UM Project designs mallets for Cooper Hewitt's museum shop

UM Project designs multi-material mallets for Cooper Hewitt's museum shop

Brooklyn studio UM Project has created a collection of colourful mallets for the shop at the newly reopened Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York.

mallets for the shop at the newly reopened Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum

The Mad Mallets collection was designed in response to the Cooper Hewitt's brief for products for its shop inspired by one of the opening exhibitions, Tools: Extending Our Reach.

UM Project's range comprises 15 mallets made from various combinations of brass, copper, aluminium, Delrin, maple, powder coating and lacquer.

mallets for the shop at the newly reopened Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum

The form of the mallets references aerospace design. "Remove the mallet handles and a lot of the tops look like playful rockets or spaceships," the designers told Dezeen.

"UM Project draws lot of inspiration from industry and technology, the same way other designers would look at nature for inspiration. Sometimes that includes aerospace and classic science fiction."

mallets for the shop at the newly reopened Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum

The mallets are made using a variety of techniques, such as machining aluminium tubing on a milling machine, turning rods and dowels in different materials on a lathe, spray painting and powder coating.

"The tools we are using are very simple and do not include sophisticated processes such as, for example, injection plastics, digital printing or hot presses," said the designers.

mallets for the shop at the newly reopened Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum

"So instead of relying heavily on complex material transformation and processing, we rely more on materials and colour combinations and connections, creating moments with functional, structural and graphic purpose."

Although intended to be decorative, the mallets are in fact fully functional, made from materials often used for standard hammers.

mallets for the shop at the newly reopened Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum

"If the mallets are used as such, they would certainly be scratched, dinged and marked, gaining in usage value what they would lose in esteem value... or perhaps gaining on both accounts," said the designers.

The mallets were designed and produced especially for the Shop Cooper Hewitt, which invited 25 American designers, including UM Project, to create limited-edition items.

mallets for the shop at the newly reopened Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum

"The new Shop Cooper Hewitt is a space where visitors can see exciting new products that are covetable, gift-worthy, and affordable," said director of retail, Chad Philips. "We feature significant design objects from around the world, with a focus on American designers."

Other designers that contributed to the series include Lindsey Adelman, Joe Doucet and Grain.

The Cooper Hewitt reopened in December after a three-year renovation. Tools: Extending Our Reach is open until 25 May 2015.