Manipulating the Megacity
This Saturday, the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum opens its second exhibition in what has now become a series, “Design for the Other 90%: Cities,” which showcases more than 60 projects from 22 countries helping to alleviate urban-crowding problems. The projects range from the simple (the “garden-in-a-sack,” which uses materials that make microagriculture more feasible) to the gargantuan (China’s Guangzhou Bus Rapid Transit System, a low-cost, high-efficiency system that serves nearly 1 million riders per day). Cooper-Hewitt’s Upper East Side home is currently undergoing a renovation, so this exhibition will be presented, fittingly, in the lobby of the United Nations Visitors Center (First Ave. at 46th St.; daily 9:30 a.m.–6 p.m.; through 1/9; cooperhewitt.org).
One Sweet Sukkah
Today marks the beginning of every architect-and-design enthusiast’s favorite Jewish holiday: Sukkot, which calls for the building of a temporary outdoor dwelling (a “sukkah”) meant to commemorate the sort of shelter the Israelites created during their 40 years of desert exile. Brooklyn’s Congregation Beth Elohim has commissioned a sukkah from Babak Bryan and Henry Grosman of B-and-G Studio, whose “Fractured Bubble” design was the people’s choice in last year’s Sukkah City competition in Union Square. B-and-G’s design consists of interlocking wooden rails, which the community will help to decorate with autumn leaves, laser-cut from cardboard and hand-painted by the children of the congregation (274 Garfield Pl., at Eighth Ave., Park Slope; 10/12–10/19; congregationbethelohim.org).
School Gear For Kids, by Kids
As part of National Design Week (another Cooper-Hewitt-sponsored event), the Museum of Arts and Design is partnering with furniture manufacturer Bernhardt Design and aruliden, a creative consulting firm, to create Tools at Schools (TAS), a program introducing young people to the world of product design. Using 3-D modeling software, eighth-graders at the School at Columbia University collaborated with the designers to prototype and create a number of school products, from lockers to desks to chairs. The students will present “TAS: The Book,” which chronicles the their experience from beginning to end, this Sunday (2 Columbus Circle, nr. Eighth Ave.; T-W, Sa-Su 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; Th-F 11 a.m.–9 p.m.; 10/15–11/6; “TAS: The Book,” 10/16 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.; madmuseum.org).
Also at the Museum of Arts and Design is “Crafting Modernism: Midcentury American Art and Design,” exploring the American postwar Arts & Crafts movement. Ray and Charles Eames are represented, of course, but the majority of the exhibition, opening today, focuses on designers working on a more intimate scale of production, such as textile designer Dorothy Liebes, furniture-maker George Nakashima, and silversmith Jack Prip (2 Columbus Cir., nr. Eighth Ave.; T-W, Sa-Su 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; Th-F 11 a.m.–9 p.m.; through 1/15; madmuseum.org).
License to Snoop
For the ninth year running, Open House New York will allow average New Yorkers entry into some of the city’s most extraordinary sites and residences. This year’s edition offers tours (“Ghosts of Greenwich Village Scavenger Hunt,” “A Walk Down Newtown Creek”), kid-friendly events and exhibitions (“Mansion Mysteries”), and destinations in all five boroughs, including everything from historic landmarks to sustainable skyscrapers and rooftop farms (10/15 and 10/16; full schedule available at ohny.org).