Bambi Airstream trailer
"Last year was Airstream's 75th anniversary, and the company approached us about donating a trailer to the collection. The trailer had been on our wish list for a long time. Airstream wanted to send us a new one, but we wanted the original 1963 Bambi, so they snatched one from one of their executives."
Demakersvan Cinderella Table
"This table was the thesis project of three designers, Jeroen Verhoeven, Joep Verhoeven, and Judith de Graauw, who met at the Design Academy in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Apart from its being beautiful, we liked it because it showed the idea of laser cutting and recomposing objects. And we like the idea of nurturing young talent."
Helvetica Type Blocks
"When you talk about modern design, Helvetica has all the prerequisites: It's ubiquitous, legible, flexible, elegant, and adaptable, whether in print, engraved, or on a T-shirt. A graphic designer in Switzerland donated these, and we were thrilled to get them, especially as this year is the font's 50th anniversary."
Naoto Fukasawa's Infobar Cell Phone
"This phone has an extremely elegant interface, with LEDs that light up in red on the surface, so that you can read everything that's happening inside. We never collect all of the work of one designer, but we follow the ones we deem interesting." (The phone is seen here in black, white, and blue.)
John Maeda's Reactive Books
"These are an example of a new course for the collection. We used to just have traditional books, but recently we decided to add other forms of communication: interfaces." (The Reactive Books respond to a "reader's" effort to engage them. Speak into a microphone or tap on a keyboard, and the books change. As the "pages" above suggest, objects on the screen grow, spin, or inflate.)
Lifeport Kidney Transporter
"I was touched by the fact that not only engineers but also designers were involved in what is a completely practical object that is also, gulp, beautiful." (Designed by Ideo, Organ Recovery Systems' kidney transporter first appeared in Antonelli's 2005 exhibit, "Safe: Design Takes on Risk." By last June, 75 transplant centers in 13 countries had used it to transport more than 8,100 kidneys.)
A version of this article appeared in the October 2007 issue of Fast Company magazine.