In 2013, the Hyundai Card corporation opened a 11,000 volume design library, the first of its kind in Korea, in downtown Seoul. Open to cardholders, the library includes hundreds of rare books and periodicals, as well as a classic selection of architecture and design texts. The building, which combines new and historic construction, was designed by One O One architects. I was asked to curate part of the collection, and suggested several thousand volumes on modern architecture, landscape architecture, criticism, graphic, industrial and textile design. Other curators included Justin McGuirk and Paola Antonelli. In 2014, the company opened its second themed library, on the topic of travel.
MetaMuseum was a three-month experiment in collaborative digital curation, edited by Alexandra Lange and sponsored by the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) as part of its Spring 2013 series After the Museum: The Home Front. Lange asked curators at 13 American museums with design, craft and architecture collections to send images of exhibited works corresponding to 12 themes, along with brief captions. Each week, the Tumblr displayed a set of objects, installations and graphics illustrating that theme, spanning media, time, space and production. Themes included Alphabet, Children, Eat, Liquid, Tiny and Weave. The Tumblr was intended to explore the depths of those museum’s collections, the breadth of interpretation possible for a single word, and the broad tent that is modern design. The site remains active as an organized, idiosyncratic slice of the visual history of the last 150 years. Participating institutions included the Art Institute of Chicago, Carnegie Museum of Art; Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum; Denver Art Museum; Milwaukee Art Museum; Minneapolis Institute of Arts; Museum of Contemporary Craft; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Modern Art; Racine Art Museum; Walker Arts Center; and the Wolfsonian-FIU.
Let’s Get Critical was a collaboration between Alexandra Lange and the editors of Longform.org. The site, active from September 2012 to February 2013, sought to apply Longform’s model for curated non-fiction articles to cultural criticism and essays, creating a one-stop shop for the best of new and classic arts writing. It was edited by Lange, and posted daily links to movie reviews, actor profiles, book criticism, designer interviews and television history. In an age of shrinking culture sections, it sought to create an opinionated center for dispersed criticism of both high and pop culture. Ultimately, it failed to generate enough independent audience, and was folded into the Longform mothership as the Arts & Culture tab.