What each of us considers to be “good design” likely depends on our tastes, preferences, and perspectives, but in the Museum of Modern Art’s upcoming exhibit, it all has to do with the perfect balance of form and function. The Value of Good Design showcases household items that have stood the test of time, and in the museum’s Design Store, visitors can take home contemporary versions of those finds.
MoMA’s “Good Design” initiatives first took place from the 1930s through the 1950s and “championed well-designed, affordable contemporary products.” The new exhibit, which opens February 10 and runs through June 15, is curated by Juliet Kinchin, a curator in the department of architecture and design, and features largely mid-century designs that had been lauded for their impressive combination of form and “good taste.” Many featured artifacts are still available for purchase today, too, like a Chemex coffee maker and an Eames chair.
If you can’t make it to the exhibit, though, you can still engage in the museum’s conversation, namely, by taking home some of the Design Store’s contemporary “good design” picks. Shop our edit of the inspired upgrades below.
Made from 90 percent industrial waste, this stacking chair (available in eight different hues) makes a strong case to become a classic.
The Slinky was considered a major design development when it was made in 1945. Today, these Japanese-designed tiles, first released in 1992, are a favorite of teachers, making it easy to introduce colors, shapes, and tactile learning to children.
Crafted from Japanese hinoki wood, this ultra-simple stool is sustainably produced and versatile in practically any space.
This magnetic tablet makes a convincing case to become the modern Etch A Sketch.
The built-in thermometer of this simple Dutch oven lends it extra function.
Sure, a Chemex will always be in style, but this handy cup makes it even easier to master your favorite coffee-based beverage at home.
Time to upgrade your reading light: This foldable option has a rechargeable battery that provides eight hours of brightness. It also happens to look way cooler than any other reading light.
More impressive design: