Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/exhibitions/51669015/

Beautiful Users

When designers are creating products, spaces, or interfaces, they continually circle back to people like you, asking how users eventually will engage with their designs. The user is the person the design is intended for. There are many types of users, including people with different sizes and abilities, people with different professions and occupations, and people of different ages and cultures. The focus on the user is relatively recent in design history. In the early 20th century, designers and architects began considering measurements of human anatomy in order to create more functional products and to standardize design. U.S. military engineers during World War II measured pilots’ bodies to improve the layout of airplane cockpits. After the war, designer Henry Dreyfuss and his colleague Alvin R. Tilley created “Joe” and “Josephine,” generic depictions of the average American body. Tilley and designer Niels Diffrient went on to create Humanscale, a system of measurements that accounts for people of diverse ages, abilities, and heights. Henry Dreyfuss also applied this approach to consumer goods. His telephones for Bell Labs became the most widely used products of the 20th century. Dreyfuss’s phrase “designing for people” sums up his idea of creating products that fit people, rather than making people fit products. Designers have approached users in various ways: as ideal or normative types, as consumers to be observed, measured, and even manipulated, and as active partners in the design process. Today, the divide between designers and users, subject and object, is breaking down as users become a creative force in their own right. Beautiful Users is the first in a series of exhibitions in Cooper Hewitt’s first-floor Design Process Galleries. These exhibitions seek to introduce the public to the people and methods that define design as an essential human activity. Beautiful Users is dedicated to Bill Moggridge, who pioneered the methods of human-centered design. As director of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum from 2010 to 2012, he led the museum in new directions. Beautiful Users is made possible by major support from Amita and Purnedu Chatterjee and Adobe Foundation. Generous support also provided by Dorit and Avi Reichental. Additional funding is provided by the August Hekscher Exhibition Fund, the Ehrenkranz Fund, the Bill Moggridge Memorial Fund, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Deborah Buck, May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Inc., and IDEO.


Handle

The word handle is both a noun and a verb. As a physical thing, a handle invites human grasp. From the molded grip on a bicycle to the curving loop of a water pitcher, handles invite certain behaviors or actions. Users have immediate responses to handles. A well-designed handle is easy to use and feels right in the hand; a poorly designed handle provokes discomfort and confusion. The verb to handle means to hold, touch, or manipulate. The objects displayed here explore handling as a dialogue between people and things. Handles invite users to grasp, push, squeeze, lift, or support an object. “Good Grips was more than just a peeler. It was an enabler. It actually enabled people who couldn’t do things to do things.” Davin Stowell, Smart Design

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18790795/

  • Designed by Davin Stowell
  • carved foam
  • Gift of Smart Design, Inc.
  • interior
  • study
  • domestic
  • food preparation
  • kitchen
  • rounded
  • designers
  • tool
  • simple
  • rectangular
  • neutral colors
  • flat
  • handle
  • prototypes
  • series
  • ergonomics
  • Universal Design

Sam Farber founded OXO to create kitchen tools for people of diverse ages and abilities. His wife, Betsey, suffers from arthritis, and it was painful for her to peel vegetables. OXO partnered with Smart Design to create the Good Grips brand. The designers explored dozens of prototypes, including a rubber bicycle handle. Improving access for disabled users can improve the experience for those of ordinary ability.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18790797/

  • Designed by Davin Stowell
  • carved foam
  • Gift of Smart Design, Inc.
  • study
  • food preparation
  • kitchen
  • rounded
  • designers
  • handle
  • prototypes
  • series
  • ergonomics
  • Universal Design

Sam Farber founded OXO to create kitchen tools for people of diverse ages and abilities. His wife, Betsey, suffers from arthritis, and it was painful for her to peel vegetables. OXO partnered with Smart Design to create the Good Grips brand. The designers explored dozens of prototypes, including a rubber bicycle handle. Improving access for disabled users can improve the experience for those of ordinary ability.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18790799/

  • Designed by Davin Stowell
  • carved foam
  • Gift of Smart Design, Inc.
  • study
  • food preparation
  • kitchen
  • rounded
  • designers
  • handle
  • prototypes
  • series
  • ergonomics
  • Universal Design

Sam Farber founded OXO to create kitchen tools for people of diverse ages and abilities. His wife, Betsey, suffers from arthritis, and it was painful for her to peel vegetables. OXO partnered with Smart Design to create the Good Grips brand. The designers explored dozens of prototypes, including a rubber bicycle handle. Improving access for disabled users can improve the experience for those of ordinary ability.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18790801/

  • Designed by Davin Stowell
  • carved foam
  • Gift of Smart Design, Inc.
  • study
  • rounded
  • designers
  • handle
  • prototypes
  • series
  • ergonomics
  • Universal Design

Sam Farber founded OXO to create kitchen tools for people of diverse ages and abilities. His wife, Betsey, suffers from arthritis, and it was painful for her to peel vegetables. OXO partnered with Smart Design to create the Good Grips brand. The designers explored dozens of prototypes, including a rubber bicycle handle. Improving access for disabled users can improve the experience for those of ordinary ability.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18790803/

  • Designed by Davin Stowell
  • carved foam
  • Gift of Smart Design, Inc.
  • food preparation
  • kitchen
  • industrial design
  • consumers
  • ergonomics
  • extrude

Sam Farber founded OXO to create kitchen tools for people of diverse ages and abilities. His wife, Betsey, suffers from arthritis, and it was painful for her to peel vegetables. OXO partnered with Smart Design to create the Good Grips brand. The designers explored dozens of prototypes, including a rubber bicycle handle. Improving access for disabled users can improve the experience for those of ordinary ability.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18790805/

  • Designed by Davin Stowell
  • plastic
  • Gift of Smart Design, Inc.
  • study
  • rounded
  • designers
  • handle
  • prototypes
  • series
  • ergonomics
  • Universal Design

Sam Farber founded OXO to create kitchen tools for people of diverse ages and abilities. His wife, Betsey, suffers from arthritis, and it was painful for her to peel vegetables. OXO partnered with Smart Design to create the Good Grips brand. The designers explored dozens of prototypes, including a rubber bicycle handle. Improving access for disabled users can improve the experience for those of ordinary ability.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18790807/

  • Designed by Davin Stowell
  • wood
  • Gift of Smart Design, Inc.
  • study
  • rounded
  • designers
  • handle
  • prototypes
  • series
  • ergonomics
  • Universal Design

Sam Farber founded OXO to create kitchen tools for people of diverse ages and abilities. His wife, Betsey, suffers from arthritis, and it was painful for her to peel vegetables. OXO partnered with Smart Design to create the Good Grips brand. The designers explored dozens of prototypes, including a rubber bicycle handle. Improving access for disabled users can improve the experience for those of ordinary ability.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18790811/

  • Designed by Smart Design, Inc.
  • graphite on pre-printed white wove paper
  • Gift of Smart Design, Inc.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18790813/

  • Designed by Davin Stowell
  • wood
  • Gift of Smart Design, Inc.
  • study
  • rounded
  • designers
  • handle
  • prototypes
  • series
  • ergonomics
  • Universal Design

Sam Farber founded OXO to create kitchen tools for people of diverse ages and abilities. His wife, Betsey, suffers from arthritis, and it was painful for her to peel vegetables. OXO partnered with Smart Design to create the Good Grips brand. The designers explored dozens of prototypes, including a rubber bicycle handle. Improving access for disabled users can improve the experience for those of ordinary ability.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18790815/

  • Designed by Davin Stowell
  • carved foam
  • Gift of Smart Design, Inc.
  • study
  • rounded
  • designers
  • handle
  • prototypes
  • series
  • ergonomics
  • Universal Design

Sam Farber founded OXO to create kitchen tools for people of diverse ages and abilities. His wife, Betsey, suffers from arthritis, and it was painful for her to peel vegetables. OXO partnered with Smart Design to create the Good Grips brand. The designers explored dozens of prototypes, including a rubber bicycle handle. Improving access for disabled users can improve the experience for those of ordinary ability.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18790819/

  • Designed by Davin Stowell
  • carved foam, plaster
  • Gift of Smart Design, Inc.
  • study
  • rounded
  • designers
  • handle
  • prototypes
  • series
  • ergonomics
  • Universal Design

Sam Farber founded OXO to create kitchen tools for people of diverse ages and abilities. His wife, Betsey, suffers from arthritis, and it was painful for her to peel vegetables. OXO partnered with Smart Design to create the Good Grips brand. The designers explored dozens of prototypes, including a rubber bicycle handle. Improving access for disabled users can improve the experience for those of ordinary ability.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18790821/

  • Designed by Davin Stowell
  • carved foam
  • Gift of Smart Design, Inc.
  • study
  • rounded
  • designers
  • handle
  • prototypes
  • series
  • ergonomics
  • Universal Design

Sam Farber founded OXO to create kitchen tools for people of diverse ages and abilities. His wife, Betsey, suffers from arthritis, and it was painful for her to peel vegetables. OXO partnered with Smart Design to create the Good Grips brand. The designers explored dozens of prototypes, including a rubber bicycle handle. Improving access for disabled users can improve the experience for those of ordinary ability.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18790823/

  • Designed by Davin Stowell
  • carved foam, metal
  • Gift of Smart Design, Inc.
  • study
  • rounded
  • designers
  • smooth
  • handle
  • product development
  • prototypes
  • series
  • ergonomics
  • Universal Design
  • grips
  • peeling
  • blades

Sam Farber founded OXO to create kitchen tools for people of diverse ages and abilities. His wife, Betsey, suffers from arthritis, and it was painful for her to peel vegetables. OXO partnered with Smart Design to create the Good Grips brand. The designers explored dozens of prototypes, including a rubber bicycle handle. Improving access for disabled users can improve the experience for those of ordinary ability.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18790825/

  • Designed by Davin Stowell
  • rubber (a), metal (b)
  • Gift of Smart Design, Inc.
  • study
  • rounded
  • designers
  • handle
  • prototypes
  • series
  • ergonomics
  • Universal Design

Sam Farber founded OXO to create kitchen tools for people of diverse ages and abilities. His wife, Betsey, suffers from arthritis, and it was painful for her to peel vegetables. OXO partnered with Smart Design to create the Good Grips brand. The designers explored dozens of prototypes, including a rubber bicycle handle. Improving access for disabled users can improve the experience for those of ordinary ability.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18790827/

  • Designed by Davin Stowell
  • foam, plastic
  • Gift of Smart Design, Inc.
  • study
  • rounded
  • designers
  • handle
  • prototypes
  • series
  • ergonomics
  • Universal Design

Sam Farber founded OXO to create kitchen tools for people of diverse ages and abilities. His wife, Betsey, suffers from arthritis, and it was painful for her to peel vegetables. OXO partnered with Smart Design to create the Good Grips brand. The designers explored dozens of prototypes, including a rubber bicycle handle. Improving access for disabled users can improve the experience for those of ordinary ability.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18790829/

  • Designed by Davin Stowell
  • plastic, metal
  • Gift of Smart Design, Inc.
  • domestic
  • kitchen
  • people
  • handle
  • ergonomics
  • Universal Design

Sam Farber founded OXO to create kitchen tools for people of diverse ages and abilities. His wife, Betsey, suffers from arthritis, and it was painful for her to peel vegetables. OXO partnered with Smart Design to create the Good Grips brand. The designers explored dozens of prototypes, including a rubber bicycle handle. Improving access for disabled users can improve the experience for those of ordinary ability.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18790831/

  • Designed by Davin Stowell
  • painted rubber
  • Gift of Smart Design, Inc.
  • study
  • rounded
  • designers
  • handle
  • prototypes
  • series
  • ergonomics
  • Universal Design

Sam Farber founded OXO to create kitchen tools for people of diverse ages and abilities. His wife, Betsey, suffers from arthritis, and it was painful for her to peel vegetables. OXO partnered with Smart Design to create the Good Grips brand. The designers explored dozens of prototypes, including a rubber bicycle handle. Improving access for disabled users can improve the experience for those of ordinary ability.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18790833/

  • Designed by Davin Stowell
  • santoprene
  • Gift of Smart Design, Inc.
  • study
  • rounded
  • designers
  • handle
  • prototypes
  • series
  • ergonomics
  • Universal Design

Sam Farber founded OXO to create kitchen tools for people of diverse ages and abilities. His wife, Betsey, suffers from arthritis, and it was painful for her to peel vegetables. OXO partnered with Smart Design to create the Good Grips brand. The designers explored dozens of prototypes, including a rubber bicycle handle. Improving access for disabled users can improve the experience for those of ordinary ability.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18790835/

  • Designed by Davin Stowell
  • santoprene, abs plastic, metal
  • Gift of Smart Design, Inc.
  • study
  • rounded
  • designers
  • handle
  • prototypes
  • series
  • ergonomics
  • Universal Design

Sam Farber founded OXO to create kitchen tools for people of diverse ages and abilities. His wife, Betsey, suffers from arthritis, and it was painful for her to peel vegetables. OXO partnered with Smart Design to create the Good Grips brand. The designers explored dozens of prototypes, including a rubber bicycle handle. Improving access for disabled users can improve the experience for those of ordinary ability.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18790837/

  • Designed by Davin Stowell
  • santoprene, polypropelene, metal
  • Gift of Smart Design, Inc.
  • study
  • rounded
  • designers
  • handle
  • prototypes
  • series
  • ergonomics
  • Universal Design

Sam Farber founded OXO to create kitchen tools for people of diverse ages and abilities. His wife, Betsey, suffers from arthritis, and it was painful for her to peel vegetables. OXO partnered with Smart Design to create the Good Grips brand. The designers explored dozens of prototypes, including a rubber bicycle handle. Improving access for disabled users can improve the experience for those of ordinary ability.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18790839/

  • Designed by Davin Stowell
  • Manufactured by OXO International
  • molded thermoplastic rubber (santoprene), polypropylene, stainless steel; paper, plastic (packaging)
  • Gift of Smart Design, Inc.
  • domestic
  • food preparation
  • kitchen
  • grooved
  • rounded
  • people
  • handle
  • packaging
  • series
  • ergonomics
  • Universal Design

Sam Farber founded OXO to create kitchen tools for people of diverse ages and abilities. His wife, Betsey, suffers from arthritis, and it was painful for her to peel vegetables. OXO partnered with Smart Design to create the Good Grips brand. The designers explored dozens of prototypes, including a rubber bicycle handle. Improving access for disabled users can improve the experience for those of ordinary ability.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18790843/

  • Designed by Smart Design, Inc.
  • graphite on pre-printed white wove paper
  • Gift of Smart Design, Inc.
  • domestic
  • kitchen
  • profile
  • people
  • designers
  • manufacturers
  • curved
  • utility
  • industrial design
  • planning
  • handle
  • ribbed
  • prototypes
  • ergonomics
  • Universal Design

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18790845/

  • Designed by Smart Design, Inc.
  • print on white wove paper
  • Gift of Smart Design, Inc.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18790855/

  • Designed by Smart Design, Inc.
  • photocopy with graphite and red color pencil on white wove paper
  • Gift of Smart Design, Inc.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/51497609/

  • Designed by Yves Béhar
  • Manufactured by Sabi
  • plastic (abs, tpe, pet, pp and others)
  • Courtesy of Sabi
  • container
  • personal
  • storage
  • health-care
  • organization
  • hygiene
  • public health
  • cases

Sabi THRIVE products encourage compliance by making pill use a positive experience. The FOLIO pill carrier looks like a personal notebook, providing privacy, convenience, and a tailored appearance. Sabi actively integrates user suggestions into its product design. The CARAFE grande is inspired by feedback to the original CARAFE: users needed a bigger cap for dietary supplements, they wished the cap were dishwasher safe, and they wanted to be able to sip from the water container without removing the cap.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/51681733/

  • Designed by Leon Ransmeier
  • Manufactured by The Corning Museum of Glass
  • handblown glass
  • Courtesy of the designer
  • personal
  • domestic
  • kitchen
  • rounded
  • dining
  • organic
  • curved
  • simple
  • accessories
  • comfort
  • glass
  • innovative
  • handle
  • grips
  • iteration
  • affordance
  • reposition

The handles in these pitchers accommodate different user behaviors. Ransmeier made cardboard prototypes to establish the basic shape and performance of each vessel. He worked with artisans from GlassLab, a mobile hot-glass studio operated by the Corning Museum of Glass, to translate his prototypes into glass.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/51681737/

  • Designed by Leon Ransmeier
  • Manufactured by The Corning Museum of Glass
  • handblown glass
  • Courtesy of the designer

The handles in these pitchers accommodate different user behaviors. Ransmeier made cardboard prototypes to establish the basic shape and performance of each vessel. He worked with artisans from GlassLab, a mobile hot-glass studio operated by the Corning Museum of Glass, to translate his prototypes into glass.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/51681739/

  • Designed by Leon Ransmeier
  • Manufactured by The Corning Museum of Glass
  • handblown glass
  • Courtesy of the designer.

The handles in these pitchers accommodate different user behaviors. Ransmeier made cardboard prototypes to establish the basic shape and performance of each vessel. He worked with artisans from GlassLab, a mobile hot-glass studio operated by the Corning Museum of Glass, to translate his prototypes into glass.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/51681741/

  • Designed by Leon Ransmeier
  • Manufactured by The Corning Museum of Glass
  • handblown glass
  • Courtesy of the designer

The handles in these pitchers accommodate different user behaviors. Ransmeier made cardboard prototypes to establish the basic shape and performance of each vessel. He worked with artisans from GlassLab, a mobile hot-glass studio operated by the Corning Museum of Glass, to translate his prototypes into glass.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/51681743/

  • Designed by Leon Ransmeier
  • Manufactured by The Corning Museum of Glass
  • handblown glass
  • Courtesy of the designer

The handles in these pitchers accommodate different user behaviors. Ransmeier made cardboard prototypes to establish the basic shape and performance of each vessel. He worked with artisans from GlassLab, a mobile hot-glass studio operated by the Corning Museum of Glass, to translate his prototypes into glass.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/51681745/

  • Designed by Leon Ransmeier
  • Manufactured by The Corning Museum of Glass
  • handblown glass
  • Courtesy of the designer

The handles in these pitchers accommodate different user behaviors. Ransmeier made cardboard prototypes to establish the basic shape and performance of each vessel. He worked with artisans from GlassLab, a mobile hot-glass studio operated by the Corning Museum of Glass, to translate his prototypes into glass.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/51681747/

  • Designed by Leon Ransmeier
  • Manufactured by The Corning Museum of Glass
  • handblown glass
  • Courtesy of the designer

The handles in these pitchers accommodate different user behaviors. Ransmeier made cardboard prototypes to establish the basic shape and performance of each vessel. He worked with artisans from GlassLab, a mobile hot-glass studio operated by the Corning Museum of Glass, to translate his prototypes into glass.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/51681749/

  • Designed by Leon Ransmeier
  • Manufactured by The Corning Museum of Glass
  • handblown glass
  • Courtesy of the designer

The handles in these pitchers accommodate different user behaviors. Ransmeier made cardboard prototypes to establish the basic shape and performance of each vessel. He worked with artisans from GlassLab, a mobile hot-glass studio operated by the Corning Museum of Glass, to translate his prototypes into glass.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/51681751/

  • Designed by Leon Ransmeier
  • Manufactured by The Corning Museum of Glass
  • handblown glass
  • Courtesy of the designer

The handles in these pitchers accommodate different user behaviors. Ransmeier made cardboard prototypes to establish the basic shape and performance of each vessel. He worked with artisans from GlassLab, a mobile hot-glass studio operated by the Corning Museum of Glass, to translate his prototypes into glass.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/51681757/

  • Designed by Prime Studio Inc.
  • Manufactured by Zhongshan Yili Metal Metal Products Co.
  • painted polymer, abs, polycarbonate, tpr, stainless steel, chrome plated zinc alloy, chrome plated aluminum alloy, brass
  • Courtesy of the designers
  • personal
  • designers
  • tool
  • handle
  • branding
  • product development
  • prototypes
  • ergonomics
  • hygiene
  • multiples
  • shaving
  • kit
  • supplies
  • blades

Andy Katz-Mayfield was tired of paying high prices for poorly designed shaving products. He and partner Jeff Raider founded Harry’s, a brand dedicated to thoughtfully designed products delivered at fair prices. Stuart Harvey Lee and Jochen Schaepers (Prime Studio) designed dozens of prototypes in order to create handles that are optimized for weight, balance, and ease of rotation in the hand.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/51689303/

  • Designed by Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab
  • Manufactured by Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab
  • aluminum, steel, printed circuit boards, select polymers
  • Courtesy of JHU Applied Physics Lab
  • personal
  • flexible
  • mechanical
  • steel
  • durable
  • prosthetic
  • medical
  • body
  • engineering
  • high performance

The MPL has 26 moving, articulated joints—nearly as many as the human hand. A person with an amputation can control the device from sensors placed against the skin of their remaining limb, which moves when electrical impulses (myoelectricity) from skeletal muscles command it to move. People with paralysis or ALS have been able to control the device using electrodes plugged into the brain.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/51689305/

  • Designed by Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab
  • Manufactured by Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab
  • 3-d printed rapid prototype material
  • Courtesy of JHU Applied Physics Lab
  • mechanical
  • hands
  • durable
  • prosthetic
  • prototypes
  • body
  • extension
  • engineering
  • high performance
  • jointed

The MPL has 26 moving, articulated joints—nearly as many as the human hand. A person with an amputation can control the device from sensors placed against the skin of their remaining limb, which moves when electrical impulses (myoelectricity) from skeletal muscles command it to move. People with paralysis or ALS have been able to control the device using electrodes plugged into the brain.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/51689309/

  • Designed by Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab
  • Manufactured by Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab
  • carbon fiber, aluminum, steel, select polymers
  • Courtesy of JHU Applied Physics Lab
  • mobility
  • mechanical
  • durable
  • prosthetic
  • body
  • extension
  • engineering
  • high performance

The MPL has 26 moving, articulated joints—nearly as many as the human hand. A person with an amputation can control the device from sensors placed against the skin of their remaining limb, which moves when electrical impulses (myoelectricity) from skeletal muscles command it to move. People with paralysis or ALS have been able to control the device using electrodes plugged into the brain.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/51689315/

  • 3d-printed pla, stainless steel parts
  • Courtesy of MakerBot Industries
  • digital
  • mobility
  • mechanical
  • hands
  • prosthetic
  • 3D printing
  • body
  • extension
  • engineering
  • high performance

Richard van As, a South African woodworker, lost four fingers in a shop accident in 2011. He used a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer to prototype his own prosthesis at low cost. Cables attached to the base structure cause the fingers to curl when the user’s wrist bends, enabling the user to grasp objects. Robohand files are posted on Thingiverse, allowing users to produce their own devices.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/51689321/

  • Designed by Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab
  • 3:24 minutes
  • Courtesy of JHU Applied Physics Lab

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/51689325/

  • Designed by Richard van As
  • 3:16 minutes
  • Courtesy of MakerBot Industries

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/51689351/

  • Designed by Leon Ransmeier
  • Courtesy of the designer

The handles in these pitchers accommodate different user behaviors. Ransmeier made cardboard prototypes to establish the basic shape and performance of each vessel. He worked with artisans from GlassLab, a mobile hot-glass studio operated by the Corning Museum of Glass, to translate his prototypes into glass.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/51866827/

  • Designed by Prime Studio Inc.
  • Manufactured by Zhongshan Yili Metal Metal Products Co.
  • paperboard, somos resin, sbs card, e-flute corrugated cardboard, eva, polystyrene
  • Courtesy of Harry's

Harry’s distributes its products primarily through direct sales on its website. The packaging is the user’s first point of contact with the physical product. Made from engineered paper and minimal plastic components, the boxes are a welcome alternative to the blister packs typically found in drugstores. A complete set, which includes a handle, three blades, and Harry’s signature shaving cream, costs $15 to $25.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68250521/

  • Designed by Eva Zeisel
  • carved and metallic-painted balsa wood
  • Gift of the Estate of Eva Zeisel
  • metallic
  • dining
  • curved
  • contour
  • eating
  • food
  • carved
  • wood
  • prototypes
  • utensils
  • forks

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68250523/

  • Designed by Eva Zeisel
  • carved and metallic-painted balsa wood
  • Gift of the Estate of Eva Zeisel
  • kitchen
  • dining
  • designers
  • curved
  • tool
  • handle
  • prototypes

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68250525/

  • Designed by Eva Zeisel
  • carved and metallic-painted balsa wood
  • Gift of the Estate of Eva Zeisel
  • domestic
  • kitchen
  • rounded
  • dining
  • designers
  • curved
  • tool
  • handle
  • prototypes

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68250527/

  • Designed by Eva Zeisel
  • carved and metallic-painted balsa wood
  • Gift of the Estate of Eva Zeisel
  • kitchen
  • rounded
  • dining
  • designers
  • curved
  • handle
  • prototypes

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68250529/

  • Designed by Eva Zeisel
  • stainless steel
  • Gift of the Estate of Eva Zeisel
  • kitchen
  • dining
  • designers
  • curved
  • tool
  • handle
  • prototypes

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68250579/

  • Designed by Eva Zeisel
  • glossy heavy printed paper; verso: graphite; cut
  • Gift of the Estate of Eva Zeisel
  • kitchen
  • dining
  • designers
  • reuse
  • cut-out
  • handle
  • prototypes

Throughout her career, Eva Zeisel employed cut paper in her design process. These cutouts enabled her to refine and emphasize the curving silhouettes that are the hallmark of her work. Her Eva flatware, created for the retailer Crate & Barrel, is among her last designs. Zeisel’s design assistant, Olivia Barry, produced these cut-paper designs with Zeisel’s guidance.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68250863/

  • Designed by Constantin Boym
  • Manufactured by Gourmet Settings
  • foam, foamcore, cardboard, stainless steel
  • Courtesy of the designers
  • domestic
  • dining
  • flexible
  • eating
  • irregular
  • mismatched

Designers Constantin and Laurene Leon Boym often use existing objects as models and inspiration. In their designs for Gourmet Settings, the designers considered how users actually live with their flatware. Over time, forks and knives go astray and mix in with other sets. The intentionally “mismatched” Hybrid flatware pattern emulates the social life of everyday things.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68250867/

  • Designed by Constantin Boym
  • Manufactured by Gourmet Settings
  • plastic, cardboard, foamcore, 3d-printed plastic, stamped metal, stainless steel
  • Courtesy of the designers
  • domestic
  • kitchen
  • home
  • dining
  • symmetry
  • utility
  • simple
  • house
  • voids
  • handheld
  • multiples

The design for GS Army is inspired by cheap flatware purchased at an army surplus store. The designers were attracted to the simple, utilitarian pieces stamped out of thin metal. GS Army’s raised lip makes subtle reference to military mess kits while providing an elegant, tactile frame around the handle of each piece.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68250875/

  • Designed by Constantin Boym
  • Manufactured by Gourmet Settings
  • plastic, cardboard, foamcore, 3d-printed plastic, stamped metal, stainless steel
  • Courtesy of the designers
  • domestic
  • kitchen
  • home
  • dining
  • curved
  • utility
  • house
  • handheld
  • multiples

Early in the design process, the pieces in Colonial Ghost were meant to hang from a rack. (The idea was inspired by flatware from Laurene Leon Boym’s childhood kitchen.) Although the Boyms later abandoned the rack for cost reasons, they retained the cutout shapes, treating each form as a “ghost” or outline of an archetypal American flatware style. The cutouts reduce the weight of the pieces and create interest for both hand and eye.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68250887/

  • Designed by Nicholas Richardson
  • bamboo, canvas
  • Courtesy of the designer
  • personal
  • customization
  • prosthetic
  • prototypes
  • sustainability
  • series

BamBam is a concept for an accessible adjustable prosthetic system designed for people living in agricultural communities. 80% of all people with amputations live in developing countries, where even used or obsolete prosthetics are expensive and scarce. Richardson experimented with recycled bottles and 3D printing before hitting on bamboo, a material that is strong, light, cheap, and locally grown. An adjustable cuff connects to various tools, including a rake, broom, and shovel. A canvas sleeve reinforced with bamboo ribs secures the prosthetic to the user’s amputation limb.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68268021/

  • Designed by Nicholas Richardson
  • bamboo, canvas, plastic, cotton laces, metal components
  • Courtesy of the designer

BamBam is a concept for an accessible adjustable prosthetic system designed for people living in agricultural communities. 80% of all people with amputations live in developing countries, where even used or obsolete prosthetics are expensive and scarce. Richardson experimented with recycled bottles and 3D printing before hitting on bamboo, a material that is strong, light, cheap, and locally grown. An adjustable cuff connects to various tools, including a rake, broom, and shovel. A canvas sleeve reinforced with bamboo ribs secures the prosthetic to the user’s amputation limb.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68268025/

  • Designed by Nicholas Richardson
  • bamboo
  • Courtesy of the designer

BamBam is a concept for an accessible adjustable prosthetic system designed for people living in agricultural communities. 80% of all people with amputations live in developing countries, where even used or obsolete prosthetics are expensive and scarce. Richardson experimented with recycled bottles and 3D printing before hitting on bamboo, a material that is strong, light, cheap, and locally grown. An adjustable cuff connects to various tools, including a rake, broom, and shovel. A canvas sleeve reinforced with bamboo ribs secures the prosthetic to the user’s amputation limb.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68268029/

  • Designed by Nicholas Richardson
  • walnut wood veneer, basswood
  • Courtesy of the designer

BamBam is a concept for an accessible adjustable prosthetic system designed for people living in agricultural communities. 80% of all people with amputations live in developing countries, where even used or obsolete prosthetics are expensive and scarce. Richardson experimented with recycled bottles and 3D printing before hitting on bamboo, a material that is strong, light, cheap, and locally grown. An adjustable cuff connects to various tools, including a rake, broom, and shovel. A canvas sleeve reinforced with bamboo ribs secures the prosthetic to the user’s amputation limb.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68268035/

  • Designed by Nicholas Richardson
  • metal and canvas
  • Courtesy of the designer

BamBam is a concept for an accessible adjustable prosthetic system designed for people living in agricultural communities. 80% of all people with amputations live in developing countries, where even used or obsolete prosthetics are expensive and scarce. Richardson experimented with recycled bottles and 3D printing before hitting on bamboo, a material that is strong, light, cheap, and locally grown. An adjustable cuff connects to various tools, including a rake, broom, and shovel. A canvas sleeve reinforced with bamboo ribs secures the prosthetic to the user’s amputation limb.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68268043/

  • Designed by Nicholas Richardson
  • 3d-printed plastic
  • Courtesy of the designer

BamBam is a concept for an accessible adjustable prosthetic system designed for people living in agricultural communities. 80% of all people with amputations live in developing countries, where even used or obsolete prosthetics are expensive and scarce. Richardson experimented with recycled bottles and 3D printing before hitting on bamboo, a material that is strong, light, cheap, and locally grown. An adjustable cuff connects to various tools, including a rake, broom, and shovel. A canvas sleeve reinforced with bamboo ribs secures the prosthetic to the user’s amputation limb.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68268047/

  • Designed by Nicholas Richardson
  • bamboo, cotton laces
  • Courtesy of the designer
  • personal
  • wood
  • smooth
  • survival
  • prosthetic
  • medical
  • body

BamBam is a concept for an accessible adjustable prosthetic system designed for people living in agricultural communities. 80% of all people with amputations live in developing countries, where even used or obsolete prosthetics are expensive and scarce. Richardson experimented with recycled bottles and 3D printing before hitting on bamboo, a material that is strong, light, cheap, and locally grown. An adjustable cuff connects to various tools, including a rake, broom, and shovel. A canvas sleeve reinforced with bamboo ribs secures the prosthetic to the user’s amputation limb.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68268227/

  • polyurethane model board, die-cast aluminum
  • Courtesy of MAP
  • rounded
  • handle
  • support
  • 3D printing
  • prototypes
  • Universal Design

The Sabi HOLD helps people get in and out of the bath or shower. The designers explored a variety of handle shapes before arriving at HOLD’s serene circular form. The final product is comfortable to grasp and intuitive to use. The HOLD also functions as a towel holder, helping avoid reference to hospital-like grab bars.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68268229/

  • polyurethane model board, die-cast aluminum
  • Courtesy of MAP

The Sabi HOLD helps people get in and out of the bath or shower. The designers explored a variety of handle shapes before arriving at HOLD’s serene circular form. The final product is comfortable to grasp and intuitive to use. The HOLD also functions as a towel holder, helping avoid reference to hospital-like grab bars.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68268233/

  • polyurethane model board, die-cast aluminum
  • Courtesy of MAP

The Sabi HOLD helps people get in and out of the bath or shower. The designers explored a variety of handle shapes before arriving at HOLD’s serene circular form. The final product is comfortable to grasp and intuitive to use. The HOLD also functions as a towel holder, helping avoid reference to hospital-like grab bars.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68268235/

  • polyurethane model board, die-cast aluminum
  • Courtesy of MAP

The Sabi HOLD helps people get in and out of the bath or shower. The designers explored a variety of handle shapes before arriving at HOLD’s serene circular form. The final product is comfortable to grasp and intuitive to use. The HOLD also functions as a towel holder, helping avoid reference to hospital-like grab bars.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68268237/

  • polyurethane model board, die-cast aluminum
  • Courtesy of MAP

The Sabi HOLD helps people get in and out of the bath or shower. The designers explored a variety of handle shapes before arriving at HOLD’s serene circular form. The final product is comfortable to grasp and intuitive to use. The HOLD also functions as a towel holder, helping avoid reference to hospital-like grab bars.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68268239/

  • polyurethane model board, die-cast aluminum
  • Courtesy of MAP

The Sabi HOLD helps people get in and out of the bath or shower. The designers explored a variety of handle shapes before arriving at HOLD’s serene circular form. The final product is comfortable to grasp and intuitive to use. The HOLD also functions as a towel holder, helping avoid reference to hospital-like grab bars.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68268241/

  • polyurethane model board, die-cast aluminum
  • Courtesy of MAP

The Sabi HOLD helps people get in and out of the bath or shower. The designers explored a variety of handle shapes before arriving at HOLD’s serene circular form. The final product is comfortable to grasp and intuitive to use. The HOLD also functions as a towel holder, helping avoid reference to hospital-like grab bars.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68268243/

  • polyurethane model board, die-cast aluminum
  • Courtesy of MAP

The Sabi HOLD helps people get in and out of the bath or shower. The designers explored a variety of handle shapes before arriving at HOLD’s serene circular form. The final product is comfortable to grasp and intuitive to use. The HOLD also functions as a towel holder, helping avoid reference to hospital-like grab bars.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68268245/

  • polyurethane model board, die-cast aluminum
  • Courtesy of MAP

The Sabi HOLD helps people get in and out of the bath or shower. The designers explored a variety of handle shapes before arriving at HOLD’s serene circular form. The final product is comfortable to grasp and intuitive to use. The HOLD also functions as a towel holder, helping avoid reference to hospital-like grab bars.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68268247/

  • polyurethane model board, die-cast aluminum
  • Courtesy of MAP

The Sabi HOLD helps people get in and out of the bath or shower. The designers explored a variety of handle shapes before arriving at HOLD’s serene circular form. The final product is comfortable to grasp and intuitive to use. The HOLD also functions as a towel holder, helping avoid reference to hospital-like grab bars.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68268251/

  • polyurethane model board, die-cast aluminum
  • Courtesy of MAP

The Sabi HOLD helps people get in and out of the bath or shower. The designers explored a variety of handle shapes before arriving at HOLD’s serene circular form. The final product is comfortable to grasp and intuitive to use. The HOLD also functions as a towel holder, helping avoid reference to hospital-like grab bars.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68268253/

  • polyurethane model board, die-cast aluminum
  • Courtesy of MAP

The Sabi HOLD helps people get in and out of the bath or shower. The designers explored a variety of handle shapes before arriving at HOLD’s serene circular form. The final product is comfortable to grasp and intuitive to use. The HOLD also functions as a towel holder, helping avoid reference to hospital-like grab bars.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68268255/

  • polyurethane model board, die-cast aluminum
  • Courtesy of MAP

The Sabi HOLD helps people get in and out of the bath or shower. The designers explored a variety of handle shapes before arriving at HOLD’s serene circular form. The final product is comfortable to grasp and intuitive to use. The HOLD also functions as a towel holder, helping avoid reference to hospital-like grab bars.


Mobility

Bicycles, wheelchairs, and canes can transform users’ lives and livelihoods, enabling them to achieve personal and economic independence. Each method of transport, however, exists within a broader system. Standard wheelchairs can’t function on rough terrain. Bicycles can be difficult to store and carry. Canes and walkers that look like medical equipment are unappealing to use. Designers today are addressing these problems by engaging the wider context of a user’s lifestyle and environment. “Engage the end user in the design process. Don’t just ask him what he needs, but ask him how he thinks it can be achieved.” Amos Winter, GRIT

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/51497641/

  • Designed by Mark Sanders
  • Manufactured by Ming Cycle
  • aluminum, plastic
  • Courtesy of STRiDA Canada West

Mark Sanders designed the STRiDA bicycle for his industrial design thesis project in 1985 at the Royal College of Art in London. The STRiDA can be folded in fewer than 10 seconds and is easy to move in its folded state—like a “rolling umbrella.” The striking triangular profile enables users of various heights to ride the same model. Sanders’s company, MAS Design Products, sold the STRiDA design to Ming Cycle in Taiwan, which now distributes the bike worldwide.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/51497723/

  • Designed by Continuum LLC
  • Manufactured by Continuum LLC
  • aluminum and 3d-printed plastic
  • Purchase from manufacturer

Based on the core gear-and-lever technology design of the original LFC, Continuum LLC created the LFC Prime as a concept model for a high-end, high-performance wheelchair. GRIT is working with wheelchair users in the United States and building on this concept to develop a fully functional product.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/51497725/

  • Designed by Francesca Lanzavecchia
  • Manufactured by Lanzavecchia + Wai
  • maple and lacquered mdf, cut with cnc tools
  • Courtesy of Lanzavecchia + Wai Design Studio
  • domestic
  • symmetry
  • transport
  • mobility
  • prototypes
  • series

Many people avoid using canes and walkers because the objects look like medical equipment. Each piece in this family of prototypes is designed as an element of domestic life, supporting rich social and mental activities while encouraging safe mobility. The T-Cane helps users serve tea and snacks. The U-Cane holds books, magazines, and supplies for knitting and crafting. The I-Cane doubles as an iPad stand.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/51497727/

  • Designed by Francesca Lanzavecchia
  • Manufactured by Lanzavecchia + Wai
  • maple and lacquered mdf, cut with cnc tools
  • Courtesy of Lanzavecchia + Wai Design Studio

Many people avoid using canes and walkers because the objects look like medical equipment. Each piece in this family of prototypes is designed as an element of domestic life, supporting rich social and mental activities while encouraging safe mobility. The T-Cane helps users serve tea and snacks. The U-Cane holds books, magazines, and supplies for knitting and crafting. The I-Cane doubles as an iPad stand.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/51497729/

  • Designed by Francesca Lanzavecchia
  • Manufactured by Lanzavecchia + Wai
  • maple and lacquered mdf, cut with cnc tools
  • Courtesy of Lanzavecchia + Wai Design Studio

Many people avoid using canes and walkers because the objects look like medical equipment. Each piece in this family of prototypes is designed as an element of domestic life, supporting rich social and mental activities while encouraging safe mobility. The T-Cane helps users serve tea and snacks. The U-Cane holds books, magazines, and supplies for knitting and crafting. The I-Cane doubles as an iPad stand.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/51689353/

  • Designed by Mark Sanders
  • 1:24 minutes
  • Courtesy of Gabriel Gee-Jay Jenny

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68782471/

  • Designed by Scott Summit
  • laser-sintered polyamide, aluminum
  • Courtesy of 3D Systems and Ekso Bionics

The Hybrid Ekso Bionic Suit is a visionary, functional prototype custom-built for Amanda Boxtel, whose legs were paralyzed in a skiing accident in 1992. The suit uses a supported structure, a network of mechanical actuators and controls, and customized 3D-printed body components to explore the different ways one might enable a user to walk again.


Interface

Many products today feature integrated hardware and software. A mix of inputs, outputs, and gestures allow humans and devices to communicate via sight, sound, touch, and even smell. As smart products begin to emulate human behavior, some people respond to them with emotions of attachment, trust, or empathy. Henry Dreyfuss’s Honeywell Round thermostat, which replaced earlier box-shaped models, operates with a simple turn of the outer ring. Recent products like the Nest Thermostat and the August Lock System combine digital technology with simple forms and gestures to enhance everyday tasks. Such products are examples of interaction design and experience design, fields that consider a product’s ease of operation and emotional and cognitive engagement with users. “You will only know that the design is good when you have tried it out with the people who will use it and found that they are pleased, excited, motivated, and satisfied with the result.” Bill Moggridge

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/51497579/

  • Designed by Tony Fadell
  • Manufactured by Nest Labs, Inc.
  • glass, metal, electronic components
  • Courtesy of Nest Labs, Inc.
  • interior
  • domestic
  • personal environmental control
  • digital
  • dials
  • rotation

Turn the outer ring of the Nest Learning Thermostat to raise or lower the temperature. The illuminated screen responds to motion in the room—sensors tell Nest to adjust the temperature when people enter or leave. Pushing the ring activates a menu of additional actions, such as programming the device and switching from heating to cooling. Smartphone apps allow users to program the thermostat remotely and track energy use.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/51689345/

  • Designed by Tony Fadell
  • 1:11 minutes
  • Courtesy of the designer

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/51866833/

  • Designed by Henry Dreyfuss Associates
  • Manufactured by Honeywell, Inc.
  • plastic, mechanical and electrical components, lithium battery, mercury-free thermostat
  • Purchased from manufacturer
  • domestic
  • people
  • personal environmental control
  • customization
  • interface
  • interaction
  • rotation

Henry Dreyfuss began designing the Honeywell Round Thermostat in 1943. He observed that rectangular thermostats often sit crooked on the wall; a round device would be easier to install properly. The Honeywell Round, released a decade later, allows users to adjust temperature with a simple twist of the dial. Dreyfuss’s design also promoted customization: users could remove the protective cover and paint the device to match the room. Today, the Honeywell Round remains one of the world’s most ubiquitous thermostats.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68268099/

  • Designed by John Benjamin Filson
  • Manufactured by Nest Labs, Inc.
  • pen and orange, green, red and black ink, graphite on cream sketchbook paper
  • Gift of Nest Labs, Inc.
  • domestic
  • rounded
  • personal environmental control
  • measuring
  • customization
  • interface
  • rotation

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68268109/

  • Designed by John Benjamin Filson
  • Manufactured by Nest Labs, Inc.
  • pen and black, red ink on cream paper
  • Gift of Nest Labs, Inc.

Beautiful Users

https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/68268223/

  • Designed by Eric Daniels
  • Manufactured by Nest Labs, Inc.
  • pen and blue ink on lined paper
  • Gift of Nest Labs, Inc.
  • instruction
  • sketch
  • industrial design
  • notations
  • details
  • parts