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After revealing the Sphere concept design at an event at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in 2017, the Delta design team has been buzzing with creative energy. With the challenge to develop a follow-up concept on the horizon, the team revisited the museum to seek out inspiration that will translate into this year’s design.
 
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Designers Seth Fritz and Judd Lord (above); Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum (top).

As a museum dedicated to historical and contemporary design, Cooper Hewitt has become a trusted resource for Delta industrial designers. Judd Lord, director of industrial design at Delta Faucet, referred to the museum as “one of my favorite places on Earth.” For senior designer Seth Fritz, the partnership between the museum and Delta goes even deeper. “This is an amazing collaboration, and for me, a highlight of my career,” Fritz says.

Cooper Hewitt’s recently opened exhibition, “The Senses: Design Beyond Vision,” examines how multisensory design amplifies everyone’s ability to receive information, explore the world, satisfy essential needs and experience joy and wonder. With more than 40 touchable objects, Lord and Fritz enjoyed the multisensory experience of each installation—how often do you get to touch or smell items on display in a museum? From the giant furry wall that plays symphonic sounds to a display of 3-D-scented sculptures, the exhibition left the designers feeling electrified and eager to bring their experiences back to the studio. “I’ve never seen anyone attempt to create an exhibition of features that pull the senses into play. It’s incredibly intriguing,” Lord says. “Design has moved beyond just the aesthetic of a product; it’s about pulling a user into the experience of it.”
 

Now that the team is feeling inspired, the next step is thinking about what this year’s design may look like. Will the Delta designers unveil a prototype that engages the sense of smell or changes the sound of water? We’re eager to find out later this year. In the meantime, seek inspiration of your own by visiting "The Senses: Design Beyond Vision", sponsored by Delta Faucet (open through Oct. 28, 2018), or by tagging along with Lord and Fritz as they explore in the video above. For a deeper look into this year’s concept design process, stay tuned to our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram accounts.

Delta Faucet is a proud Corporate Contributor of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Learn more about the museum and its mission at CooperHewitt.org.