By the People: Designing a Better America at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, September 30, 2016 – February 26, 2017

“Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum presents “By the People: Designing a Better America,” the third exhibition in its series on socially responsible design. The first exhibition in the series to focus on conditions in the U.S.and its bordering countries, “By the People” will explore the challenges faced by urban, suburban and rural communities. Organized by Cynthia E. Smith, Cooper Hewitt’s curator of socially responsible design, the exhibition features 60 design projects from every region across the U.S.

Smith conducted more than two years of field research—traveling to shrinking post-industrial cities, sprawling metro regions, struggling rural towns, along border regions, areas impacted by natural and man-made disaster and places of persistent poverty—in search of collaborative designs for more equitable, inclusive and sustainable communities. The exhibition highlights design solutions that expand access to education, food, health care and affordable housing; increase social and economic inclusion; offer improved alternative transportation options; and provide a balanced approach to land use between the built and natural environment.” — Cooper Hewitt

Installation view of "By the People: Designing a Better America." Photo: Matt Flynn © Smithsonian Institution

Installation view of “By the People: Designing a Better America.” Photo: Matt Flynn © Smithsonian Institution

Installation view of "By the People: Designing a Better America." Photo: Matt Flynn © Smithsonian Institution

Installation view of “By the People: Designing a Better America.” Photo: Matt Flynn © Smithsonian Institution

Installation view of "By the People: Designing a Better America." Photo: Matt Flynn © Smithsonian Institution

Installation view of “By the People: Designing a Better America.” Photo: Matt Flynn © Smithsonian Institution

Installation view of "By the People: Designing a Better America." Photo: Matt Flynn © Smithsonian Institution

Installation view of “By the People: Designing a Better America.” Photo: Matt Flynn © Smithsonian Institution

Installation view of "By the People: Designing a Better America." Photo: Matt Flynn © Smithsonian Institution

Installation view of “By the People: Designing a Better America.” Photo: Matt Flynn © Smithsonian Institution

Installation view of "By the People: Designing a Better America." Photo: Matt Flynn © Smithsonian Institution

Installation view of “By the People: Designing a Better America.” Photo: Matt Flynn © Smithsonian Institution

Building Dignity Mahlum and Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence Washington state 2012ñpresent Photo: Keelyn Turgeon

Building Dignity. Mahlum and Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Washington state, 2012-present. Photo: Keelyn Turgeon

Cross-Border Community Station Estudio Teddy Cruz + Forman & UCSD Cross-Border Initiative 2015-present Photo: Estudio Teddy Cruz + Forman (Rene Jaime Torrero)

Cross-Border Community Station. Estudio Teddy Cruz + Forman & UCSD. Cross-Border Initiative, 2015-present. Photo: Estudio Teddy Cruz + Forman (Rene Jaime Torrero)

Harlem Hospital Pavilion FaÁade HOK and Studio JTA Harlem, New York, New York 2005-12 Photo: © Paul Warchol

Harlem Hospital Pavilion. Façade. HOK and Studio JTA, Harlem, New York, New York, 2005-12. Photo: © Paul Warchol

Underpass Park PFS Studio and The Planning Partnership West Don Lands neighborhood, Toronto, Canada, 2007ñ14 Photo courtesy of Waterfront Toronto, artwork by Paul Raff, ìMirage,î 2012

Underpass Park. PFS Studio and The Planning Partnership West Don Lands neighborhood, Toronto, Canada, 2007-14. Photo courtesy of Waterfront Toronto, artwork by Paul Raff, “Mirage,” 2012

LaSalle Cultural Corridor Tulane University and Louisiana State University with Tulane City Center, Mardi Gras Indian Council, New Orleans Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs, LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture, and Harmony Neighborhood Development Central City, New Orleans, Louisiana 2014-present Photo: Courtesy New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian Council

LaSalle Cultural Corridor. Tulane University and Louisiana State University with Tulane City Center, Mardi Gras Indian Council, New Orleans Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs, LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture, and Harmony Neighborhood Development, Central City, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2014-present. Photo: Courtesy New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian Council

Las Abuelitas Kinship housing Poster Frost Mirto and The Design Element with Grandparents Raising Grandchildren South Tucson, Arizona 2012-13 Photo: © Poster Frost Mirto, Inc.

Las Abuelitas Kinship housing. Poster Frost Mirto and The Design Element with Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, South Tucson, Arizona, 2012-13. Photo: © Poster Frost Mirto, Inc.

Open House Matthew Mazzotta York, AL 2011-13 Photo: Shana Berger/Coleman Center for the Arts

Open House. Matthew Mazzotta, York, AL, 2011-13. Photo: Shana Berger/Coleman Center for the Arts

Public Access 101: Downtown L.A. Los Angeles Urban Rangers Los Angeles, California 2010-present Photo: © Los Angeles Urban Rangers

Public Access 101: Downtown L.A. Los Angeles Urban Rangers Los Angeles, California, 2010-present. Photo: © Los Angeles Urban Rangers

RAPIDO rapid recovery housing bcWORKSHOP, Community Development Corporation of Brownsville, ARISE, La Unión Del Pueblo Entero, Texas A&M University, Texas Low Income Housing Information Service, with twenty Lower Rio Grande Valley families Cameron, Hidalgo, Willacy counties, Texas 2013–15 Photo: © buildingcommunity WORKSHOP

RAPIDO rapid recovery housing. bcWORKSHOP, Community Development Corporation of Brownsville, ARISE, La Unión Del Pueblo Entero, Texas A&M University, Texas Low Income Housing Information Service, with twenty Lower Rio Grande Valley families. Cameron, Hidalgo, Willacy counties, Texas, 2013–15. Photo: © buildingcommunity WORKSHOP

Raleigh Denim Workshop Victor Lytvinenko and Sarah Yarborough Raleigh, North Carolina 2007ñpresent Photo: Rob Howard

Raleigh Denim Workshop. Victor Lytvinenko and Sarah Yarborough, Raleigh, North Carolina, 2007-present. Photo: Rob Howard

Rebel Nell Jewelry Amy Peterson and Diana Russell Detroit, Michigan 2013ñpresent Photo: © Rebel Nell

Rebel Nell Jewelry. Amy Peterson and Diana Russell, Detroit, Michigan, 2013-present. Photo: © Rebel Nell

Fresh Moves Mobile Markets Fresh Moves 2.0: Hammersley Architecture, Growing Power and Tyrue Jones Fresh Moves 1.0: Architecture for Humanity Chicago, Latent Design and EPIC Chicago, Illinois 2009–present Photo: © Smithsonian Institution

Fresh Moves Mobile Market. Fresh Moves 2.0: Hammersley Architecture, Growing Power and Tyrue Jones. Fresh Moves 1.0: Architecture for Humanity Chicago, Latent Design and EPIC, Chicago, Illinois, 2009–present. Photo: © Smithsonian Institution

Images courtesy Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum