• MVRDV, Dutch Pavilion for Expo 200, 2000.

    MVRDV, Dutch Pavilion for Expo 200, 2000.

    Strangely Familiar: Design and Everyday Life

    2004 European City of Culture

    September 4–November 28, 2004

    Walker Art Center
    725 Vineland Place
    June 8–September 7, 2003

    Carnegie Museum of Art
    4400 Forbes Avenue
    November 8, 2003–February 15, 2004

    The exhibition’s title suggests yet another dreary walk down the path of tweaked vernacular expression, but the show’s actual subject seems far more ambitious. Curator Andrew Blauvelt has assembled forty projects drawn from the fields of contemporary architecture and design, including a porcine skyscraper by MVRDV; a coat that transforms into a tent, by Moreno Ferrari; and Marcel Wanders’s charming vases based on 3-D mapping of sneezes. Collectively, the disparate projects argue that avant-garde design today isn’t about building a better mousetrap but questioning the need to trap mice in the first place.