Design and Healing: Creative Responses to Epidemics
New York City, New York, USA
Design and Healing: Creative Responses to Epidemics, curated by MASS and Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, was organized during the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic revealed what some have known for a long time: breathing is spatial. This fact has implications at the scale of the body, building, city, and planet. Everyone on Earth has been affected by the pandemic. Unequal access to housing, jobs, and health care ensured that COVID-19 hit marginalized communities harder than others.
This exhibition presents architectural case studies and historical narratives alongside creative design responses to COVID-19. Every designer, artist, doctor, engineer, or neighbor featured in the exhibition asked, “How can I help?” They used open-source collaboration, rapid-response prototyping, product hacking, and social activism to create medical devices, protective gear, infographics, political posters, architecture, and community services—all with the shared aspiration to reduce structural barriers that keep us from accessing the care we all deserve.
Design and Healing: Creative Responses to Epidemics is on view from December 10, 2021 through February 20, 2023 at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York.
The exhibition complements MASS’s book The Architecture of Health: Hospital Design and the Construction of Dignity, published in 2021 by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum (Artbook DAP, distributors). The book examines how our built world was shaped by disease and reveals how historical examples can offer us caution and inspiration.
Location: New York City, New York, USA
Status: In Progress
Program: Design and curation of an exhibition the impact of design in healthcare environments in response to crises.
Services: Concept Development and Curation, Exhibition Design, Content Development
Curatorial team: Regina Chen, Jeffrey Mansfield, Michael Murphy, Morgan O’Hara and Maggie Stern
Exhibition designer: Annie Wang
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum (Ellen Lupton and Julie Pastor)
Graphic designers: Span (Alyssa Arnesen and Bud Rodecker) and Rick Valicenti