For a second field trip, students from all the sustainable sections gathered at the UN to hear various lectures based on sustainability and
Over the years the MoMA has been a huge advocate to influence designers and manufacturers to produce. Since the 1930’s they have put on shows such as the Machine Art Exhibition to display the progress we have been able to make over the years with modern designs. The 1920’s to the 1950’s were tremendously influenced from the political and economic situations that were taking place at the time. This exhibition, How Should We Live?, was curated in order to promote thought to this question by displaying the processes of collaboration and various materials that were just being introduced from these periods.
The show as a whole was spectacular to experience and had a wonderful flow to it. Before I first entered and just got off the escalator, the exhibit began with a few tubular chairs, a wall hanging, and a poster with a simplistic typeface that was so representative of the Bauhaus at the time. The set up allowed the spectators to see items from around the 1920-30’s on the right and wrap around the left to see the 1940’s-50s.
The most easily recognizable setting was Margaret Schutte Lihotzky’s Frankfurt Kitchen. It was displayed within four standing walls creating a small box at the entrance of the room. The display surprised me as it was a lot smaller than I had expected. Now-a-days you typically see cabinets jutting out of the walls, but everything in this display was so compact and everything was neat and had its own place and function.
Something that stood out to me was that the exhibit had a 3D television to display the works of Philip Johnson. It gave an engaging walk through of one of his apartment designs. Speaking of wall displays, a couple of other things that caught my attention on the walls were the German posters and the timeline of female designers such as Eileen Grey and Charlotte Perriand. It was nice to see female designers to really gain recognition and credit in this exhibit. Back then, designers like Ray Eames had been hidden in the shadows of their husband’s spotlight or other male designers. Here I was really able to see them highlighted. This is due to the fact that according to one of the descriptions written on the wall about the exhibit, The Modern Women’s Fund had majorly supported this gallery opening.
There were several objects that were different in size than I had expected. In particular, items like the Eames’ Tilt Back Side Chair and Experimental Lounge Chair were a lot smaller and lower to the ground than what I imagined. The German posters were also a lot bigger than expected. When looking at the prints in the textbook, I expected them to be slightly bigger than a tabloid sized print. However, these prints took a huge amount of wall space.
Overall I was absolutely stunned by this exhibit. It’s one thing to read about an object or see it in pictures, but to actually see how things were constructed, materials or size of objects is another thing. For example, with the Eames objects, I really felt the sense of why their chairs had been so revolutionary at the time with the curves in the plywood or plastic. In class, I also had mentally separated the Bauhaus and more European designers from American design. I didn’t really think about how they may have correlated with each other and saw them as two different entities. But with this exhibit, all the objects worked so well and cohesively. You could sense how one design may have influenced another and how ideas could have shifted over time.
 “How Should We Live? Propositions for the Modern Interior | MoMA” The Museum of Modern Art. Accessed November 12, 2016. https://www.moma.org/calendar/exhibitions/2714?locale=en