The Museum of Modern Art in New York, fondly known by most as MoMA established the world's first architecture and design department in 1932. The museum has long recognised the important role design has in our culture alongside more traditional mediums like painting and sculpture. MoMA's Design Studio design and produce products that adhere to a set of criteria that they use to ensure every item is a good fit with MoMA's vision of good design. We are very excited to present some of our favourites from their collection which are now available at The IMMA Shop.
The first two criteria MoMA's Design Studio use for assessing a product submission is that they must either be in or related to a MoMA exhibition or a piece in their collection. For example, they've taken this work by Herbert Bayer Things to Come, to create a beautiful gold rimmed porcelain tray. Bayer was an artistic polymath and one of the Bauhaus’s most influential students, teachers and advocates. Creating this product that is both fanciful and functional, allows us take a bit of Bayer home, and the museum to continue it's mission of educating and sharing its collection with people.
These playful and functional Lily Pad coasters inspired by Monet's Water Lilies also fit MoMA's criteria for use of innovative materials. Made from scratch and heat resistant TPU, a class of polyurethane which has many properties, including elasticity, transparency, and resistance to oil, grease and abrasion.Designed to be built into various configurations, these coasters invite you to play with light, shadow, shape and colour. Build mini sculptures, overlap and combine to create new colour combinations.
Following the criteria of innovative function, the Mondri Vase above is designed with three different chambers, so you can turn the vase for different floral arrangement possibilities and flower sizes. An homage to the Netherlands-based De Stijl art movement, the Mondri Vase uses transparent acrylic neon panels that create delightful colourplay and beautiful shadows. The minimalist, right-angles of this vase evoke the aesthetics of the De Stijl movement while the versatility of the design—three different openings to accommodate a variety of floral arrangements—speaks to the design’s efficient versatility and utility.
MoMA also endeavours to create education design products for children, and This Book is a Camera is a perfect example of this mission. This "book" opens out to reveal a pop-up paper camera and includes a light-tight envelope with 5 sheets of photographic paper. The book concisely explains, and actively demonstrates, how a structure as humble as a folded piece of paper can tap into the intrinsic properties of light to produce a photograph. Easily turn a room in your home into a darkroom and process photos using household supplies.
Each piece from the MoMA collection has an interesting story, a reason for being, a perfect function, which makes them fantastic gifts and beautiful pieces to have in your home.