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The Cooper-Hewitt is the United State’s national design museum — it’s also the only museum in the nation exclusively commited to historic and contemporary design. They focus their exhibits on how design affects our everyday lives, and the Design Triennial is a perfect example of the kind of work that they show. Right now on display they’ve got everything from solar-powered media walls to the simplest of home furniture, the most intricate of fabrics, and innovative objects to assist the disabled.

The exhibit is split into eight categories — energy, mobility, community, materials, prosperity, health, communication and simplicity — and showcases everything from giant solar heat towers to simple dishes and cookware. Some Inhabitat favorites were included — like the XOXO laptop — as well as some new ideas that we’re totally into — like the car parts incubator. If you live in New York and are looking to be inspired by design, you’ve got to head to the exhibit — it’s well worth your while.

+ Cooper-Hewitt

+ National Design Triennial: Why Design Now?”

Lead photo by Matt Flynn, © Smithsonian Institution