Remy in the kitchen from "Ratatouille." Digital painting by Robert Kondo.
Remy in the kitchen from “Ratatouille.” Digital painting by Robert Kondo.

Pixar’s collaborative design process will be the subject of a museum show this fall at New York City’s Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. The exhibit will explore how Pixar’s visual design process works in tandem with its story development process, and how design is at the core of everything they create.

“Pixar: The Design of Story” will be on view at the Cooper Hewitt from October 8, 2015 through August 7, 2016. Using concept artwork from throughout the Pixar filmography, the exhibit breaks down Pixar’s design process into three stages — research, iteration, and collaboration — and organizes the results into three key design principles: story, believability and appeal.

Curated by Cooper Hewitt’s Cara McCarty and Kim Robledo-Diga, “Design of Story” will be on view in the museum’s newly launched space, the Process Lab, with interactive stations and touchscreen-tables with which visitors can interact. “The Process Lab offers dynamic and participatory experiences for visitors of diverse ages and abilities, showing how designers develop ideas through testing, prototyping and finding inspiration in the world around them,” said Caroline Baumann, director of Cooper Hewitt.

Riley meets her emotions in "Inside Out." Drawing by Ricky Nierva.
Riley meets her emotions in “Inside Out.” Drawing by Ricky Nierva.

Accompanying the exhibit will be a series of public programs including a conversation with John Lasseter on November 12, and a week-long series of hands-on workshops for all ages led by Pixar artists. A children’s activity book, Design of Story: A Pixar Design Activity Book, co-published by Cooper Hewitt and Chronicle Books, will be available at the museum in October, followed by a general release next spring.

This is not the first time that Pixar has been the subject of a museum exhibition in New York City. The last major exhibit took place in 2005, when the Museum of Modern Art presented “Pixar: 20 Years of Animation.”

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