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The Museum of Arts And Design Is Opening in New York And It's Terrific.

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on September 23, 2008

MAD or the Museum of Arts and Design is opening this weekend and it’s a marvel of appropriate and beautiful design. Mayor Mike is presiding over the opening ceremony as I write this.

What I like most about the new museum on Columbus Circle is that it is designed around the most important thing about a museum—the collection. And for MAD that means contemporary jewelry, glass, ceramic, glass, wood and mixed media. Most of this collection is not hung on walls—but in showcases and on the floor. Visitors look down or straight at the art at eye level.

Which is why Portland-based Allied Works did such a great job with the light and space. Cuts in the walls of the old “Lollipop” building let in just the right amount of light to illuminate the art for people looking at it. They also offer views that connect you directly to Central Park, the circle itself and a long perspective going off into the horizon that is Central Park West. Kudos to Brad Cloepfil, Allied’s founder for this triumph.

The gallery spaces are much larger than the new New Museum on the Bowery (in fact, MAD is much better designed in nearly all ways than the New Museum). And there is a wonderful stairway on the ground floor that soars into the floor above, opening up the space. And there will be a restaurant near the top with incredible views.

Holly Hotchner, MAD’s director, deserves tons of credit for making it all happen—raising the millions of bucks, choosing Allied, battling the backward-looking Landmarks Preservation people and keeping the focus on what’s important—the art, the artists and the people who appreciate them and want to see them. Holly is a hero. She moved MAD into the future.



Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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