• Home: Smithsonian Design Triennial
    Alexandra Cunningham Cameron, Christina L. De León, and Michelle Joan Wilkinson
    Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, New York
    Oct 01, 2024 to Oct 31, 2025
    Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Curators of “Home: Smithsonian Design Triennial,” 2023. Michelle Joan Wilkinson, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture; Christina L. De León, Cooper Hewitt; and Alexandra Cunningham Cameron, Hintz Secretarial Scholar at Cooper Hewitt. Photo: Ann Sunwoo. Copyright Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC

Established in 2000, Cooper Hewitt’s Design Triennial exhibition series addresses the most urgent topics of our time through the lens of design. This seventh iteration surveys diverse contemporary perspectives on HOME across the United States, United States Territories, and Tribal Nations through site-specific, experiential commissions taking over the museum’s historic Carnegie Mansion home. Participating designers realize ambitious, thought-provoking installations that illustrate the dissolution of boundaries between social, built, and natural environments and present design as an ever-present actor in the systems that construct lived experiences. The Triennial also comprises a publication, a digital exhibition, and interpretive programs. A focused series of commissions explores the practices of architects working in collaboration with artists, activists, community members and nature to create resilient responses to contemporary crises. These stories are told through immersive installations comprising material experiments, family histories, maps, films, and models—illuminating processes of regenerative building in the twenty-first century to new audiences.

Alexandra Cunningham Cameron is the curator of contemporary design and Hintz Secretarial Scholar at Cooper Hewitt. She has a bachelor of arts from the University of Florida and an master’s degree from Florida International University. Formerly an independent curator, editor-in-chief of arts journal The Miami Rail and Creative Director of the Design Miami/fairs, Cameron has organized exhibitions, publications, and programs that examine the role of art and design in shaping contemporary values. Cameron has spearheaded landmark public commissions and exhibitions at national institutions with artists and designers such as Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Yona Friedman, Dozie Kanu, Jamian Juliano-Villani, Urs Fischer, Jamilah Sabur and SITE. She has brought cross-disciplinary works by Tschabalala Self, Dondi, Barbara Kruger, and Amanda Williams into Cooper Hewitt’s collection. Her exhibition, Willi Smith: Street Couture—including a crowd-sourced digital archive, monograph, public programs, and digital exhibitionwon awards for its embrace of public scholarship, cross-museum collaboration, and digital experiences.

Christina L. De León is the inaugural associate curator of Latino design and the acting deputy director of curatorial at Cooper Hewitt. Since joining the museum in 2017, she has grown the museum's collection of United States Latino and Latin American design, while organizing exhibitions, public programs, and bilingual digital content. De León has collaborated with artists on exhibitions such as Rebeca Méndez Selects and acquired works for the permanent collection by Gloria Cortina, Tanya Aguiñiga, Terri Greeves, and Edgardo Giménez. She produced the museum’s first documentary film, Mud Frontier: Architecture at the Borderlands, which has screened widely internationally. From 2010–16, she was associate curator at Americas Society where she organized exhibitions and publications focused on modern and contemporary Latin American art. De León received her bachelor’s degree from Hobart and William Smith Colleges and her master’s from New York University; she is currently a doctoral candidate at the Bard Graduate Center.

Michelle Joan Wilkinson is a curator at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), building the museum’s collections in architecture and design. She co-curated two inaugural exhibitions at NMAAHC: A Changing America: 1968 and Beyond and A Century in the Making: Building the National Museum of African American History and Culture. She spent six years as director of collections and exhibitions at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture curating more than 20 exhibitions, including A Peoples Geography: The Spaces of African American Life, For Whom It Stands: The Flag and the American People and Material Girls: Contemporary Black Women Artists. She has worked on exhibitions, publications, and public programs for the National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Studio Museum in Harlem. She has a bachelor’s degree from Bryn Mawr College and a PhD from Emory University.

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum was founded in 1897 and became part of the Smithsonian Institution in 1967. Its mission is to educate, inspire, and empower people through design. It is the nation’s only museum dedicated to historic and contemporary design and is at the forefront of engaging audiences of all ages in design and design thinking. Cooper Hewitt’s permanent collection numbers 215,000 objects spanning 30 centuries—from ancient textiles and Renaissance works-on-paper, to icons of modern design and contemporary born-digital material—and is organized in four curatorial departments: Drawings, Prints & Graphic Design; Product Design & Decorative Arts; Textiles; and Wallcoverings. A design library holds more than 80,000 volumes. The museum achieves its mission by offering diverse populations a dynamic selection of exhibitions, education programs, publications, and online resources and programs. In a typical year of operation, the museum welcomes an average of 300,000 visitors to explore our collections, exhibitions, and education and public programs.