum purchase through gift of Eleanor Garnier Hewitt.
  • 1969-91-1
  • Hanging (England)
  • linen, metal rods.
  • Museum purchase from Friends of Textiles Fund.
  • 1976-37-1
  • This object is part of the Textiles collection.
  • There are 2 images of this object.
  • This object is part of the Textiles collection.
  • Saucer (Denmark)
  • glazed porcelain.
  • Gift of Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Co..
  • 1982-65-4
  • Textile, Time Capsule
  • cotton.
  • Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Rose through The Art Institute of Chicago.
  • 1989-62-10
  • This object is part of the Textiles collection.
  • There are 3 images of this object.
  • Print, Design for the Ten-Deck House
  • mimeograph print, brush and blue watercolor on white paper.
  • Museum purchase from Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program....
  • 1991-53-1
  • Textile, Tharrakarre
  • silk.
  • Museum purchase through bequest of Ida McNeil in memory of Lincoln C. McNeil....
  • 1992-21-1
  • This object is part of the Textiles collection.
  • There are 3 images of this object.
  • Wall Sconce (USA)
  • blown glass, metal.
  • Gift of Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel.
  • 2007-31-1
  • RoboBee Robot Robot
  • piezoelectric ceramic, carbon fiber, alumina ceramic; polyester film,....
  • Gift of Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
  • 2015-23-1