New York’s Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) is taking advantage of its position smack dab in the middle of the cultural zeitgeist with a new “Design and Innovation Gallery,” a second-floor space that will explore emerging design trends through short-term exhibitions curated by leading voices in the field. First up: a Karim Rashid-curated show of innovative radiators (nope! not an oxymoron) that will open at MAD on March 4. “Totally Rad: Karim Rashid Does Radiators” will showcase approximately 30 radiator designs in production by companies such as Antrax, Caleido (whose steel and acrylic “Rain” design is pictured at left), Hellos, and Runtal.
“I have always been excited by fringe areas of design,” says Rashid. “I have affection for typologies that were considered highly banal: garbage cans, light switches, manhole covers, radiators. I refer to these sacred untouched areas as the ‘last product design frontiers’ where manufacturers and industrial designers are venturing into new unexploited territories.” One such designer is Stefano Ragaini, whose “Ciussai” radiator Rashid selected for the exhibition. Designed as a long flexible hose, the 2009 Wallpaper Design Award-winning radiator can be rolled up and hung on a wall, twisted like a cane, stretched out like a clothesline, or even used as a bed warmer. Confuse it with a pool noodle at your own peril.