new-york

Muriel Cooper, Self-portrait with Polaroid SX-70, ca. 1982, large-format Polaroid, 32 1/2 x 21 1/2".

Muriel Cooper

Muriel Cooper Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery, Columbia University

Muriel Cooper, Self-portrait with Polaroid SX-70, ca. 1982, large-format Polaroid, 32 1/2 x 21 1/2".

“I have a profound disdain for answers,” Muriel Cooper once said. For her, there were only challenges—solutions were more like mistakes. A small gallery at Columbia University recently hosted an exhibition on Cooper’s influential life and work; the show will travel to the MIT Media Lab this fall, where it is not to be missed. Dubbed an unsung heroine, Cooper began her career as a graphic designer and ended it as a professor of interactive media design. Successes, and, as this show revealed, consistency marked her trajectory: She continually worked to collapse distinctions between design and production, thinking and making, whether in hard or soft copy. In 1967, Cooper was appointed the first design director at the MIT Press, where, notably, she designed Hans Wingler’s 1969 “Bauhaus bible.” She left in 1974 to found, with designer Ron MacNeil, the school’s legendary Visible

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