This exhibition was on display from June 22, 2007 to January 13, 2008.

There were 33 objects in this exhibition but right now we can only show you 29 of them. Some objects may not be viewable because they were on loan; this might be due to issues involving image rights or simply because there is no digitized image for the objects.

See all the exhibitions.

View and print exhibition labels.

IDEO Selects: Works form the Permanent Collection is curated by the innovation and design firm IDEO. Founded in 1991 in Palo Alto, California, by David Kelley, Bill Moggridge, and Mike Nutall, IDEO calls seven offices on three continents home and comprises more than 500 design thinkers in the disciplines of design, engineering, social science, and business strategy.
For the exhibition, IDEO selected the theme of design thinking, chose works from our collection to illustrate its choice, and designed the installation in which these objects are presentd. Design thinking expresses an IDEO credo: design is a human-centered activity that has the potential to solve problems in business, education, government, and society. It seeks inspiration from the people whom it ultimately serves–the end users–in order to generate meaningful solutions. IDEO's design thinkers regularly conduct fieldwork in places as diverse as the participants' homes, workplaces, and communities, gaining empathy for individuals and contexts in order to solve design challenges. According to Kelley, the firm's approach is "much more about going out into the world not having a point of view, and just finding these latent needs that are obvious...We try to get into the right general area first, rather than just accepting what the problem is."
In creating this exhibition, IDEO reversed its approach. With each object, IDEO invites the viewer to explore how a designer or maker came to understand the end user's environment, pursuits, and needs, and drew upon them to create an object. In contemplating the perspectives and exchange between designer and user, visitors can experience firsthand the elements of design thinking.
IDEO is the first firm to serve as a guest curator in the Museum's exhibition series in the Nancy and Edwin Marks Gallery, devoted to featuring objects in Cooper-Hewitt's permanent collection.

  • This object is part of the Textiles collection.
  • There are 4 images of this object.
  • This object is part of the Textiles collection.
  • There are 2 images of this object.
  • Radiaver Radiator
  • glass, crome-plated metal.
  • Museum purchase from James Ford Fund.
  • 1990-102-1
  • Child's Chair (USA)
  • molded laminated plywood, red stain.
  • Gift of Mrs. Eric Larrabee.
  • 1991-144-1
  • Landi Chair
  • aluminum, rubber.
  • Gift of The Lake St. Louis Historical Society.
  • 2001-31-5
  • Divisumma 18 Calculator
  • abs plastic, melamine, rubber, metal.
  • Gift of Barry Friedman and Patricia Pastor.
  • 1986-99-41
  • Mini-Maglite Flashlight
  • machined anodized aluminum alloy, krypton lightbulb.
  • Gift of Max and Barbara Pine.
  • 1994-59-14
  • Silver Streak Iron
  • molded and emulsion-painted pyrex glass, cast and nickle-plated steel, molded....
  • Museum purchase from Decorative Arts Association Acquisition Fund.
  • 1996-39-1