Samuel Maddox, MDes ULE 2019

Summer 2018

Organization: Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, New York, NY

Sponsor: Harvard Club of New York Fellowship


“It’s amazing how quickly ten weeks passes by. Just as it goes with school and the closing of a semester, the end of my time with the Cooper Hewitt was full and rich with fast-paced production. I spent my final week wrapping up research and analysis for a soon-to-be-announced exhibition and ensuring the work was clear and accessible for those who come after me. It was unexpectedly difficult to draw the work to a close and hand it off with the opening just months away. I couldn’t help but want to see it through to the end, to see it made manifest in the galleries. I suppose I will just have to settle with a quick trip over to the city in December when the work finally makes its debut.

One task that made it onto my plate a little later (but excited me more than almost any other project) is a forthcoming post I have written for the museum’s Object of the Day. The Object of the Day is a blog run by the Cooper Hewitt with brief analyses and stories—all penned by curators—about the objects in the museum’s permanent collection. For now, all I can say is I found the perfect object: A hand drawing of an imagined world based in reality but only “visible” to the mind’s eye and, particularly, to that of an architect. Writing the post was an incredible opportunity to assume a small amount of agency over one piece within an astounding and extensive collection. My piece, themed to the curatorial work I was doing all summer, will be circulated in the coming months to support the opening of the exhibition. Once I finally see it in my inbox, I’ll know it’s at last time to head on back to that mansion on Museum Mile, a place I learned to call home—at least for one incredible summer.”