Cara McCarty to be the International Friend of Habitare in 2018

Cara McCarty to be the International Friend of Habitare in 2018

30Cara McCarty, the curatorial director at America’s most prestigious design museum, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, will be the International Friend of Habitare in 2018. Habitare, the leading furniture, interior decoration and design fair in Finland, will be held at Messukeskus in Helsinki, from 12 to 16 September 2018.

The International Friend will visit Habitare, choose the most exciting products and phenomena from the fair offering, and give a keynote speech.

Located in New York, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is the only museum in the United States to focus solely on design. The Cooper Hewitt collection includes more than 210,000 design objects from a period of 3,000 years.

As curatorial director, McCarty plays a key role in the museum’s overall profile and character. She leads exhibition planning and suggests designs to be added to the museum’s permanent collection. In her role as an International Friend of Habitare, Cara McCarty is expecting to get an opportunity to meet designers and to see what kind of contemporary design is being created in Finland.

“I’m looking forward to my visit to Finland. Habitare is among the most important contemporary design events, and Finland has consistently figured prominently in modern and contemporary architecture and design. It is still a leader today, so my expectations are high!”, says McCarty.

“Fairs are typically where new products are launched, so Habitare is an ideal venue to take both the macro and micro pulse of the latest thinking, research, and innovations. As a curator of modern and contemporary design, it’s vital to be out there to keep abreast of what’s current, always mixing it with a healthy dose of historical objects for reference. It’s imperative we are well informed when we select objects from the morass of what’s being produced. Maybe I’ll even find some works for Cooper Hewitt’s collection”, McCarty adds.

International Friend

Each year, Habitare invites one internationally acclaimed design expert or an influential business figure to visit the event and to acquaint themselves with the fair offering and the Finnish design and interior decoration field. The International Friend of Habitare enters into dialogue with Habitare, exploring design directions, industry trends, and market situations.

“Cara McCarty is one of the most influential design figures in the United States, boasting a wealth of expertise and knowledge in design. We are really looking forward to working with her,” the Habitare creative director, Laura Sarvilinna, says.

“It is crucial for Habitare to enter into dialogue with museums, because, as long-standing institutions, museums play a vital role in communicating the meaning and impact of design. What is on display at a fair for a few days might end up in the collections of museums around the world, for people to see and experience”, Laura Sarvilinna continues.

Previous International Friends of Habitare are Alice Rawsthorn, a design critic with the International New York Times, and Masaaki Kanai, the chairman and representative director of Ryohin Keikaku Co. Ltd./MUJI.


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Cara McCarty
Cara McCarty is the curatorial director at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, where she oversees the museum’s curatorial vision and leads exhibition planning. She played a lead role in the 2014 renovation and transformation of Cooper Hewitt into a 21st-century museum, from the overall master plan to the creation of immersive museum spaces and participatory visitor experiences.

Prior to that, McCarty held several curatorial positions in different art museums, such as the Saint Louis Art Museum and The Museum of Modern Art. Among her numerous exhibitions and accompanying publications are Tools: Extending Our Reach (Cooper Hewitt 2014), Masks: Faces of Culture (Harry N. Abrams Inc. 1999), and Structure and Surface: Contemporary Japanese Textiles (Harry N. Abrams Inc. 1998). She received a bachelor’s degree in Architectural History and East Asian Art from Stanford University and was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.

Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum
Founded in 1897, Cooper Hewitt is the only museum in the United States devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. Housed in the renovated and restored Carnegie Mansion, which was recognized with LEED Silver certification, the museum showcases one of the most diverse and comprehensive collections of design works in existence. Cooper Hewitt offers a full range of interactive capabilities, including the high-tech Pen that allows visitors to “collect” and “save” objects from the galleries, the opportunity to explore the collection digitally on ultra-high-definition touch-screen tables, the ability to draw and project their own designs in the Immersion Room as well as address design problems in the Process Lab.

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More information:
Messukeskus, communications manager Johanna Suni, tel. +358 40 515 4216,
Photo: Matt Flynn, Messukeskus Mediabank

Habitare, the largest furniture, design and interior decoration event in Finland, will be held at Messukeskus in Helsinki, from 12 to 16 September 2018. Habitare offers experiences and ideas on interior decoration, and on the functioning and look of homes and other spaces. Habitare highlights the ideas and works by a new generation of designers, and sparks discussion. The International Friend of Habitare in 2018 is Cara McCarty, the curatorial director at the Cooper Hewitt museum. To be held concurrently with Habitare are the Antiikki antique event, HighEnd Helsinki, and the Habitare Pro and Forma events for professionals. | | @HabitareFair | | #habitare2018 |