Faculty Bulletin Board

Professor curates exhibit at Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum

Rebeca Méndez

Rebeca Méndez

Rebeca Méndez, professor of design media arts at UCLA, is the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum’s next guest curator. Her exhibit, titled “Rebeca Méndez Selects,” is the 17th installation of the museum’s “Select” series, which investigates the interaction of humanity, nature, design and science.

Méndez’s exhibit, which runs from Oct. 5 until June 16, 2019, showcases the interaction between humans and birds, from observation and study to extraction and eradication. Among the displays are 30 birds that ruler Moctezuma II collected in his extensive private aviaries in Tenochtitlan, the center of the Aztec empire in the 16th century. Following the capture of Tenochtitlan by Hernán Cortés, the aviary was burned. Méndez’s installation will also examine this moment of cultural contact and how Europeans amassed material wealth at the expense of the environmental resources in the Americas.

Méndez’s research and practice explores design and media art in public space, critical approaches to public identities and landscape and artistic projects based on field investigation methods. She received the National Design Award in communication design from the Smithsonian Institution in 2012.

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