MEETING THE NEEDS OF CONTEMPORARY DESIGN: A NEW SURVEY METHODOLOGY
BY BARBARA SCHERTEL
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) is undertaking a detailed survey of the three-dimensional objects in the Architecture and Design (A&D) collection funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Objects to be surveyed in the course of two years are: furniture, lighting, ar- chitectural models, textiles and design objects. This paper provides an overview of SFMOMA, its A&D collection and the conservation department. It describes the fundamental shift that has occurred in design moving away from the purely utilitarian and commercial approach toward a more contemporary artistic culture. In addition it deals with new technological advances like new computer-based technologies, in particular rapid prototyping. This article demonstrates how these changes are reflected in the new survey methodology. The risks that could prevent the objects’ future exhibition and preservation are addressed, and examples from the SFMOMA collection are presented to demon- strate the new survey approach.