Beauty--the book, born out of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum's 2015 Triennial of the same name, curated by Andrea Lipps and Ellen Lupton--showcases some of the most exciting and provocative design created around the globe during the past three years. These pages aim not to emphasize the hidden beauty in the everyday--a beloved teapot or favorite shoe--but to locate transformational beauty in contemporary design that is exuberant, ethereal, atmospheric, experiential, exceptional or sublime. Sixty-two designers represent a vast range of disciplines from architecture, fashion, digital, graphic, and product design, to interiors, hair, nail and lighting design. The objects featured cause us to take pause, catch our breath and get lost in our pursuit to understand or explain them.
Designed by the innovative Kimberly Varella, the book is itself a tactile, fluid and provocative interpretation of beauty. Varella's design provides unexpected points of entry, playing with the concepts of beauty by using reflective surfaces, hot pink thread weaving pages together and a "heart" of the book, from which all else flows. Ethereal, Intricate, Extravagant, Transformative, Transgressive, Elemental and Emergent Beauty are the seven themes. Each section includes the individual designers in conversation with the curators about her or his process and beauty's differing forms, punctuated by rich galleries of their work, generating the ultimate feast for the senses.