Conflict Kitchen, a collaborative project by Professor Jon Rubin and alum Dawn Weleski BFA ’10 will be part of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s exhibition “Designing Peace.” The exhibition, which explores the unique role design can play in pursuing peace, will be on view June 10, 2022 through September 4, 2023. “Designing Peace” features design projects from around the world that look at ways to create and sustain more durable peaceful interactions—from creative confrontations that challenge existing structures to designs that demand embracing justice and truth in a search for reconciliation.
Organized by Cynthia E. Smith, curator of socially responsible design, with Caroline O’Connell, curatorial assistant, “Designing Peace” continues Cooper Hewitt’s humanitarian design exhibition series exploring how design can address some of the world’s most critical issues.
The exhibition opens at a critical juncture of current global dynamics, with people facing vast social, environmental and economic inequities, and dozens of continuing conflicts, from internal insurgencies, long-standing armed standoffs, territorial disputes and, most recently, the Russia-Ukraine war. This exhibition considers what might be possible if society were to design for peace and takes into account goal 16 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, which calls directly for peace, justice and strong institutions through the elimination of hunger and poverty, improvements in health and education, the building of more resilient cities and infrastructure, the fostering of innovation, action on climate change and more.
“Designing Peace” will feature 40 design proposals, initiatives and interventions from 25 countries, represented by objects, models, full-size installations, maps, images and film. Visitors will encounter a wide range of design responses to the underlying reasons for conflict and division, such as socioeconomic inequality, resource competition and environmental degradation—and will be encouraged to consider their own agency in designing peace through interactive installations, quiet moments of reflection and opportunities for practical action.